Challenging Dresser

3 Materials
1 Week

Happy Sunday Sweet Friends,

Sorry for the delay, I had difficulties uploading pictures and saving my work. I guess it goes with the rest of this project, lol. Thanks for your understanding.

This next project I am about to share with you was supposed to be a fairly easy one.

We all know how those can turn out.

I received this dresser umpteen years ago. I think it was an anniversary present. I love it. The thought of my husband picking it out for me makes it extra special.

However, it has issues. One major issue I never cared for was whoever finished it left major drips. Like running down a runway drip, lol.

I have always wanted to paint it, so one day, I went for it. I’m not saying I am the best at refinishing either but I didn’t let that stop me.

You can see what I was working with in the next picture.

I had heard that CitriStrip was a great product so I decided that would be the route to go. This dresser has quite a few details that the sander would destroy.

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I was so excited to get started. I could visualize what it would end up looking like.

I slathered CitriStrip onto the dresser, everywhere. It states that it may take a little while to work. So I left it to do its thing. When I came back to wipe it off, it hadn’t really touched the old finish. Quite a few places were dried out. I have never used CitriStrip before and I started to panic.

The first thing I did was take our garden hose and washed all of the CitriStrip off, and if you have worked with wood, you know that that was probably a no-no. To be real with you I have not worked on taking finishes off. I usually always sand and paint my pieces. This dresser however had so many issues and add to that all the details and crevices to get into. I thought trying to get all that finish off with the CitriStrip would be the best idea.

After rinsing the CitriStrip off with water, this created another problem. The trim at the bottom started coming off.

Just showing you the area where it was coming off, the picture above is before I started working on it.

I threw in the towel and decided to give it time to dry out and give me a break to figure out my next move. Hopefully, I hadn’t ruined it!

It sat for a good two or more months. I finally looked on YouTube and found a tutorial about CitriStrip. In the meantime, my trim had dried out and wasn’t as bad as I thought. I applied wood glue in a few places, clamped it down and it seemed to be good as new.

After watching the tutorial, I figured out how to use this stuff. Sometimes you need to let the CitriStrip sit on the piece for up to 24 hours and you might have to repeat the process until the old finish comes off.

The secret is to put saran wrap on your piece after applying the CitriStrip and let it sit overnight. The old finish came off with no issues and two of the drawers had to have the CitriStrip reapplied.

I sanded the dresser top and sides with my sander.

Next, I applied Boss by Dixie Belle. It blocks stains, odors and stops bleed thru. I did this on the whole piece. I had a couple of places that needed two coats to stop the bleed thru. Finally able to paint the dresser, I chose Dixie Belle’s Buttercream. I ended up watering it down. I think it goes on smoother that way.

It was quite the process, not gonna lie.

Another trick I learned, take all the hardware off and number the backs of the handles with the corresponding drawers. I only had one handle that I could not pry off and had to paint around it.

I used Minwax Water-Based Express Color Wiping Stain & Finish on the top of the dresser. I thought the color would be a great contrast to the whole piece.

Some of the drawers I filled in with DAP Patch-n-Paint Spackling & Finish because they were pretty damaged. I couldn’t completely fix the problems on them but overall it is better than what it was.

It took a while to fix and paint this piece but I am here to tell you don’t let a project be intimidating. Take it one step at a time and work through the problems if there are any. You got this.

I think it turned out awesome and I am so pleased with it.

I ended up distressing it slightly.

The finished dresser!

What do you think?

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