Hello amazing friends! I am so thrilled you stopped by today!
I am diving headfirst into my first piece from my Mother’s Day Haul, this tall antique dresser:
This poor thing was in serious need of TLC and I spent way more time on this than I normally do on my furniture pieces. I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.
Fixing Damaged Veneer
I started with removing the drawers. They were missing veneer in several spots:
I had two choices here. One, I could soak the veneer off like I did in this post, or two, I could fill those spots with filler. I chose the second option. The veneer was still attached very well, so I applied Dixie Belle Mud in brown with a putty knife to patch those areas.
I even had this very questionable area on one of them:
I applied the Mud to that too.
I rigged it to my shop vac to cut down on the dust. My friend, Kandice, shared that trick ages ago and it really works!
I shared this picture at the end of my last post…my favorite way to spend the weekend!
After the Mud was completely dry, I used my orbital sander to smooth those areas out also, using 220 grit sandpaper. As a test when filling holes, I close my eyes and run my finger across the area to feel if it is smooth. If I can still feel an indent, I reapply the filler/Mud and allow it to dry again. I’ve never had to do it more than twice. After giving a couple of areas a second coat, I was good to go.
Combatting Musty Odor
When I removed the drawers, I got a big whiff of must. It has likely been several years since this dresser has been in use, and that smell would not be unusual for a piece being stored in the garage for many years.
I went straight for the BOSS. It blocks odors, so I used the clear formula this time and brushed it on the entire interior of the dresser:
I let that dry overnight and then gave it the sniff test…no more musty smell woohoo! And don’t worry, it dries perfectly clear with a matte finish.
I gave everything on the outside a good cleaning and then moved onto the drawers. They were in need of a good cleaning as well. As I was wiping out the insides, it seemed the musty smell on them was only coming from the thinner pieces of wood that were on the bottoms, so I BOSSed the bottoms of the drawers. Then I used a product called Big Mama’s Butta in the Orange Grove scent (It smells amazing!!) and buffed it into the rest of the drawers, inside and out.
It is like a salve and it rejuvenates and protects the wood. It also leaves a lovely sheen and even better fresh citrus scent! It also comes in a rose scent called Suzanne’s Garden and an unscented formula as well.
Priming for bleed-through
Next, I primed the body of the dresser and the drawer fronts with two coats of BOSS in white, allowing it to dry for several hours in between coats. This is an antique piece, and I don’t like to take chances with bleed-through on older pieces. Plus, because it is white, that’s less coats of paint I will need to use.
I taped off the legs with FrogTape since I didn’t plan to paint them.
Painting & Sanding
The bottom of the sides had chipped veneer also, but I have another remedy for that:
I cut a piece of poplar to fit, painted it, and attached it with wood glue:
Staining the top & bottom
For the top, the details at the base, and the legs, I used Dixie Belle’s No Pain Gel Stain in Espresso:
It has a thicker consistency so it is less likely to splatter and it’s easier to apply:
I conditioned the top first with Minwax Pre Stain Wood Conditioner and then applied the stain with a soft cloth right away. Wear gloves for this as the stain will stain your hands. For the details on the bottom, I applied the stain right over the existing stain.
I used a clean soft cloth for that also:
The Final reveal!
It’s amazing what a little (okay, a lot) of TLC did for this dresser!
I loved the carved detail along the bottom and wanted to keep that as is:
And here’s the side where I covered the chipped veneer:
It looks like that piece was always there!
I wanted to keep it simple and timeless and I think this combination achieves that.
Many of the original pulls were either broken or missing, but I managed to pull together four from this dresser and the wider dresser that I have just like it.
They got a good cleaning and three coats of Cotton. I used my nail to scrape away paint here and there to age them:
The other drawers got one of my favorite pulls from Hobby Lobby:
For the inside of the drawers, I used this pretty paper I found at TJ Maxx last year:
My fabric stash is very thin these days, so this paper worked just fine. I used my rotary cutter and cutting mat set to cut it to fit and attached it by by running a glue stick around the perimeter.
This dresser may have taken twice as long for me to complete, but it was so rewarding to see this once loved piece come back to life with each step!
I still have the larger wide dresser like this to do. Should I do it to match? Or should I give it a look of its own?
I’ll be back next time with a much more simple redo from my Post Shut-down Thrift Store Haul:
I bought this coaster set with a specific idea in mind…any guesses?
UPDATE: You can see what I did with it HERE now! 🙂
Have a great day!!
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