Antique Dresser Makeover

5 Materials
8 Hours

Makeover of this beautiful dresser that we were torn to paint, but were hired to refresh it with a distressed black finish. After making it over, due to tough times, our client backed out so it now sits in our home until it can find a new one 🙂

We were so excited to find this beauty as a we had been asked to find an Eastlake style piece for a local bed and breakfast. When we saw this we jumped on it right away! It definitely needed some tlc as the old finish was applied so poorly, with globs of dried stain and years of dirt and dust build up. First things first, we gave it a thorough cleaning with denatured alcohol and water (a 50/50 mix) and let it dry completely.

We then used our favorite sander, our 3 x 4 electric ray (I have a link and discount code) to sand away the old cosmetic issues and stain. This sides of the mirror frame had some major swelling and was rubbing against the frame, preventing it from turning so we started there and sanded it down.

We then moved on to the rest of the piece, switching between the sander and the foam pads.

It really looked beautiful at this point, but we knew our client wanted black so we kept going. This was unusual for me since I am a furniture painter to not want to paint something, but I could see the undeniable beauty in this piece and secretly hoped the client would want to keep it raw after seeing it in this state but no, they wanted it black so we kept on working.

We used our favorite paint sprayer, the Fuji Semi Pro 2 and sprayed two coats of General Finishes Black Poly. I have a link and coupon code for that too! We lightly sanded over the entire piece and sanded more in the details to reveal the wood tone underneath.

Next, we took the old dirty hardware to the stove and cleaned it with our normal hardware soup recipe- some dawn dish soap and vinegar on boil for 10 minutes. We then scrubbed it in the sink with some bar keepers friend and a soft wire brush and watched it come back to life. We had never seen peacock pulls like this before - they are incredible!

The finish came out so pretty! As the unexpected events of 2020 occurred, the client ended up not being able to go through with the planned b+b and thus, did not end up with this piece so we get to enjoy it for a bit before it finds a new home!

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  1 question
  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Feb 15, 2021

    This piece is absolutely stunning. It shows that you certainly put your heart and soul into refurbishing this dresser. Love the accent color you used on the details door details and the sides of the doors. Did you do the same to the detail work on the top? I could not tell by looking at the post. A piece to be proud of and magazine worthy.


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2 of 26 comments
  • Zeze Zeze on Feb 15, 2021

    It really is a beauty!! You did an amazing job..

  • Carlos Carlos on Feb 17, 2021

    As for me, I would have listened to your advice "is really look beautiful" and kept that color. Please note that the end product is wonderful. Excellent and thank you for sharing.