I didn’t go to enough yard sales last year — New Year’s Resolution to go to more this spring and summer! I find the best things when I go yard saling, like this mid-century modern cabinet I scored a few years back for $10.
It’s sat untouched in our family room for years until I got around to sprucing it up.
While it’s a little hard to tell in the first photo, the piece was all scratched up.
Scratches on the top:
Another shot of the top:
And scratches on the door:
I cleaned up the piece with soap and water before using my trusty Restor-A-Finish to touch up the scratches.
To us the product, I simply put it on a paper towel and rub it into the cracks and all over the cabinet. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, then wipe the whole piece down. To finish, wax the piece using the same technique.
It goes from looking like this ^^ to this:
The scratches are still in the top, but are far less noticeable.
It really cleans the whole thing up!
Now the piece looks great in our house. I still can’t believe I score it for only $10. What a deal.
I grew up with this antique dresser always somewhere in my house. Ever have an affinity for something just because you grew up with it? Well, that’s how I feel about this dresser. It’s not quite my style, but I love it nonetheless. With four drawers, each with their own keyhole, and a beautiful curve — this piece is exactly what comes to my mind when I think of an antique dresser. My dresser comes with an added bonus — a small teal bead that me and my sisters stuck in one of the keyholes. We could easily remove the bead, but it has become sort of sentimental through the year — like, oh, is that the dresser with the bead stuck in it?
Anyway, long story short, my mom and step dad had the dresser at their hose for years. Over the years, it somehow made its way into the garage and became a storage chest for nails, screws and the like. Needless to say, it got a little bit beat up.
The top really needed some love. With a crack 1/3 the way through it and all sorts of nastiness to the finish, it was crying for some help.
But let’s rewind….
Before I could tackle any of this, I had to clean this puppy up.
Talk about some serious spider webs.
OK, back to the restoration.
I pulled out my walnut restor-a-finish and a new bottle of mahogany finish and mixed the two together. The dresser was an in-between color, so I figured a mix would be the best option.
Before I started the application of the restor-a-finish, I first wiped down the whole dresser, removed the drawers and took off the hardware.
You can really see the color variation in the finish in this next picture, especially underneath where the hardware goes. You might also notice some doggy paws keeping me company.
I also filled the crack in the top of the dresser using Elmer’s wood filler.
Once that dried, I sanded it smooth.
Then, I got to restoring. Using gloves and a ventilator mask for safety, I started applying the restor-a-finish to the whole dresser. All you have to do is put it on with a paper towel and let it soak in. In 20 minutes, wipe the finish back off. I did this twice, although that probably isn’t necessary. When that was dry, I simply added some feed-n-wax to the piece. You use the same method for the wax — wipe it on with a paper towel, then in 20 minutes remove it again.
And that’s it! I reattached the hardware and put the drawers back in.
Check out that top! All sorts of fancy and nice.
Here’s another shot. You can see there are still scratches in the top, but they don’t stand out anymore because of the treatment done. If you wanted the scratches out completely, you’d have to sand down the stop, which would remove the original finish of the piece. It’s a toss-up. The scratches don’t bother me, so I opted to let them stay with the original finish of the piece.
Ready for the whole thing?
It has such a nice color to it again!
This dresser is a perfect example of not needing to paint old furniture. Don’t get me wrong — I love a painted piece of furniture, but I hate to see beautiful antiques covered with paint because people aren’t aware of their other options!
My mom and stepdad will be sad they let it go. Now I need to figure out where it will live in my house. I am thinking it will go in our guest room and that we could use it as a future changing table for future babies. That seems to be a popular trend these days, anyway. Wouldn’t this be adorable in a little girl’s room? Of course it would, that’s why my mom got it for her three daughters 🙂
I don’t usually share outtakes from my projects and photo shoots, but Remmy was all over me for this project. I guess when his momma is outside, he’s gonna be glued to her side.
Who is getting snow today? We’ve gotten a bunch of snow — well, a bunch of snow for Maryland. My dog is LOVING IT. He loves being outside and he loves coming back in to lick the snow off his paws before going back out again. He is addicted to the white stuff… at least the powder on his nose is snow, right?
I shoveled the driveway, twice. I figured since I slept through the gym, I should probably do something like exercise today. Plus, I saw that shoveling snow for an hour burns something like 400 calories! Winning!
Other than that, the hubs and I took it easy today. Earlier in the week, I worked on a pair of tables I purchased from a thrift store. I scored a pair of American of Martinsville tables at a local shop that were beat up but had a ton of potential. I wanted to try a new refinishing technique I had heard of, so I quickly snatched them up before anyone else could get their hands on ’em .
The tops of the tables had seen better days. Other than that, a piece of gum on the bottom and a spill in a drawer, they were in great shape.
The technique I used? I tried a new product called Howard Restor-A-Finish, which allows you to touch up banged up wood without having to sand and strip the existing stain.
I brought one of the drawers with me to Home Depot to pick the finish that best matched my tables.
To used the Restor-A-Finish, I wiped down the piece to get the dirt and grime off. Then, I poured a little of the liquid onto a paper towel and generously wiped the product onto the table. Once the whole piece was coated, I went back and wiped off the Restor-A-Finish.
Once the finish was completely dry, I went over each piece with another Howard product called Feed-N-Wax. I applied the wax on both pieces and let it soak in for 20 minutes. Again, I went back and wiped off the remaining product.
Don’t the tops look SO MUCH BETTER!!??!! The metal Xes, which are found on many American of Martinsville pieces, pop with the rest of the table looking so nicely. I think they turned out beautifully.
And that was it! It worked beautifully. The Restor-A-Finish doesn’t work 100% as well as if I’d stripped the whole piece down, but it does restore the original integrity of the piece, which I really liked. Plus, it is way easier and less time consuming for great results. All in all, if I just wanted to touch up a piece, I would definitely use this again. If I wanted to change the look and a feel of a piece, this wouldn’t be the way to go.