With HGTV’s home improvement shows and the ever popular farmhouse style (Thanks, Jojo 😉 ) repurposing and distressing furniture is all the rage right now. I have always liked antique pieces and only recently I started to repurpose them for our home. Today, I brought back some life and style into an old dresser that we will use as a changing table in the nursery for our babes on the way. I’m so lucky that my in-laws had this little gem stowed away in their basement and were generous enough to donate the dresser as a gift for our nursery. My father-in-law had already stripped the varnish off with a very simple method of using steel wool and denatured alcohol. That’s where I was able to take over to make this our own! I hope you can follow along and maybe you’ll think about repurposing a furniture piece before it makes it’s way to the curb.
- Old piece of furniture
- Electric sander (or by hand, but that would take a little extra time)
- Sandpaper- 100, 150, and 220 grit (again, based on how much stain there is present)
- Stain of your choice (I used Jacobean)
- Rags/Amish cloth to apply stain
- Polyurethane (I used semi-gloss, but use what you wish!)
- Kilz primer *optional
- Chalk paint (I used American Decor in Vintage)
- Clear wax
- Paint Brushes
- Drop Cloth
Once you’ve acquired these materials you are able to start
Step 1- As I stated above, my FIL had already removed the varnish from our piece with a mixture of denatured alcohol and steel wool. Depending on the state of your piece you’ll either need to strip the paint/current stain first before you can move forward.
Step 2- Take your sander and 100 grit sandpaper and sand down the areas of the dresser you will be staining. I only stained the top of our dresser, so I started with 100 grit sand paper and worked by way to a 220 grit finishing paper. Wipe the surface of all sand dust. *Make sure to wear proper respirator/ eye gear to keep you safe!
Step 3- Using either a lint free cloth or an amish stain pad, apply your desired stain to the areas you desire. Leave stain on for the recommended time, then wipe off the excess. If you want a deeper color, then you’ll need to reapply a coat or stain according to the directions (4-6 hours between coats).
Step 4- Wipe down all remaining areas of furniture piece
Step 5- Prime all areas that will be painted with chalk paint with Kilz Primer *This step can be skipped, but I wanted to be extra safe! Chalk paint is very thick and it does not require primer!
Step 6- Apply first coat of chalk paint in desired color- let dry and apply second coat
Step 7- Once second coat is dry, apply a thin coat of clear wax to seal in your chalk paint
**After you’ve accepted the depth of your stain color, you can move on to the next steps**
Step 8- Apply a thin coat of polyurethane and let dry for recommended amount of time *Side note here- I’ve used the matte poly before and I wasn’t too impressed with it- scratches appeared quickly. I recommend using the clear semi-gloss option, but that is up to you!
Step 9- Lightly sand the poly coat with 220 grit sandpaper and wipe away any dust.
Step 10- Apply one more coat of polyurethane and let it cure for 24-48 hours.
Voila! You’re finished! This project took me a full day with all of the drying times. I let the dresser air out in our garage for a little over two days to reduce the fumes. You can use original hardware that can be freshened up with some spray paint, or go the route I went and purchase some funky new drawer pulls! I hope you can marvel at your work and brag to everyone how much money you saved 🙂 Happy crafting!