Mini Dresser Make Over

I’ve been searching for a simple, affordable, MCM style wooden dresser for several months.  Various thrift stores and very few options.  Until last week, when I spotted a five foot dresser for $50 and a matching mini dresser for 25 bucks.  This dresser is for the tiny library/guest room which makes the nightstand size perfect.


Clean lines, MCM style, in good condition (a few scratches and a laminate top).  Perfection.  I could have left it as is, but I knew it could be better.  Refinishing to the rescue.  The dresser is plywood with a thin wood veneer.  For solid wood I prefer to sand the surface to prepare for stain.  But, I worried I’d sand through the veneer.  Despite my last paint stripper experience, I decided to use Citristrip on the drawer fronts, sides, and legs.


While it did its magic, we hit up the hardware store for a plastic scraper, a sample of Ben Moore paint, and came back to get started.  It seemed ready.


Scraping most of it off was quick, leaving me with a pile of spaghetti like stuff.  The round legs took a little more time, but the finish came off cleanly.


With the scraping done, I used an old rag and odorless mineral spirits to clean off the residue.  Which didn’t work.  Instead it just made a gummy, tacky mess.  I let it dry, then used 220 grit sand paper on the laminate top and flat sides.


The darker patches are from the stripper.


Lesson learned, skip the paint stripper, Amanda.  It might work, but the clean up is more than I’m willing to deal with.  But, I was able to start staining.  Dark wood floats my boat.  Wait, that didn’t come out right.  I had a can of Dark Walnut stain (left over from a bookshelf I refinished a few years ago).  Two coats on the fronts, sides, and legs.  But I had to paint the drawer edges and sides to hide the layered plywood that before were painted dark brown.


To protect my freshly stained sides, I taped off everything so I could prime and paint the laminate top and drawer dividers.


A few coats of paint on the primed spots followed by two coats of satin polyurethane gave a nice shine, protecting and enhancing.  Come back tomorrow to see how it turned out.  Yes, I’m a total tease, but I’ve got to take pictures still.

4 thoughts on “Mini Dresser Make Over

  1. can’t wait to see how it turns out!! Looks great so far! I like the nice clean lines. Rehabbing thrifted furniture is a lot of fun, it’s so neat to see the natural wood grain & color hiding underneath the layers 🙂 I refinished a little wooden phone table with a drawer that I found in my parent’s cellar years ago; it was painted red from when it belonged to my grandfather, and as I stripped the layers off (I used the citrus stuff as well!), I found a layer of black paint underneath, and stain under that! It’s now the color of its original wood and we have it sitting just outside the kitchen, as a plant stand. I love projects like that! 🙂

Now it's your turn! Share your thoughts and opinions, stories and links. We love hearing from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s