Distressed Dresser Rescue

Gary Hardman
by Gary Hardman
3 Materials
15 Hours

I found a vanity and matching dresser on line for $100. I thought it was a good deal until I met them. They had been left in a damp garage for 20 years and the veneer was just falling off. So without thinking I offered $50 and they accepted. The “Buyers remorse” bell kept ringing in my head.

The vanity and dresser both had great detail which I wanted to save. After cleaning, the first step was to remove the damaged veneer. As I started to remove veneer, I found that I could save all the raised detail by cutting the veneer off around it.

Using a box cutter I carefully trimmed around the detail until all the veneer came off. Luckily there were just two places where the detail came off. It was an easy fix to just glue it back on.

So here it is...veneer stripped off. The second step was to repair the warped top. Using finishing screws I was able to take the warp out. I countersunk the screws and backfilled with water putty.

The next step was to prepare it for painting. The wood under the veneer needed sanding to take the old glue off. There were also worm holes I filled with water putty.

To paint the raised detail and trim I spray painted first the gold. I then cut in around the detail with the gray.

This distressed dresser took a lot of work to get it ready for paint. Once ready it now shines.

Here is the finished matching vanity.

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