Friday, September 8, 2017

Furniture Friday: Step by Step Bare Wood Antique Dresser

Happy Friday!

For this week's Furniture Friday I wanted to share something that I did for our own home.

I had been looking for a while for a piece that would be the right scale for our living room and provide much needed storage.

Earlier in the summer I found this antique dresser on a Facebook for sale page and it was a great price (about $30) and it looked like it would fit our space just like I had envisioned.

It ended up being the perfect scale for the room and I sat with it as is for a couple of weeks. It was this mustard color, which is actually pretty perfect for the piece (and I paint a lot of furniture in a similar color to sell), but it was not right for the color scheme of our home.

I had contemplated painting it a modern (and currently super popular blush), but in the end, I felt the space need a more raw/rustic piece to balance out a lot of the modern touches that I've added.

My goal was to strip as much off the paint of as possible, leaving little bits in the groves and woodgrain to show the age and history.

I'm going to be honest. This project was a total pain. I'm thrilled with the results, but it was a lot of labor to get it to this spot. (Although, to be honest, it probably wouldn't have seemed so long and drawn out if I had been able to consistently work on it. But, I did it in conjunction with several custom orders and other pieces to sell.)

Here is my step by step list of what I did to achieve this look:

1.  I used Ready Strip to remove as much of the paint as possible. I worked in sections and had to apply the product about three times to each area. Note: This dresser ended up having about five layers of paint.  I simply followed the directions that came with the product and scraped off the paint with a putty knife.

2.  I then washed the entire piece down with mineral spirits and 00 fine steel wool.

3.  Next, I used 60 grit sandpaper to remove whatever paint was remaining. (Obviously use the proper precautions if you think your project piece may contain lead.) I followed the coarse grit sandpaper with 150 grit to get a smooth finish.

4. I cleaned the entire piece again with mineral spirits and steel wool.

5. I went back and forth trying to decide how to finish the piece. I knew I wanted to leave it as raw as stain or poly...but I also wanted to feed the wood and enhance the grain. My final decision was to use Watco Danish Oil in Natural. It gave it the perfect rustic, not overdone feel I was looking for.

So what do you think? It's probably not following the trend of painted furniture (and this is coming from someone who actually gets paid to paint furniture for people), but, I truly believe you have to look at each piece individually and determine how you can make it look its best. And, I actually do have a combo of stained and painted pieces in my home, so this mix works for my own personal style.

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