One Day Dresser Refinishing
It’s Week 6 of the One Room Challenge, and I am showing off the “One Day” Dresser Refinishing Project I did for Broderick’s bedroom. (What was I doing during weeks 4 & 5? Ugh–a lot of painting, repainting, replacing door knobs–and a bunch of other projects unrelated to this room.)
One Day Dresser Refinishing?
That’s correct! This project took ONE day to strip, clean, sand, stain and poly. I started early, and for once in my DIY life…nothing went wrong!
And, while the refinishing of the exterior was done in one day, I added the contact paper inside the drawers another day. But, that was a very quick project, too. Only one fight with the adhesive to note. But, I won.
Beginning to End
I found this dresser on Facebook Marketplace for $40. It’s solid wood with those vintage pulls. Missing one knob was no big deal–easy to replace.
The steps of a Dresser Refinishing Project can happen pretty quickly–as long as you have all the supplies ahead of time. This is the process I went through:
- Remove hardware (spray paint if necessary)
- Coat with furniture stripping product
- Scrape off product (& furniture finish)
- Clean with mineral spirits
- Clean with mineral spirits (again)
- 2 Coats of polycrylic or polyurethane
- Install hardware
Products + Process
I am linking products here so you can get an idea of what they are. If you can–find them at your local hardware store at a better price. But Amazon is also a great way to get your hands on materials without wandering the aisles.
I have used CitriStrip for many of my furniture projects. It’s easy to use when they’re aren’t many grooves or detailing. I apply with a clean dry rag. Wearing disposable gloves can be important when working with this product. I use a tool to scrape the product off–similar to what is used to clean out cast iron pans.
After scraping off the stripping layer, I clean the wood with Mineral Spirits.
While the wood was drying, I took time to spray paint the hardware black. I have started using this Rust-Oleum Universal Enamel Spray Paint since it’s top two features appeal to hardware: Any Surface, Any Angle. And, at $6.99, you can’t go wrong.
I use a palm sander to sand off any leftover stain or topcoat, using 220 grit sandpaper.
After sanding, I clean up the dust with the shop-vac, then wipe it clean again with mineral spirits.
Before I did anything else to the wood, I taped off the back and covered the wood with drop cloths. The backing board is that original, vintage, weird–almost furry–material. It just needed a fresh look. (This was done after sanding and cleaning–since I didn’t want dust on the black.)
This is the part of the process where I made decisions about how I wanted the final product to turn out. After removing the stain and top coat, you’ve got a blank slate. This is where you might decide to bleach the wood to remove additional coloration.
I liked what I saw in the natural wood once I had sanded it down–the middle drawer in the picture above. So, using Aged Barrel by Minwax, I stained the drawer on the left. The drawer to the far right has just gotten cleaned with the mineral spirits–ready for sanding. This picture is a good reminder that you just don’t know what you’ve got until it’s sanded down, clean and dry.
Since there weren’t many details on this dresser, all of the steps went fast–not much sanding in the grooves or cleaning out small details. I kept myself going by staining the top piece last–which is always the most fun.
For this project, I used Minwax Polycrylic Protective Wood Finish in Matte Clear. The benefit of this product is that it dries super fast, so doing two coats is easy. The downside is that it doesn’t *really* protect well against spills, so you have to pick and choose–based on what the wood will be used for.
I added the black hardware–complete with knobs I had from another dresser project. All finished before sunset!
Day Two: Inside the Drawers
I knew I wanted to add contact paper to the drawers, since one thing I didn’t show on day one was how I ripped out the old contact paper. If I had planned ahead, I could have easily ordered some. Especially since Amazon has such adorable options!
But instead, I took the kids to Bed Bath & Beyond to choose. After all, Revi has her own dresser project that we haven’t started yet. I was able to use my Wallpaper Installation Toolkit for this project, making it a quick and easy process. The first piece was simple. The second piece I had to fight with a bit, but the third went in just fine, so it all ended well.
It turned out super cute, and this dresser fits perfectly in Brock’s room. What do you think? Are you ready to try your own One Day Dresser Refinishing project?
See updates over on Instagram.