Friday, September 17, 2010

Vintage dresser - before and after

Who would have guessed that this would turn out to be so easy-peasy? From bedroom dressing table to living room drinks cabinet, and all done in a few days with no dramas at all.

Here's what my eBay bargain looked like before:

The photo doesn't show just how bad the finish was. Numerous coats of shellac had bubbled and peeled or been scratched away. And those handles - ugh. You already know the saga of the unorthodox mirror removal method, so I'll skip that.

Sanding was pretty easy, the old finish came off with no probs. Except around those pretty curvey carved bits.

Some chemical paint stripper helped, but in the end I decided not to be a perfectionist about it. There was also this to deal with:

Mmm. Lovely 70s brown and mustard Contact, firmly stuck down to the drawer bottoms. I tried to peel it off one drawer and ended up with broken off pieces and gunky sticky crap still on the drawer base. Then I had a brainwave - my craft heat gun might do the trick! It did; that nasty stuff just peeled away.

Next I gave her two coats of walnut stain, left over from the chair...

...some satin poly...

...and she was looking just gorgeous. Then I added some new teardrop pulls, which is what the original handles would have been:

Look at that gorgeous cedar!

Sorry about the flash glare. I must fiddle around with my camera settings and perfect the art of indoor photography sans flash. One of these days.

I've just thrown some "stuff" on the top, but this is the general idea for our drinks cabinet. The grog we most often use is on top, and the rest stashed underneath. The basket is temporary - I have a plan for a vintage crate to hold the extra bottles, but that's a whole other story.

This is another bargain I picked up this week - a silverplate footed dish from an antique/secondhand shop near my office. The classic and so-heavy-it-would-break-your-wrist decanter behind it was a wedding gift.

My $2 Shop tray is doing a brilliant job of keeping the bottles and glasses tidy. It was white with a horrible butterflies and flowers print on the bottom, complete with corny poem, but a quick spray with black paint and a coat of wipe-on polyurethane sealer fixed that.

And inside the drawers? No putrid Contact anymore, just a wine rack I found at K Mart, plus a shallow basket to hold corkscrews, openers and assorted bits and pieces.

Happy? You bet.

I'm linking this post to Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday

Furniture Feature Fridays


Anonymous said...

Woo hoo kek!!! It looks fantastic!! You certainly have an eye for the 'possible'!!!
If it had been me.......I wouldn't have given it a thought. No way I would have imagined that it could look sooo good.
What a beautiful piece & cost you sooo little!!

Raelene said...

Loving it Kek - looks fantastic!

stormygirl said...

Absolutely fantabulous Kek!! What a difference with so little effort! Looks brilliant! Well done!

Kek said...

Thanks, ladies! :)

This one was a lot of fun. I'm not sure about the spot it's in though, might have to move it around the house a bit till I'm happy... I think the family room looks a bit cluttered now. Hmm.

Or maybe I'll just wait for my interior decorating consultant to advise me.

Unknown said...

It looks fantastic! I just picked up a pine dresser and matching night tables and am torn between painting and restaining. I would really like to restain and I'm inspired by your piece. Thanks.

Cassie Bustamante said...

you did a beautiful job refinishing this piece. i love that it has a more rustic look now and the finish is more natural. beautiful!

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

I can't believe how gorgeous she (she is a she, right?) turned out. What a makeover!

Miss Mustard Seed said...

The wood is beautiful! I love that you refinished it and didn't paint it. Good choice! :)

Kek said...

Thanks for the lovely comments, all. :)

I thought about painting it for about a nano-second, but once I had it sanded and saw that cedar, I knew it needed a natural finish.