Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Long Awaited Dresser Post - Part 1

I'm a big fat liar... I believe it was in my March 6th post when I said that I'd be back later in the week with a dresser update. Admittedly things have been a little crazy, what with delivering a baby and what not. But let's put all of that behind us...and onto the dresser update reveal!

Well...not quite the reveal. That will be in Part 2. Liar again, I know. I'm workin' on it. In the meantime I'll be over here hanging with Jim Carrey.

So the dresser that we ended up buying was one that I had seen early on but at $60 was a little more than I was willing to pay at the time. Then after spending two weekends striking out at garage sales and Goodwills (not to mention the previous months of combing CraigsList all stalker-like), I decided to revisit the resale shop. It was closed. Sonofagun. Well not closed per se. The owner of that space was relocating to another part of the property and was supposed to be open again by the next weekend. He wasn't. But in a stroke of luck, another man on the property let us into the space because we were looking for a particular piece and were ready to buy. The best part was that I offered $40 and he agreed (this, friends, is what we refer to as a "steal"). So $43.30 later (yay tax), we had a dresser! Holy bananas I thought we'd never get there.

May I present to you: the before shot, even though we had already begun the sanding process.

The dresser was pretty scratched up, especially around the edges, and the finish on it was really dull, but I was drawn to the shape of it (I continually drool over the legs) and you can't beat that storage - currently every single drawer is full. It's a mid-century piece and I wish I knew its history, but we couldn't find a manufacturer/brand label, just this on the back:

Owosso is apparently a town in Michigan, but other than that I've got nothin'.

Luckily they stamped the word "dresser" on there, you know, in case we forget.

I was really excited about refinishing this dresser because I had never made over a piece of furniture before. One hiccup: I was pregnant. And even though I was ready to jump in (with protective face mask in hand), my parentals voiced their concerns, particularly with the sanding process. In the end we struck a compromise: I wouldn't take part in the sanding or staining, but I would get to finish things up by applying the top coat (which was non toxic & low VOC, but more on that later).

So in one afternoon my stepdad knocked out the sanding step and we were left with this bad boy (minus the feet, which he tackled later):

Poor thing is naked and here I am parading him on the internet. Tsk tsk.

I then had to decide on a stain. My original plan upon getting a dresser was going to be painting it stark white to go with the crib and the deep blue walls. However, because of the quality of this piece (dovetail joints!) and the detailed grain that was exposed after we sanded it down, I reversed my plan and decided to keep it au naturel.

I was initially drawn to the dark walnut (I'm not a fan of the blond stains or anything too light), but I was worried that it would be too dark. In the end I went with Early American, which ended up looking far and away better on the dresser than it did in the brochure. My stepdad had buckets of the stuff on hand, which was another bonus, so on went the Early American. Side note: who names these things?

We did one coat to start, which I thought would be too light, but ended up being perfect. Once the stain was on it was really easy to see just how beautiful the grain of the wood was. I'll save most of that for the next post, but here's a sneak peek...

Ooo la  la!


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