Antique Chest of Drawers Clean Up

4 Materials
1 Day

I've talked about this before on my blog but not ever piece of furniture needs a new coat of paint.

Sometimes just a little sand paper, soap , & elbow grease is all you need bring a piece back to life.

I found this cutie on Facebook Market place and eagerly message the sellers to see if piece was still available. 

I felt so lucky when they said that she was. I had her home just a few hours later. 

The simple lines and brass hardware sealed the deal for me but...

there was at least 20 years of built up grim on all the surfaces. 

First step was to remove the beautiful hardware.

A simple cleaning wasn't going to get this dirt off but some 80 grit sandpaper did the trick. After the sander did most of the heavy lifting I was able to breakout the scrub brush & soap to scrub areas that the sander couldn't reach. 

I make it a habit to seal in all of my projects, old paint or not, with a protective finish. I gave the entire piece a coat of, everyone say it with me...Minwax's Water Base Polycrylic Protective Finish in Clear Matte.  

Last step before adding the hardware back on was to wax the drawer edges so they could more smoothly pull in & out. 

I use leftover candle wax for this step. 

Even the hardware needed a little scrub before being re-attached. 

Some people might disagree with me and would have preferred that I give the whole pieces a fresh coat of paint but I liked the color it was just hiding under all of that yuckiness. 


If you like this color too and would like to recreate the look it is very similar to Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint color,  Marzipan

Its not a dramatic makeover but here is the before & after so you can see how bad it really was.

What do you think? Would you have just given the piece a fresh coat of paint? Let me know in the comments! If you would like to check my blog with more project and pictures you can see that HERE!


  • Amanda
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Amanda Freed Homes

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2 of 51 comments
  • Tammy Konarski
    on Oct 26, 2019

    I really like how you breathed new life into this old piece and the rustic nature of it. It’s a much better look than slapping on new paint. Great job!

  • Jamie
    on Oct 29, 2019

    There is nothing like restoring a piece of history. Old furniture is much better built and made of real wood, not particle board, plywood or laminate. With a little love and effort you’ll have a piece that will last another 150 years!

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