Antique Vanity Restoration

by Dus17403359
8 Materials
This old beauty was begging for someone to take her in and fix her up! The old finish was flaking, the veneer was peeling up, and pieces were missing. My first big undertaking and I was bound and determined to do her justice!

I started by giving her a nice good cleaning. I pulled up the veneer that was already damaged and not worth saving. Then, I let the dust fly and started sanding and sanding, and sanding.....and sanding! I wanted to refinish what I could back to a beautiful stain, so, it was a lot of sanding!

I even got her turned upside down! You just cant quite get to all those curves and crevices unless you get the right angle! Here I was continuing with sanding the legs and got all the cob webs and spiders while she was in a good position!

A little bit of bondo goes a long way! I wasn't able to save all the veneer, but I knew that before I started. I used bondo to patch all the spots that were missing. I sanded it down smooth and she was ready for some paint and stain!

A bit of brasso and elbow grease got the original hardware to clean up quite nicely!

I stained the drawers and laid a few coats of satin poly on top. After this dried for a few days, I went back into the decorative crevices and added a bit of color!

This beautifully vibrant shade of blue was used to add detail and encompass the sides, tops, and mirrors. The frame, legs, and drawers were stained in this rich and deep color.

This beauty had been waiting a long time for someone to look at her the way she deserved to be looked at! Now everyone will do a double take!
Suggested materials:
  • Sandpaper   (Lowes)
  • Brasso   (Gillmans)
  • Steel wool   (Gillmans)
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 7 questions
  • Kim Kim on Mar 04, 2017
    I am about to try Bondo for the first time. Could you help me with the ratio of Bondo and hardener please. There is such a small tube of hardener and so much Bondo! I want to mix small amounts at a time. Thank You! Your piece turned out beautifully by the way!
  • Celia Collier Celia Collier on Mar 31, 2017
    I have a vanity similar to this. During a recent move, the mirror was dropped on the top and the wood broke from the top center and the side slats are loose. (Mirrors are fine! ) I have all the pieces and plan to use wood glue to repair it. I don't want to paint it. (It was rescued from a garage sale about forty years ago and had about a dozen coats of paint on it. I don't have the heart to do that to her again.) Should I use wood filler where needed so it can be stained?
  • Danielle Danielle on Apr 07, 2020

    How long did it take you to complete this project from start to finish? I have the same or similar should I say.....2 draws instead of 3 on each side. It took me quite a while to remove the vaneer and sand it. So, I'm just curious how long it took you? Thank you and it looks beautiful! Amazing Job👍

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4 of 53 comments
  • Belinda Acuna Belinda Acuna on Nov 29, 2017

    Beautiful! You saved a lovely piece and gave it new life. Excellent work.

  • Davene TheoraPrice Davene TheoraPrice on Dec 31, 2017

    what is bondo I need to fix veneer on a coffee table

    • Dus17403359 Dus17403359 on Jan 05, 2018
      Davene: Bondo is simply a filler. Bondo in particular is an autobody filler. Wood filler will actually do the same thing as Bondo, but Bondo is a more stable substance. If you plan to repair and paint the veneer, Bondo is the way to go. However, If you want to repair the veneer and stain the surface, you will want to consider wood filler. However, depending on the current damage of the veneer you may want to consider replacing the veneer if you plan on refinishing the surface. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have more questions! :)