After what seems like an eternity of talking about it, we actually got down to refinishing Brody’s dresser this weekend. I bought it from Craiglist and we soon figured out that the top (which I planned to stain dark) was veneered. However, after researching, it seemed like this would not be an issue since it was a thick piece of veneer that could be sanded down before staining.
The before (well, this is as “before” as it’s going to get since I forgot to take a picture before Trevor started sanding!):
Well. That was quite a process to get all the off-white paint off of the top. It took Trevor many hours to do. It definitely looked odd once stripped, but it still looked like wood.
I went ahead and applied the stain Friday morning. I waited the designated 20 minutes, then went to wipe off the excess. I was so excited because the color looked awesome! Until I wiped. And every bit of the stain came off on my rag. Disaster! So, I reapplied, and waiting for 45 minutes. Yeah, same thing happened. The stain absorbed on the edges, but not on the top. It appears that the veneer was either not actual wood or was sanded way too smooth to absorb anything- either of these could be true.
This was after the stain… obviously, not the best look with stained trim, zebra-esque top and seeping edges:
After I got over the overwhelming urge to cry, I started to formulate my back-up plan. I decided to keep with the two-tone look I had my heart set on, so I made a quick trip to Home Depot and bought a small sample-sized can of paint in a dark brown for the top. At this point, I have painted two coats of brown on the top, primed the body of the dresser and the drawers, as well as painted two coats of white latex paint on the body and drawers. I have also spray painted the hardware all oil rubbed bronze.
tonight, I am tackling one of the last steps in distressing the piece- I’ll be sanding the edges and probably hitting those sanded edges with some stain to darken it up a bit, depending on how it looks after sanding. Then, I just have to polyurethane the whole thing and let it dry before reinstalling the hardware. Of course, I’m making you wait for the finished product before showing any more pictures! Hopefully it all goes well and we have no more DIY disasters!!
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