Part 2: Dresser refab

My dresser is almost done. Almost. It’s been sanded, stained and polyurethaned. Now all it needs to do is dry! Then I can add my spiffy teal knobs!

The project was rather simple, but I certainly learned a lot along the way. First and foremost, don’t stain outside if there is any hint of a breeze — especially in the spring. I had to bring the dresser inside after the first coat of poly because so much crap had blown onto it and was sticking in the finish.

Second, make sure you sand all surfaces you want to stain. New stain + old stain doesn’t always equal a good combination.

Third, make sure you aren’t doing things the hard way. According to my family friend, John, it would have been a lot quicker to use a varnish stripping agent instead of sanding all of the nooks and crannies of the old dresser. A tip for next time, I suppose!

Here’s the progress so far:

OK, this was the first coat of stain. Honestly, I was super disappointed with how it looked — it wasn’t all that different from what I started with.

And here’s the stain after a much thicker coat. Much better!

Before the poly (and before I moved inside).

Remmy watching from inside because he kept grabbing rocks and/or sandpaper, and then running away.

All polyed up and sitting out to dry.

Looking good!

Maybe tomorrow I can put it all back together, knobs and all. I might play it extra safe and wait an extra day for it all to dry.

In other news, if you follow my Facebook page you know that I spent part of the weekend unpacking my craft room. While that sounds super exciting, it was actually rather overwhelming. As of right now, I’ve got a whole lot of nothing to do crafts on except the floor. I also have a whole lot of nothing to use for storage. I’ve been hitting up thrift stores and Craigslist to see if I can find something the meet my needs, but if I can’t I think I’ll have to custom build something into my craft nook. I’m rather desperate to have a functioning craft room, but all in good time.

While I didn’t find a craft table (or a coffee table or a desk), I did find some other fun things at the thrift store this weekend. 

An old dictionary, an old atlas and a nasty silver bowl. Can’t wait to get to work on some projects I have planned, especially with the atlas and the dictionary. Oh! I bought a second atlas, but the hubby loved it so much he claimed it as his own and refuses to let me use it for crafting. Also, I paid $3.50 for it and it is selling for $135 on eBay! Holy cow! Great find, huh, Carrie H. (my thrift store buddy)?


Part 1: Dresser refab

I’ve had this dresser for as long as I can remember and it is screaming for an update. If you look closely you’ll notice a keyhole in the top drawer… and if you look even closer you’ll notice a small bluish-green bead that my older sister stuck into the keyhole when she was little. Like I said, I’ve had this dresser for ages.

I started to sand this baby down last weekend with hopes of staining it a much darker brown. I also bought some fun teal knobs to replace the boring wood ones.

The sanding is taking a while since it is a decently large piece of furniture. I think I’d be able to stain right over the existing stain since it is so old, but I’ll stick with my sander for now.

Yes, Remmy was there to keep me company.

Now I have to interrupt my own post to tell you a horror story about this project. I was showing off my handy work to my mom and my sister when I knocked the can of stain off the edge of the dresser and onto our carpet. As luck would have it, my unopened can of stain hit the floor just the right way, causing the lid to open just enough to leave a decent-sized wood stain blotch on my carpet. I’m talking 3 inches long of dark ebony stain. Holy crap.

So, I frantically googled how to remove wood stain from carpet and found a handy YouTube video showing WD-40 as a way to remove wood stain from carpet. I guess I’m not the only goof to spill stain onto carpet!

I drove to our local convenience store (not before shedding a melodramatic tear or two), but they didn’t have any WD-40. So I proceeded to make my way to Home Depot. I bought turpentine and WD-40, then promptly returned home to face the stain. It took a few minutes, but the WD-40 did get most of the stain out of my carpet. Praise the YouTube and home improvement store gods!

As for the dresser, I hope to finish it this weekend. We’re supposed to have beautiful weather, so I might as well go outside and sand and stain to my heart’s content!