Refinished Furniture

Trial and Error On One Of My First Refinishing Projects


  • This is the second piece of furniture I refinished. Unfortunately in my excitement to get started and finish it, so I could prove to people that it wasn’t a piece of junk, I didn’t take any “before” pictures. My husband (then boyfriend) bought it from Craigslist in Rochester, NY. It was only supposed to be a temporary, cheap piece that we paid $35 for.  When the season was over and it was time to move back to St. Louis I insisted we bring it back with us. It was such a good, quality piece of furniture. Everyone thought I was crazy that I was going to put this “piece of junk” in our house. 
  • The “before” was a dark (and I’m completely guessing here) walnut dresser with tarnished brass looking handles.  All the handles were the same and old-fashioned. I used chemical stripper for the first time (I will definitely have a blog about using chemical stripper this summer) which was an experience.  I did my best and after having several pairs of plastic gloves eaten thorough I went back to my black and decker orbital sander (first power tool I ever purchased) and sanded the crap out of it. **Sanding is the trick to professional looking finished products. (That blog will also come this summer)
  • Again, I’m in Germany so no power tools for me 😦 Which is why most of the furniture blogs will come this summer.
  • After stripping (haha) and sanding, it was ready to be painted. At this point in my life I was using brushes to paint my pieces, it was really hard to get a smooth, even finish. I would later start using spray paint and this summer I am purchasing a sprayer (blog to come) I can not wait!!
  • After letting each coat dry completely, which is very, very important I would sand it with a very high grit sandpaper, like 320. When I was satisfied with my painting I went to home depot and purchased white handles and knobs. Then I went to Hobby Lobby and got some “focal point” knobs. I LOVE knobs!! They can completely change the look of any dresser or piece of furniture. Almost every other week Hobby Lobby has half off knobs. I have a box of knobs in my guest room closet just waiting to be used. 
  • Behind the focal point knobs I used a paintable wallpaper. I purchased it online at Lowe’s. I had planned on painting over it, but liked the knobs too much to take away from them. I glued it on and then put the knobs over it and I was done. The only picture I took was when it was still in my garage or workshop. It now sits in our bedroom in St. Louis.
  • I have learned my lesson on not taking enough pictures of the process. I am getting better at it.

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