Vintage Dresser Restoration

If you know where to look, you can find some beautiful antique furniture pieces around. Look online, visit secondhand stores and look through the homes of your older relatives who have furniture they want to get rid of when downsizing. Today we’re looking at restoring and transforming an antique chest of drawers.

What you need:

  • Chemical paint/varnish stripper
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Milk paint in the colour of your choice
  • Stain
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clean rags

What to do:

  1. Start by clearing out a well-ventilated space where you can work. Dust your piece off, remove all hardware and knobs/handles and you’re ready to go.
  2. If your chest of drawers is covered with thick paint or varnish, you might want to use a chemical stripper in order to get rid of the majority and save yourself from sanding forever and a day. Apply it with a paintbrush on all painted/varnished areas and watch it bubble. The container will tell you how much to put on and how long to leave it for, so make sure to follow their instructions.
  3. Remove the stripper by using a fine steel wool and rubbing with the grain. Once you’re satisfied that you’ve removed all the stripper, wipe your surfaces down with a clean damp rag just to be sure.
  4. Now give it a light sanding with fine grit sandpaper. If the varnish or paint finish wasn’t very thick to start with, you can simply sand it down until you’re satisfied, skipping the stripper.
  5. Once you’re satisfied with the surface, give it another thorough dusting to get rid of any wood dust.
  6. Identify which areas you want painted and which areas you want stained.
  7. Tape down any the edges of the areas you don’t intend on painting and get to painting with your paintbrush. Allow time to dry and paint a second layer. Remove the tape before the paint is completely dry for a cleaner finish.
  8. Once your paint is completely dry, sand down any paint on the areas where you don’t want paint.
  9. Now tape down the painted areas that you don’t stained. With a clean brush, apply the stain to your wood, wiping down the excess as you go. Again, remove the tape before the stain is completely dry.
  10. Once your stain is dry, inspect your painted areas. If you find any unwanted stain, simply sand the area down slightly and touch up with paint.
  11. Replace any hardware and knobs/handles and your done.

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