I purchased this piece from my local Facebook marketplace. While it was painted all purple, had no legs and had huge crystal knobs, I recognized exactly what piece of furniture it is as I have flipped many pieces in the last couple of years. I actually worked on the same dresser before. That was painted all black and when I sanded it down it had amazing mahagony veneer underneath, so I was hoping for similar results.
Another Piece Saved
Since this dresser had no legs I decided to add those first so it would be easier to work on it. I ordered brass legs from Amazon. They can be installed straight to the bottom of the dresser, so pretty simple to work with.
I started sanding the top with my orbital sander. Sandpaper grit 120, 220 and 320. As I started the process the previous colors started to reveal themselves. Let's count. The original finish then gray, white, blue, white and purple again.
I managed to sand the outside of the dresser and add the legs. Then I was done for the day. I was going to tackle the drawers another day.
I was correct. Here is that mahagony veneer after all the layers were sanded down.
I started sanding the drawers but it didn't give so easily as the top. It seemed I used a lot of sandpaper and nothing happened. I decided the drawers will need to be stripped. I used citristrip and followed the directions on the bottle. It took a long long time to strip down all the drawers. Once I did it was clear that the veneer isn't in as good of a shape as it was on the top... so I came up with a design that covered the imperfections and still showed some wood grain. To help with straight lines I used frogtape.
As you can tell I ditched the crystal knobs as this dresser has built in pulls on top. The middle section didn't so I added modern brass knobs that compliment the legs.
Here you go! This dresser was a labor of love and patience. If you like this transformation and like to follow in real time follow my Instagram @andreapalmai.
Resources for this project:See all materials
Smoky James on Jul 03, 2021
I'm amazed at the fact that there is no indication that the top was painted over numerous times. Awesome design; my problem is that I have no imagination!