Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Makeover of a White Chest

We bought this chest in 1991. The last time I did anything to the finish it I was 8 months pregnant with my first child.  I remember it being cold and me painting it in the garage with Kilz.  We used it as a dresser in the nursery and the top was a changing table.  I shopped the house when we grew a dining room with our new addition and it became a little sideboard for the new space.  But every time I walked by it, the chest just kept reminding me of the nursery. So the week my 5 year-old went to kindergarten, I used this chest to adjust to the fact that no more of our babies will ever be in the house, a melancholy week for me.  So, it was time for this chest to grow up too.  
(This is a re-post from 2010.)

I stripped the white paint off of the chest.  This is the stripper I used.

I started with a drawer to see how this stripper worked.  I have stripped a piece of furniture before but it was a few years ago.  

The stripper worked really good.  As you can see the paint came right off but, the primer has to be sanded off.  Thank goodness for my orbital sander.

The knobs are coming off for a hand sanding later.

Here is the drawer after sanding with the orbital sander.

After the orbital sander I switched to the sanding sponge with a medium grit to get as much of the white paint off as I could.  But if you notice, I don't get it all off.  I like the look of the white paint in the dings and grooves.  It gives the appearance of something antique with white milk paint in the cracks.  

After a good dusting, it is time to pre-treat the wood before staining it.  I used Minwax Pre-stain.  I would think it is a mix of Linseed oil and mineral spirits.  Although, I couldn't find the ingredients on the label.  (The rags used from this step become highly combustible dispose of them carefully after use.)

The natural pine on this chest is pretty, but I wanted a richer color so I decided to stain it.  I used Miniwax Polyshades in Pecan Satin.  This was the warm tone I was going for.  Note: the pine wood has to be pre-treated before the staining.  It is a soft wood and the wood fibers will take the stain very uneven without a pre-treatment.  The pine still doesn't take the stain perfectly even being that chest is made of many pieces of wood that will all take the stain differently.  

 The final step is to "sand" again with a #0000 grade steel wool.  This puts a satin smooth finish on the wood.  After you can again apply another layer of stain and "sand" again with the steel wool and then you are done.

I hand sanded the knobs entirely with a coarse grade sand paper and the sanding sponge.  I would believe the knobs are made of a different wood entirely because they were a lot darker than the pine.  Here the knobs are after pre-treatment and stain done in the same manner as the chest and I have them drying between the slats in our swing.

So, here is my little nursery chest all grown up.  It will work for now until someday we find the perfect buffet or hutch.  

 Now I have somewhere to put all my seasonal decorations.
 I will link this to the week long blog party.  This entry goes to:
Drop Cloth Projects at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia


Blondie's Journal said...

You did a fabulous job on the dresser, Sherry, it looks brand new!! Your fall decorations look great on it....beautiful vignette. It was definitely worth all the work!

Hope you are having a great holiday weekend!!


GrannySue said...

Wow, what a beautiful job you did. I have to tell you, I have tried refinishing things before and I never quite got the hang of it. I admire your ability and patience.

Laura's Rose Garden said...

Hi Sherry,
WoW!! You go girl!!! That dresser looks great!! It looks very "grown up and sophisticated!! It is worth all the work, I know! I have been working on furniture this past week, too. I will be posting later tonight so pop in to my blog later and see some of my transformations!!
Hugs, Laura

A Hopeful Heart said...

Oh, it's beautiful. You did a fabulous job. Surprisingly, I actually like it better now than I did as white...and that is really saying something because I LOVE white.

Thanks for sharing...and for the encouragement to use the furniture that one has if buying something else isn't in the budget. (I need a buffet for my dining area too...and I have a chest of drawers that we're not using. I never even considered putting "bedroom furniture" in the dining area, but, hey, why not!!??)

Blessings to you,

Lori said...

I have removed paint before! What a job. Looks great.

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh my, you did such a wonderful job on this chest. It is gorgeous and your vignette on the top is stunning. Great job. I just love it. Hugs, Marty

Shirl said...

Fantastic job, I love it and a great idea to store holiday decorations in it.
Blessings, Shirl
Shirls Rose Cottage

Tracy's Trinkets and Treasures said...

Oh the work you did on that chest. You made it beautiful. It is nice to see white paint removed and the beauty of wood show through with stain for a change. It looks great. You should be really proud.

Kathy said...

The natural wood looks really nice with your autumn decor

Jeannine said...

You really did all the traditional work on this dresser. It looks amazing-such a great job! Thanks for sharing

Gillian Layne said...

I absolutely love it, and especially how you decorated on the top. It has inspired me to take another look at my kitchen colors. Your pop of black with those gorgeous fall oranges and reds is so pretty.

Purnima@a creative project said...

Fantastic work!! Thanks for sharing how you did it!!

Meg said...

It looks like a completely new dresser. Wonderful job. I appreciate the steps you used because I would have just sanded it and called it good! Your careful attention made the end result beautiful.
I'm having a fun giveaway on my blog. I'd love it if you could check it out! alittleknickknack.blogspot.com

Shelia said...

Very lovely! You did a very good job and you're going to enjoy all of the extra storage too!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Atticmag said...

How super to see a "reverse" redo! The pine has beautiful grain and it's a charming "new" chest. So nicely done.

Please stop by if you have time. We'll have a great teen bedroom giveaway starting Friday. -- Jane F.

Q @ JAQS said...

That's a nice wood finish underneath all that paint. It's so different seeing a redo that is UN-painting a piece of furniture :).

Sonia said...

Wow that is fabulous!! Love the light colored stain! What a wonderful storage piece. Great job!

Miss Bloomers

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Thanks so much for linking to TTT. I do love your pretty vignette. Hugs, Marty

Pam @ diy Design Fanatic said...

Wow! I am totally impressed!

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Wow, that's a lot of work, it turned out great!

southerninspirationsblog said...

Great job on the dresser! Wish I had that much decorating energy - I just slap on paint! Love your fall decor too! Thanks for the inspiration!!!


Apron Senorita said...

Gorgeous transformation!!

Brandy said...

What a gorgeous job!!! What we usually see is most of us painted/ distressing. Totally awesome to see you strip of the paint and refinish it!!!

Kim said...

I'm truly amazed at your furniture stripping.

Ellie said...

It really does look grown up! I'm sure it was good to have some physical labor to do to get your mind off of your babies growing up. Great job!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

Oh, great info! I didn't even get to the finishing stage so this is awesome. Yes, your dresser looks all grown up and pretty indeed. :)


PamMa said...

This is so pretty and a wonderful job! Thanks so much for sharing...takes a while sometimes to get to those jobs that really must be put off until the time is right. You should be proud!

xinex said...

Oh Sherry, You did a really good job in refinishing the chest of drawers. It's really all grown up now....Christine


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