How to Refinish a Dresser

Do you have some pieces of old furniture that are good quality but look a bit shabby and you don't want to get rid of? If that's the case, why not just give them a makeover.

Here we look at how to refinish a dresser:

 


 

Supplies Needed

Step by Step Instructions

The area that you intend to work in should be large enough to get around the piece easily and be well ventilated.

–  Cover the floor with newspaper before putting the dresser onto it.

–  Before starting work, read the instructions very carefully on the stripper, mineral oil and stain.

–  Use a screwdriver to remove all handles and other ironmongery on the dresser. This will avoid any damage to them and makes the application of stripper, stain etc a whole lot easier.

–  Put on your safety goggles, face mask and gloves in order to apply the stripper. Be very careful to avoid the stripper coming into contact with your skin as it can burn you.

–  Pour stripper into the metal pail and then apply it to small sections of the dresser and drawers at a time. It should take about half an hour for the stripper to do its work. Wipe the residue off with the paper towel and then reapply the stripper as many times as you need to any remaining small areas of stubborn paint still on the dresser. The putty knife/scraper is useful to help remove the remaining bits of paint. Do not scratch too hard as you want to avoid scratching the wood.

–  Use a coarse grade sandpaper to hand sand the surface for a smooth surface ready to stain or paint. Rub the surface with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any remaining dust and wait for the dresser to dry.

–  Brush on a layer of mineral oil (as you would paint) as this replaces any oils removed from the wood during the stripping process. Allow several hours (or better still, overnight) for the mineral oil to soak into the wood and
dry.

–  Apply the stain or paint with a brush in even strokes following the grain of the wood. Apply coats as thinly and evenly as you can. Let the first coat fully dry before applying the second coat. If necessary, apply a third coat or more until you are happy with the colour.

–  If the stain you are using does not have a finisher already mixed in, you will have to apply a clear coat top finish that is hard wearing to protect the dresser.

–  Once the dresser is finally dry, buff the surface with ultra-fine grade steel wool. Rub lightly in the direction of the grain, but not too hard as to scratch your new finish.

–  Put back the handles and any other ironmongery and that's it! You have a new looking piece of furniture. Not bad for a few days work!

As you can see, the process is not that difficult as long as you carry out the work in a logical manner.

It certainly makes sense (and also saves money) to be able to give a new lease of life to old bits of furniture you might have lying around the house.

Not only that, the quality of older furniture is often far superior to anything you can buy today, so it makes sense to recycle older furniture if you can. At the end of the day, you will then have a unique, nice looking piece of furniture to enhance your home.