First post ever, but I truly LOVE this website!

I am open for suggestions on these 4 pieces. What can I do to renew/revamp them? This bedroom set was purchased in the mid 40's, by my deceased father, for my deceased mother, for a wedding gift. This set is so well made, that I would hate to sell it, and get the poor quality of today's furniture. Please advise, all suggestions, welcome!
All top finishes are damaged, but for them being "69" years old, they still are in great shape.
The Mirror, is in remarkable great condition.
All drawers, work flawlessly.
This piece, is truly not my favorite. But it will remain, as it is part of the set.
  49 answers
  • Janet Smith Janet Smith on Dec 27, 2013
    If this were my furniture, I would paint it in an off white, distress it, and add some pretty hardware.
  • Jennifer Harrison Jennifer Harrison on Dec 28, 2013
    Look inside the top drawers of the dresser to see if the maker is branded there, possibly on backside of dressers. This furniture looks like Heywood Wakefield, mid century modern. I'd only restore the finish gently with a natural-tone restoration formula and perhaps super fine steel wool. Then wipe off with a lint free cloth. Test in a corner that's not so noticeable.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Dec 28, 2013
    I think this piece is much too classic to splash with paint. Except for the top of the dresser, it appears to be in excellent shape. Sanding and refinishing the top is not difficult with the finishes out there now. I would wipe the rest of it down with a beeswax polish and keep the natural finish. What is great is to mix different periods into the same room. Adding some accent pieces from the same er or a different one would spruce up the space!
  • Pat Pat on Dec 28, 2013
    They are good looking designs, and, you say how well built they are. I'd have them appraised before I did anything to them. The 40's are 70 years ago and there are collectors. Look for any numbers or marks or labels on the pieces, then check them out on the internet. You may also find the manufacturer and call that company (or the parent company, if the original is out of business). Good furniture is sometimes registered by the company that made them; and you can find out if there are a zillion sets or just a few... Have fun - you can always paint them later if you still want to. From some comments, I found these articles:
  • Lorre Lorre on Dec 28, 2013
    if this heywood furniture do not touch it, it is worth alot of money
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Dec 28, 2013
    I agree, if it is Heywood, don't touch it, but you will have to do something with the top. If it isn't, here is what I did and I used a mirror from a vanity and turned it upside down. I painted mine with aluminum spray paint and then glazed it with black.
  • Heather K Heather K on Dec 28, 2013
    If it is a Heywood, invest the time and money with a professional re-finisher to bring it back to it's glory. If not, as I just did, sand it lightly, prime and paint. Mine is white and went into my daughter's room just last night! No knobs needed as it has grooves to open and close, but we may add molding to the drawers and inset wallpaper and or decorative papers to "funk" it up! Good luck with your project!!
  • Lori J Lori J on Dec 28, 2013
    When I saw the armoire, I couldn't help but think of a very recent post where the poster had done each drawer/door differently. It was so funky charming. Don't thinkI would want to do the whole set that way, but it is a thought.
    • Marlene Wilson Marlene Wilson on Dec 28, 2013
      @Lori J I'm from West Virginia,and here we call the Armoire a Chiffarobe. My Father passed away 7-11-12,and I am to get his.I'm 63 yrs old and I don't remember it ever being moved.I's real big!
  • Crafty2you Crafty2you on Dec 28, 2013
    I would not touch this with anything, this is an expensive set, and would only bring the value of it down. As suggested, consider using mirrors for the tops, but do not attach to the furniture with screws etc. Consider an appraiser, you will kick your self if you ruin this. Ask about what to use for cleaning this furniture.
  • Reborn Décor Reborn Décor on Dec 28, 2013
    I just repurposed something similar to your low dresser for a client - our secret was in rethinking the use of the piece. The dresser (sans mirror) has become an entertainment credenza, the armoiré a mini home office. Client is thrilled!
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Dec 28, 2013
    Be careful, you may have a diamond who just need a little TLC.... I would never paint something of this classic style UNTIL AFTER I had it checked out by a pro. IF it is a gem, by a name maker,, do some research....first ! its classic issue: RESTORE vs REWORK
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Dec 28, 2013
    Is the BLONDE MAHOGANY ??..the graining will tell you..
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Dec 28, 2013
    I have a sideboard, dining table w/ 4 leaves, and 6 chairs same EXACT lines and color. Ours IS blone mahogany, with a slightly curved front on the S/B, and table has the same curve at the ends. The S/B takes an army to move it, even without the drawers. While not my style, it belonged to my husbands mother and we use it.
  • Suzanne Brunner Suzanne Brunner on Dec 28, 2013
    We are just finishing up the set that my parents received as a wedding gift from my grandparents in 1959. Used an orange-based stripper and took off all the varnish, sanded and restained in Minwax Kona (dark) and added chrome, bamboo look handles to all the drawers. My Dad even loves it, it looks so much more up-to-date and remains a useful set of furniture. If you like it as it is, just restore it, but if you don't there is no harm in making them pieces you will truly love even if it is "valuable".
  • Chel Chel on Dec 28, 2013
    If it were mine I'd have the top of the dresser repaired and keep it as it otherwise. These are beautiful pieces of furniture and are pretty unique!
  • Christopher Haney Christopher Haney on Dec 28, 2013
    Ok, I found the identifying badge of this furniture. Top right hand drawer, right side. It is Tri-Bond III Furniture.
    • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Dec 30, 2013
      @Christopher Haney google the name you might find lots of history on the company as well as actual info on your set to help date and find a value..
  • AmericanWoman AmericanWoman on Dec 29, 2013
    Check with a reputable antiques dealer. These are antiques and are worth some money.
  • Jannifer Stoddard Jannifer Stoddard on Dec 29, 2013
    I think it's great as it is right now! Maybe put a table runner on top of the dresser.
  • Mary bennett Mary bennett on Dec 29, 2013
    No offence to any of you who want to keep it the way it is, but obviously christopher wants to change/update it. I would suggest looking into Anne Sloan and chalk paint, or miss mustard seed and her milk paint line. The wonders you can do with them!!!
  • Linda Weeks Linda Weeks on Dec 29, 2013
    Boy, I couldn't find any info on this style; I'm very surprised because it is very well made furniture, and I have seen pieces like this! In any case, if it's going to live with you for the next thirty years, you may as well make it something that you really love, so my vote would be to do chalk paint, and invest in some hardware, pulls, etc. to make it more 'Wow"! Think of all the fun it will be to show off to friends and post it here for us to see!
  • Kim R Kim R on Dec 29, 2013 In the right hands...could be worth a pretty price.
  • Kim R Kim R on Dec 29, 2013
    Lots of info on tribond iii
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 29, 2013
    The shape of the pieces look French to me. I think that chalk paint and a trip to the Graphic Fairy is called for. I see them in a lovely lightest of light blue and white with a pretty graphic. Beautiful shape of that curve.
  • Lorre Lorre on Dec 29, 2013
    do not touch heywood wakefield furniture, it is worth alot of money, especially if it is a set
  • Terra Gazelle Terra Gazelle on Dec 29, 2013
    umm..after looking at the cross legs on the stand...they look 1920's. When were your parents married? Really beautiful pieces.
  • Christopher Haney Christopher Haney on Dec 29, 2013
    In retrospect, I will have it appraised before I touch it. If it is a veritable gold mine, I may opt to selling the entire set. I am quite sure, if it worth a bunch, I can get well made Amish Furniture, for equal amount.
  • Christopher Haney Christopher Haney on Dec 29, 2013
    Many, many thanks to everyone who replied!!!
  • Christopher Haney Christopher Haney on Dec 29, 2013
    Not clear to the actual year of their marriage. My eldest brother was born in "52" But these pieces may have been years old, when my Dad bought them.
  • Leida R Leida R on Dec 29, 2013
    What beautiful pieces!
  • Kim Dagenais Kim Dagenais on Dec 29, 2013
    Hi Christopher My husband and I refinished a large dresser that use to have a large mirror something like yours, and from the same era. It belonged to my mother in law, and was part of a set that my in-laws had when they first got married. The dresser was yellowish beige, and was an awful colour. To our surprise we realized after a little sanding that it was teak veneer on the outside, and different layers of solid wood under that. The frame of the whole dresser was solid wood. We sanded the whole thing mostly by hand because veneer is only so thick. The parts that weren't veneer, we sanded by machine, then by hand. For our dresser, the wood that was in between the drawers was wider, and kind of stuck out, and had a lot of bumps and dents, so we planed it first to even out the wood before sanding. We were left with a two tone dresser. We decided to leave it that way. Also all the drawers had knobs on ours, so we updated them to black ceramic round knobs. Since we added black knobs, we decided to paint some of the decorative inlay black and some of the edge tops of the drawers only in the front, not the sides. We then urethaned the whole thing a couple of coats. When dry we installed the knobs and also added 4 small brass corners protectors to the top of the dressers corners, because the veneer was too damaged. The result was fantastic. We did this job about 15 years or more ago. Since then, the dresser got banged up a bit on the top, and front. So we may do a little work on it again in the near future. The work that was put into this dresser was so worth it. Most of the dressers out there now are veneer, and pressed wood. My mother in laws dresser is solid wood, and is super heavy. I would rather refinish an old piece for a quality piece, than a cheap remake. I am always on the look for older original pieces to refinish. I don't mind doing the work that goes into some pieces. The end result is so worth it. Plus when you put your personal touch to it, you are left with a one of a kind piece. Look forward to seeing your furniture when they are done.
  • Kaseylynne Kaseylynne on Dec 29, 2013
    this is worth $2000-3000. It is mid century. Very valuable where I live. Palm Springs is known world wide for their mid-century houses.
  • Jossi Jossi on Dec 30, 2013
    ! Please research Hayward-Wakefield before you do anything ! This set COULD be worth as much a $7,000 ! You describe very well built, sturdy pieces, even though they're quite old. I'd do some internet research, then find a reputable appraiser/auctioneer, etc and have them come to see it. You might want to get 2 different folks to check it out. There are ways to restore this without ruining it's value, and AS Chalk paint is NOT one of them.
  • Julie Bruno Julie Bruno on Dec 30, 2013
    If you sell it, advertise in places with a higher will get more for it especially if it is in good condition. but don't paint it!!!!!!!
  • Lorre Lorre on Dec 30, 2013
    it is Heywood Wakefield made in Gardner, Ma, please do not paint or refinish I have my parents set of these beautiful furniture, it is worth alot of money, but most important is was your parents set
  • Christopher Haney Christopher Haney on Dec 30, 2013
    the dresser has a badge stating that it is a Tri-Bond III Furniture and not a Heywood Wakefield. Thus far, I have found very little info, on this brand and yes, I googled it.
  • Fastnacht Shavout Fastnacht Shavout on Dec 30, 2013
    such a shame, this is why kids have nothing of value anymore. as soon as something has value, its easier to sell off a memory and get a buck then save it and allow future generations to cherish it. why this world is full of replaceable junk instead of craftsmanship.
    • See 2 previous
    • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jan 23, 2014
      ss @Christopher Haney agree with you on keeping some and letting go of other things..being the youngest I have a bunch of "stuff" I value as family pieces all antiques, others I too don't care for..... Often people think if it comes from a family member is of GOT TO BE KEPT....My kids, in their 40's,,, one likes contemporary other antiques,they will have no problem getting rid of most all of it in a hurry. There comes a time with we all must downsize and purge,, no matter what size the house.,,I do appreciate the quality of the older craftsmanship... unlike some stuff today.. that alone should not be the factor if you keep it or not..
  • Carrie Dyer Carrie Dyer on Dec 31, 2013
    We have a multi generational vanity in our home. I am using it as a desk but have a nice quilted fabric covering to protect it. Eventually we will get some glass so we can use it more. Just an idea.
  • Karon Nelson Roberts Karon Nelson Roberts on Dec 31, 2013
    PLEASE Don't do anything until you get it apprised.
  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on Jan 01, 2014
    Christopher, don't feel bad about wanting to do something with it, even if it is painting it. Most everytime someone posts something older on here that they have painted, you will find someone who has a fit about it. I paint things to enjoy NOW, not after I am dead. And if I like it that way, who is to say it isn't the right thing to do. If you can sell it and make enough to get something you like, go for it!
  • Felicity Woodruffe Felicity Woodruffe on Jan 01, 2014
    its not as if you are suggesting cutting it up for fire wood its yours to do with as you see fit, and yes it would be wonderful if you could come up with an idea that would make it more useful or pleasing to your eye change isnt always a bad thing its nonsense be creative and enjoy
  • Felicity Woodruffe Felicity Woodruffe on Jan 01, 2014
    i see things on here all the time that have been changed drastically sometimes in fact often for the better old and ugly versus old and re invented your choice
  • Nicole Corbitt Harding Nicole Corbitt Harding on Jan 03, 2014
    If you want to use it....chalk paint is great. I know folks say...Don't paint it but it has some top damage and it is outdated. Nothing like a sturdy reminder of the past with a fresh coat of something new. If you want to be rid of it....craigslist it is....
  • KathrynElizabeth Etier KathrynElizabeth Etier on Jan 22, 2014
    If it was Haywood Wakefield, I wouldn't advise doing anything with it BUT selling it, because it could bring in a handsome price that would allow you to get what suits you. It does not appear to be HW, and if you think it would be nicer painted or stenciled (I hate that old blonde furniture myself), then do it. There are lots of things you can do with it that will change its appearance entirely.
  • Lad222353 Lad222353 on Jan 23, 2014
    Here is a link to a Tri-Bond dresser for $550. It is about the 5th row down and on the right side. It is black unlike yours which is a blonde wood. Based on what I have found so far I would estimate your pieces to be about $1500 - $2000 (however this is based on what I found online which is mostly east coast/west coast which are higher prices). The tall dresser is unique, seems to be more rare and valued at around $700 - $900. I would suggest since it is too big for your home (as you mentioned in an earlier post) and still in decent condition to sell it and purchase something you like instead of painting it and ruining the value. You can locate a local auction house or dealer who will move the pieces for you and sell them at a small fee. They can also give you an appraisal value for your area. Hope this helps.
  • Phyllis J Holman Phyllis J Holman on Dec 01, 2020

    It's mid-century modern. I would give her an art deco fibe.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jan 15, 2021


    You could try using a coloured Varnish or Wax, or Add Trims or Handles for decoration, or Sell it on and buy Quality furniture to replace it, if it's not your style. Best wishes.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on Apr 18, 2021

    What did you decide to do with these?

    • 17335038 17335038 on May 06, 2021

      I was just thinking the same thing.......especially since this question was posted Dec 27, 2013, which as of today, is over 7 years ago.

  • Dolores Dolores on Apr 28, 2021

    I would not do ANYTHING!

    Mid Century Modern is an awesome look and VERY popular right now. Also painting or altering any antique will devalue it. They look to be in great condition. I would use them as is...maybe find some side tables or accent chairs/decor to compliment the MCM theme for that room.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jun 10, 2021


    I can only suggest it looks like 1940's furniture from the photo you have posted! I would suggest you leave it well alone if the other pieces are in such good condition. If you require ideas to change the look, please post more pictures please.