As I’ve slowly been dabbling in the world of furniture rehab the last year, I’ve learned quite a bit. Namely, that restoring wood furniture takes time and patience. I understand why people choose to go the painted furniture route because, frankly, it’s a lot easier!
It’s been a beast to get it done. Nonetheless, I definitely don’t regret this DIY dresser project!
I shared a few months ago the dresser and how I stripped it of its (many layers) of paint.
After that, I spent a boatload of time sanding. Usually I just use a palm sander (starting with rough grit paper up to very fine).
But the gouges in the surface of this dresser were so deep I needed to use our belt sander. (And as you can see by the photo below I needed a bit of assistance using it. I was a little Lucille-Ball-esque letting it carry me away with it!)
It was well worth all the effort of sanding though – it now has a nice new surface!
It goes well with the other DIY dresser I have refinished!
This time around I did use one new method: pre-staining.
Pre-Stain is typically used on raw or soft wood materials. The pre-stain helps to prepare the wood so the stain will soak in more evenly – preventing blotches and streaks.
How to Use Pre-Stain:
Using pre-stain is simple. Going forward, I would definitely use it on any furniture staining projects I have, just to make the final color that much richer.
I used Minwax Pre-Stain conditioner. A large can will run you about $10, but will last you forever! After you have finished all your sanding, brush on the pre-stain with a foam brush just like stain, and let it sit for 5-15 minutes. Then just wipe off any excess.
You will want to stain your piece within 2 hours from pre-staining it for the best absorption.
This dresser was stained with Minwax Special Walnut stain and topped with Cabot Semi-Gloss Fast Drying Polyurethane. I always use foam brushes when applying stain or poly, and just a friendly reminder – DON’T SHAKE THE POLY! Stir it gently! Otherwise the air bubbles will dry and your dresser will feel like you spilled PopRox on it.
For the hardware, I chose with mercury glass knobs. I found a 4-pack in HomeGoods for $8.00! You can find the same ones on Amazon ($12 for 2) or let yourself be seduced by the glitz of Anthropologie and get ripped off for $8.00 a pop for the exact same knobs!
For the top drawers I found smaller mercury glass knobs at Target for a whopping $20 for set of 4. I couldn’t find smaller knobs like them anywhere so I bought them. And they are perfect!
For the keyholes, I gently pried out the old metal inserts with a screwdriver. I’ve seen replacements online for $2/each, and may add those at a later point.
That brings my grand total for this DIY dresser makeover to about $45. (Pre-Stain – $10, Hardware: $28, Sandpaper: ~$5)
While this project took me ages to finish, I’m so happy I kept at it! It was totally worth it!
Thanks for stopping by! : ) Kat