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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Antiquing a dresser step by step

Hey Everyone,
I want to share an antiquing project that I did this summer. I told you in my opening post about receiving a free unfinished dresser. I was very excited upon getting the thing inside despite the fact it needed some work. My first idea was I am going to stain it and make it look beautiful just as if it came from a furniture store. That was a nice dream turn nightmare! I got it prepped for staining we decided Minwax Ebony was our color well we read the directions and tried it out on the inside on the base. It was way too dark and unattractive on pine. I went back to the big box store asked the not very nice stain/paint pro who simply did not want to help me and handed me off to some other employee that recommended Cabot Stain. I got home with a great color then preceeded to read the directions on the can and followed them exactly. Well I loved the color but unlike Minwax when I tried to wipe off the stain as the directions instructed my cloth got stuck and the entire thing was gooey. I was miserably sad as my FREE furniture was now ruined. Anyway it sat in my garage for weeks until finally I decided that I was going to sand the whole thing and start over this time I used paint and did an antiquing effect. I had done this previously on a small accent table and loved the results. I am going to take you through the process although I don't have any before pictures (Sorry!!) so imagination will come in handy here.

First, I removed all the drawers. I also removed all the old hard ware. I sanded all the drawers individually with a medium grit sanding block. Always sand with the grain of the wood. I sanded until all the sticky goopy bits of the stain was gone and I had smooth wood to paint on. I did this 4 times as there was 4 drawers. You could use a power sander to make your life easier but I didn't.
Each time I sanded I dusted off the wood with a lightly damp microfiber cloth. This works great so that the paint doesn't stick to the dust.
Next, I made the decision to skip the primer I felt like the wood was even enough to not need a primer. I would normally use a primer though. Plus I wanted some of the natural knots in the wood to show through it makes it look less perfect.
After that I got to painting I decided to go to a big box store and get a Martha Stewart indoor latex paint called River Mist in an eggshell finish. The paint has a very low odor and has pretty good coverage. Overall I liked the color range and coverage. I painted a first coat waited for it to dry (it drys pretty quickly) then I sanded with a fine grit sanding block and dusted with a microfiber cloth. I did this for two coats each drawer. Finally I started working on the body of the dresser I had previously sanded with the gain of the wood with a medium grit sanding block and dusted with a microfiber cloth. I started to paint the body with my Purdy 3 inch brush but the job was too big so I broke out the mini roller. This made the job super quick. I did the entire body for a first coat waited for the paint to dry then  sanded and dusted then repeated for the second coat. Lastly the fun part "antiquing" or "distressing" whichever you prefer I used a screw driver and a cheese knife to distress the edges and make it look old. Then I mixed equal parts brown paint and water to make a glaze and highlight the distressed parts. Then I used Rub n Buff in antique gold on the corners to give it a nice old look. After that dried for 15 minutes I went over the entire piece with Johnson's paste wax. I let it dry then buffed out. It gives the piece a nice shine while also protecting the wood and making it a wipeable surface. Also I replaced the hardware then I let it dry outside for a day before bringing it into the house. Once in the house I let it sit for 30 days so the paint could completely cure. Keep in mind that just because the paint isn't wet doesn't mean your piece has cured. Wait the 30 days without anything on it so the top is completely set and you won't have indentions of heavy objects on your hard work. It was very hard to wait.

This is the entire process I'll post a couple of pictures even though I don't have pictures from beginning to end.
I hope you enjoyed let me know if you have questions about my process.

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