Solid Maple Dresser Given a New Life

Andrea Palmai
by Andrea Palmai
6 Materials
2 Days

I found this dresser on my local Facebook marketplace and since I have worked on similar pieces before I knew this was going to clean up really nice.


One of the doors were hanging down but It was actually only missing a couple of screws. Since it was a solid maple dresser I got to sanding with my orbital sander starting with 80 grit and working my way down to 320. ( 80,120,220,320)

Here is the top which had the most damage.

But as you can see it cleaned up really nice after it was sanded down.

Here are the doors getting ready to be sanded.

Here it is all sanded down

I drew up some sketches and decided on the design above. For the white paint I used valspar furniture and cabinet paint. And used zin primer beforehand. I usually apply these with a foam roller.

If you want your finish super smooth you can lightly sand between coats with a high grit sandpaper 500 or above.

All coming together

I decided to leave the top, doors and sides natural wood. It only got several coats of polyurethane clear coats and it was ready for pictures.

I was so happy to see this dresser go to a nursery. It will have another lifetime and many more years of use. If you like this transformation follow me on Instagram @andreapalmai

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  • LibraryKAT LibraryKAT on Oct 16, 2023

    I really don't admire most 1940s tends to be clunky. You did an absolutely fabulous job of refinishing this chest. I love that you left most of it wood and just used the paint as an accent. It looks great! Thank you so much for sharing. :-)

  • Nancy Murphy Nancy Murphy on Nov 03, 2023

    Absolutely gorgeous. I am currently working on 2 Waterfall pieces, but recently have become enamored of mid-century furniture. (Like I grew up with).