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Dressing up our dressers

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I cannot begin to express my excitement to share with you my first ever furniture project for Alex’s and my first place. I was so inspired by the style dresser the Petersik’s refinished over at the Young House Love.  I have been searching around Craigslist, salvation army, goodwill, and the reuse ann arbor center for months for some unique furniture for our first place. The Ann Arbor Reuse Center came through once again when my eye’s fell upon this:

It looks like it is in perfect condition… but it’s twin… not so much. Not to mention… it is veneer. And not the thick kind. I was pretty nervous to begin this project thinking I would sand past the veneer. I think a few places I may have sanded through the veneer, but once stained, it just looks like a “rustic” pottery barn style finishing.

After cleaning the night stands thoroughly, I began my project with my new least favorite activity: Sanding.  I bought an electric sander for this project. However, I misread the directions and the sander continually fell apart…. fail #1.

Soooo… I chose to sand everything by hand (which probably adds to my new hate for sanding). Several times during the sanding process I thought… “NOW I KNOW WHY PEOPLE PAY $300 TO BUY THESE THINGS!”.

Fortunately, as I moved on past the sanding processes, I saw the fruits of my labor and now would never think purchasing is better than making. I used 100 and then 220 grit on all surfaces.

After wiping down the night stands and allowing them ample time to dry, I applied my first coat of stain: Minwax in Red Mahogony. The guy at Lowe’s really liked how I called it: MINIwax. So just FYI to all you newbies… it’s MINwax.

I allowed my thin and even coat of stain to soak for 20minutes and then wiped the excess off.

and Volia! A side by side comparison:

I love the darker finish!

Next is the coat of Polyurethane. Before coating with Minwax Polyurethane in satin, I used tack cloth to get all the dust off the dressers.

Two coats of Poly later, I had these gorgeous night stands:

I am so happy with the finished product. I was talking with one of the nurses at work about her experiences refinishing furniture. She was telling me about all the great pieces of furniture she worked on when she was younger. The smile on her face while telling me about them made me realize that this experience allows you to gain so much more than a piece of furniture. It really teaches you what a little bit of elbow grease and hard work can get you. You also feel like you are doing your part in helping the planet, by reusing the old.

Once again… a project better made with <3.

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