The summer before I moved into my college apartment, I found a tray in the garage. It had belonged to my mom, but she said I could take it and make it my own–which meant spray painting it silver, and adding a leftover piece of aqua fabric.
I used the tray like that on my dresser in my subsequent apartments, but with my pretty refinished dresser, it was time to make the tray match–which meant stripping off the silver paint, and revealing the old gold tone.
I must not have taken a picture of it before, in all it’s weird spray painted finish. I stripped it with the same stripping process and tools as I had used on my dresser.
Then I cleaned the fabric with a quick rinse in the sink, and it was ready to be glued back into place with some ShoeGoo (hey, it works!).
Yay! All my toiletries are corralled up!
It not only keeps things looking tidier, but it also helps protect the refinished dresser. Win win win!
Or just me, and just in my apartment. Because I made a big mess while stripping and refinishing the dresser.
The bags were easily picked up and disposed of. However, underneath the bags, there was some damage to the polyurethane coating on the floor.
It was kinda rough, so I scraped at it to remove the bubbled parts of the coating.
Lesson learned: I should’ve been more careful with the stripper.
There were also some places where it looked like some stripped paint had adhered to the floor.
Those were also scraped up.
Another lesson learned: I should’ve taken more care to protect the floors.
The floors are generally in decent condition–the wood itself is nice enough to keep, but it needed to be refinished anyway. Since I have a small apartment, I decided when I moved in that I would refinish the floors when I move out. Luckily there isn’t too much damage to the floors, and it’s only on the coating, so it should be ok until that day comes.
PS. You’re never too old to listen and sing Barney songs.
Shortly after I started refinishing my dresser, I was going through the pictures on my phone, and I couldn’t believe that my dresser used to be painted! Despite the fact that I had lived with it painted for almost three years, I was already so used to seeing it without the paint.
But now it’s all wood and shiny and beautiful!
The light-colored wood has this really great grain to it, which almost seems like a tiger eye.
I don’t think I would’ve bought this dresser a few years ago if it looked like this, but I’m so glad I did! It’s truly a one-of-a-kind piece, and I’m so proud of myself for taking the time and energy to restore it to its former glory.
Also, there were some letters engraved into the hardware.
A quick google searched turned up quite a few results! Turns out those letters (G343 KBC) is from Keeler Brass Co. I found their catalog via the Smithsonian Museum archives which has this hardware on page 62. I messaged the company to ask when they manufactured this style, to get a better idea of the age of the dresser, but they never responded.
Here are all the posts in the dresser refinishing saga if you wanted to relive the process step by step:
Short, Dark, and Handsome
Nice Legs! Show Me Your Drawers
All Oiled Up
Wax On Wax Off
All that Glitters is Gold
Onto the next project!
Since the wood of the dresser is all cleaned up, it was time to move onto the hardware.
I grabbed a can of Bar Keepers Friend to scrub the tarnish off them.
It took a bit to get into a groove of cleaning them. I found that wetting the hardware first, then sprinkling some of the powder on it and letting it sit for a minute, before scrubbing with a toothbrush worked best.
They’re so shiny now!
I got a little tired of scrubbing endlessly, and I liked a little bit of the tarnish on them, since it reflects where they came from. Now onto the dresser they go!
After I had the dresser all oiled up, it was time to apply the wax. It was quite easy: apply to the wood with a rag, let sit for 30 minutes (or an hour), and then wipe off with a clean rag.
I ended up doing this twice to get the level of wax and sheen I wanted.
It’s hard to tell from the pictures how beautiful the wood is!
Now all that’s left is to restore the drawer pulls, and then I can put my clothes back in!