by Erin

You know that old saying, you marry a man like your father?  I didn’t realize how true that was until a few years into being married.  Just like my father, my husband loves to bring home things that could be of use “someday.”  Usually, like my father, most of these things end up in the shed or the attic until someday arrives, or until I sneak it out to the garbage! 😉  This time it was a Dresser.  Obviously not one of those things we could hide easily since storage space was limited.  I knew I had to act quick – either make use of it or get it out before it became a clutter magnet!

Besides, I know good, solid furniture like this is hard to find these days.  A fresh coat of paint was all this baby needed to bring a whole new life into it!

Luckily for me however, my husband is also a painter who loves a good Sunday project.  He knew just what we needed, so while I put our daughter down to nap, he broke out the supplies.

This is What You’ll Need:
  • Sandpaper
  • Stain Killz Primer (my fave!)
  • White Paint (We used Simply White by Benjamin Moore)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Tools to Remove Hardware (usually just screwdrivers)
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Vinegar

The project itself was pretty easy, but each step was a process so it ended up taking the whole day.  Start off by removing all the metal hardware and if needed, clean it up.  This was an old dresser and the hardware had seen better days.  I placed them in a metal pan, covered them with salt and baking soda, pretty generously.  Added the vinegar and let it bubble and fizz.

As the bubbles died down, I would splash a little more vinegar in and shimmy it around like you’re sifting for gold.  I could see the yuck yucks floating to the top immediately, but I decided to let it soak for a while.  Check back, splash some vinegar and shimmy around as needed to keep the bubbles working.

Now, back to the dresser.  First, we had to sand it.  Yes, the whole thing.  Every nook and cranny.  I expected this process to be way easier, but there was a lot of nooks and crannies. Thank goodness for my Messy Man.  After sanding, be sure to dust it really well.  I kicked ass at that part!!

Next up, was the coat of Stain Killz Primer.  You can use any primer really, or choose not to, but the wood will suck in a lot of the paint, usually giving a fun wood grainy look…it depends what look you’re going for.


Messy Mommy Tip: Stain Killz goes on very thin and can drip; be sure not to leave any droolies (drip marks) behind!

Once the primer has dried, It’s time to paint!! With all the trim and divots on this piece, we decided hand brushing it would be best.  For the large, smooth areas (sides & tops) we used a heavily loaded brush, being sure to use long, even strokes to avoid leaving brush marks.  For the trim and the divots, we used a little less paint and sometimes even a smaller brush, if needed.

While this all dried, and hubby took a break, I checked on my soaking hardware.  Fizzed it up a little and shook it around.  I let that soak a little longer while I checked the paint.

Don’t panic if the first coat doesn’t look perfect.  The second coat will make a huge difference.  Let the first coat dry thoroughly before going on to the next steps! Give the first coat a light, quick sand, especially on any brush marks.  Be sure to wipe off all dust before applying second coat.  If you chose not to prime it, you could end up needing a third coat.

While that dried, I went back to the hardware, fizzed it up one last time.  Gave it one good, last shimmy shake and once the fizz stopped, I rinsed it under hot water, using a scrubbie sponge to get off the last of rusty spots.  This could take some elbow grease, but putting in the extra effort on the hardware will make your piece look so much better at the end.  Of course, you could opt to buy all new hardware and skip this part completely, but what fun is that?!

Once everything is completely dry, it’s time to put it all back together.  An extra set of hands for getting the doors and hinges lined up will make things so much easier!

Forgive the bad photo quality in this post – this project was done long before having a good camera 🙂

Once the dresser was put back together, I just loved it.  A modern twist on an old 1960’s dresser matched my style pretty well and made the perfect addition to our bedroom.  Even better, is that when we moved, we found it to fit in our new bedroom even better!!

What furniture have you refinished?!
We want to see it!!

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