Paint to Pine | Chest of Drawers Before & After

10 Materials
8 Hours

When I take on a new project thats covered in a thick paint, I don't always know what lies beneath.What is the condition of the wood going to be like? What kind of wood is it? Gotta get messy to find out!

I picked up this piece off of Facebook Market Place in the middle of the UVA campus.

I knew it would be a ton of work but I appreciated the clean lines and I could tell that it was a solid piece.

Step 1 | PREP

1st step was pealing off all of the fun stickers. You can tell how easily that coat of white paint was flaking off as well, revealing another golden layer underneath.

There wasn't any point in trying to salvage the old hardware. Most of the knobs were broken or missing so I just tossed them into the trash along with the stickers.

I rarely do this because of the mess that it creates but I decided that I would give stripping gel another chance. I picked up my Citris Strip from our local Lowe's.

Use heavy duty gloves when applying this stuff because it will burn if it touches your skin!


I applied a layer of the stripper across the entire piece, wrapped it up in plastic (Dexter style), and let it marinate over night.

You don't have to leave it over night. I just did because I was on a time crunch that day.


The next morning, the paint had bubbled up and was ready to be scrapped off. Of course every piece that I decide to strip down HAS TO HAVE at least 5 coast of paint caked on it!Ugh.

Repeat Step 2 & 3 as needed

It took applying a second coat of stripper to get that 4th & 5th layer off.

Always put down a plastic drop cloth first before starting this process! You don't wanna have this stuff all over the garage or driveway.

After I had removed as much paint as I could, it was revealed that I was working with old pine!


Time to breakout the sander!I used 120 grit sandpaper to finish removing an extra stubborn paint and 200 grit to smooth out the surface.


After sanding I hosed everything down and let it dry in the sun.

I was absolutely thrilled about the condition of the knotty pine and all of it's character. It was a little yellow for my taste soooo.....


I mixed up a white-wash consisting of 1 pt Valspar Satin White Interior Paint/2 pts waters.

While working in sections, I applied the watery concoction very lightly with a brush and then wiped it away with a damp cloth after about 1 minute.

Any example of a raw pine drawer on the left and a white-washed drawer on the right. It's not a huge difference but it did help tone down that yellow.

Step 7 | TOP COAT

Final step was covering the whole piece with a coat of Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish in CLEAR MATTE.

Because the piece needed all new hardware, I decide on this set: House of Antique Hardware|Beaded Round Single-Post Pull ( HERE)

I'm so happy with the end result. It was a lot of work but totally worth it!

I would say this experience with the Citris Stripper was a success! I hope you liked this makeover & I already have another in the works. 

My Blog: Amanda's ( HERE)

My Instagram: @amandasmercantile

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Amanda's Mercantile

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Elliebgood
    on Jun 2, 2020

    Beautiful piece!

    I cant tell you how refreshing it is to see a piece get a makeover without using chalk paint.

    Have a friend that slops it on everything she has, even an Eastlake piece!! 😳

    Whats the fascination with using it as you have to wax it yearly to maintain?

    Anyways..enough of my chalk paint rant.

    I absolutely loved this piece.

    Never tried Citrus Stripper but I do have many pieces in my workshop and a Lowes a mile away. Thank you for the inspiration.

Join the conversation

2 of 22 comments
  • Nancy Phillps
    on Jun 14, 2020

    Yes, would use this treatment in a minute!

  • Kathleen Walker
    on Jul 10, 2020

    Beautiful, I also love that you left it natural and did not cover it up with chalk paint. I love beautiful natural wood. Great job.

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