Christopher’s Dresser Refinish

Hey there!

Last weekend, in my Upcoming Projects post, I showed you a before photo of the dresser that I refinished for Christopher’s bedroom. This piece was used by Geoff’s uncle as a child and was in my in-laws home for the past several years. It was in desperate need of refinishing and had been well used for many years.

I was particularly glad to be using a family piece in the space. I grew up sleeping in the same bed that my grandmother slept in as a little girl. Almost all of the furniture in my parent’s house was from within our family and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I think that it is great for kids to grow up with pieces that have a history and are well made.

Here is a reminder of what the dresser looked like before:

Family Dresser Before

And here is a before of the drawers… Somehow I did not manage to get a before picture of the dresser in its assembled state.

Drawers: Before

We started off by sanding the piece down to the raw wood with a rotary sander. For this step my father-in-law helped out. I am very glad he did, because I would not have finished staining the piece in time that day without his help!

Thank you, Bob!

Meanwhile, I sanded down the drawers and my lovely sister-in-law, Jennifer, had the tedious task of sanding down the handles. Also, a big thank you to her for helping with that part of the project!

For the stain I chose to use Minwax Gel Stain in Chestnut. I like to use the gel stain because it is much more manageable than its liquid counterpart.

Minwax Gel Stain in Chestnut

The stain was very easy to apply. I did run into an issue with the drawers, though. At the time that I was refinishing the drawers, I did not wipe the stain off well enough. Here was the result:

This is how it is NOT supposed to look!

Streaky and uneven… not good!

Solution: Sand and restain.

Note to self: wipe off stain the right way the first time! 🙂

I had to redo them the following weekend… Much better:

This is how it IS supposed to look

After fixing the stain on the drawers, we did a protective top coat of Polycrylic Spray in Satin finish.

*NOTE: I am not really sure that I like the Polycrylic in its spray form. I went with the spray because it is a fast-drying formula. However, if I had it to do again I think I might use the regular Polycrylic instead.

Anyways… The we got the last of the protective finish on last weekend and moved the dresser into Christopher’s room Sunday.

Last night Christopher and I put the handles back on the drawers

Helping Mommy

Such a big boy helping Mommy!

And here is the finished product:


I love the amount of storage space in the dresser.

The grain of the wood is really brought out by the stain.

And I love the added space on top of the dresser.

Especially the spot with a picture of Geoff and I circa Summer 2008. This photo was taken at one of my favorite places in the whole world. Oak Alley Plantation.

Just in case you forgot what the dresser looked like before, here is the before and after:

Before and After

Last, I want to say a special thank you to my in-laws for helping me with this project and for graciously letting me take over their part of their garage and driveway while I finished everything up!

Have you refinished a family piece to use in your home?

4 thoughts on “Christopher’s Dresser Refinish

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