From Dark to Blonde

Andrea Palmai
by Andrea Palmai
6 Materials
2 Days

I purchased this chest of drawers on my local Facebook marketplace and knew It right away that wanted to make it a bit lighter. So I started sanding it!

Sand it down

I started sanding the drawers first because I wanted to see what kind of wood is underneath the dark varnish. started sanding with 120/180/220/320 sandpaper grit

Wood filler for imperfections

after sanding the drawers I saw that it was a lighter wood underneath. Almost white! So I knew i wanted to leave it as is or white wash it a bit. It had a couple of imperfections that because clear once it was all sanded down. I used wood filler for that and once it was dry I sanded those down as well.

all sanded down
Add new legs

I needed this chest of drawers to be a certain height so I took off the old legs and added 10 inch gold hairpin legs this made it 35 inches tall. Exactly what it needed. Hairpin legs were purchased from Amazon.

Wood filler

The wood filler was sanded down but as you can see it's a different color. You can either paint it and try to match it to the original wood color or just paint the dresser. It seemed most of the imperfections were towards the bottom of the dresser so I wanted to leave the top natural and paint the bottom


I used painters tape for delicate surfaces to mark the bottom of the dresser which i painted white. For this is used Valspar furniture and cabinet paint which can be purchased at Lowe's. This is after the first coat. I applied 2-3 coats.

I also painted the drawers but wanted to leave the pulls raw wood, so i used the same painters tape to cover those areas

All finished

If you like this transformation follow me on Instagram @andreapalmai where you can see real time process and tips!

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 4 questions
  • Bourbonwife Bourbonwife on Aug 24, 2020

    what are those wheelie things you have the legs sitting in? i like those as much as your final outcome of the dresser.

  • Angie Angie on Feb 15, 2021

    Did you put anything over the raw wood?

  • Thea Thea on Feb 16, 2021

    I also want to know about the raw wood and what you sealed it with. I want to strip my orange oak kitchen cabinets to as light and natural as I can possibly get them. Will they stay nice and light or must I expect some aging again?

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