Go with the grain (& Day 41)

My first time… re-doing a dresser (or anything for that matter)

As you can tell from my “something embarrassing in your room” photo I was in DIRE need of a dresser. So after weeks and weeks of searching I found just the right project at one of my favorite thrift stores.

Solid Little Guy

I was attracted to this piece because of it’s shape; clean lines and solid build; not to mention solid wood. I was pretty set on sanding, re-staining, and replacing the handles. I knew that my mom had done many re-finishing projects when I was younger, and was excited at the opportunity to do the same.

Here is what I needed in order to get my project underway– coarse, medium, fine grade sand paper disk, and fine steel wool


And don’t forget  about the power tools!

Mr. Sandman

I began by wiping down the entire dresser, and removing the drawers

gleaming (yucky finish)

Time to remove the hardware

getting better and better

Make sure that you keep all the parts together; should you choose to use them again. I put all of the hardware in a flower pot for safe keeping.

screws & handles

After removing the hardware, I started the sanding process; which proved to be a little daunting. When I first began I did not realize the importance of applying even pressure to the sander– if even pressure is not applied then even sanding will not occur (who knew?).

even... even...even

not so even

Obviously the first round of sanding didn’t go so well. I was glad that I learned this lesson early on so that I could go back and re-do this section before I moved onto others.

Much better

The sanding was a tedious process as each piece needed to be sanded with coarse, medium, and fine sand paper. No worries though, the work is worth it! After all the sanding I used the fine steel wool to smooth out any rough spots.

Steel wool....bahhhh

The results were beginning to show


looking better

Once the steel wool was run over the entire piece I wiped down every nook and cranny with a wet rag in order to remove any remaining steel wool and dust.

oooohhh... ahhhh

The wood grain really started to shine, and made me more exciting for the staining process. BUT before you start any staining, make sure that the wood dries… completely!

After drying (I left mine over night) let the staining begin. I opted for a Brazilian Mahogany

Wooooo Eeeeee!

I made sure to purchase a staining brush and followed the directions on the can by applying one thin coat and allowing full drying before a second application!

In the meantime I continued the progress of the dresser by tackling the brass handles– I know, I know, I said I was going to replace them but after falling in love with their shape I opted to at least ATTEMPT to bring them back to their glory. I purchased Twinkle brass cleaner ( I couldn’t find Brass-O) and went to town. Here was the first one… can you tell the difference between the left and the right?


The more I scrubbed the more beauty was revealed—WHAT A DIFFERENCE!


Once the handles were cleaned and shined, it was time to complete all the finishing touches. Once last swipe of fine steel wool was needed to even out any blemishes left behind by the stain

almost.... drum roll..

Once the last swipe of steel wool was complete, I cleaned off the dresser with some Pledge and screwed the drawer pulls back  into place. I could not be more pleased with the outcome!

can't wait to fill it up!

No I have no excuse when I comes to leaving my clothes overflowing in laundry baskets. I also have greater perspective as to why my mom enjoyed re-doing furniture so much; while it take some time and effort it can be so rewarding. Not quite instant gratification but pretty darn close. I must admit that I am really proud of this piece and can’t wait to do some more!

Day 41: A photo of a family member

I am blessed to have a number of nieces and nephews– this little lady was the first, and she has my heart!

in the pjs



One thought on “Go with the grain (& Day 41)

  1. tony calle says:

    pretty amazing Miss Q!

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