Refinished dresser with antiquing

This past week, my husband and I finished a huge piece of our nursery puzzle – the antiqued dresser. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to have this baby (no pun, intended) in its place in the nursery, ready to be filled with little boy things!

We purchased the dresser for $25 on Craigslist. It was pretty ugly, scratched, and had water stains on the top. I knew I wanted to paint it, so I didn’t really care about the finish; I just was happy to find a solid wood dresser for so cheap.

refinished dresser, antiqued dresser, faux antiquing, how to antique furniture
 
refinished dresser, antiqued dresser, faux antiquing, how to antique furniture

Here’s how we refinished and antiqued it:

  1. Removed the yucky handles.
  2. Sanded the whole thing.
  3. Primed the drawer fronts and the dresser.
  4. Painted the dresser and drawer fronts red (It took 3 coats for good coverage – the Mr. is such a patient man!).
  5. Used an ebony stain to do some antiquing on the edges and fronts of the drawer, the feet, and the top of the dresser. I did lots of research on ways to antique furniture, and this was my first attempt. We basically painted the stain on in a couple of places and immediately wiped it off. Next time, I would probably also mix the stain with glaze (which I read about, but didn’t do), because I think it would have spread a little better. I would also get a stain a little lighter in color, because it was too dark in some spots and I actually ended up going back and adding some more red paint on top of it. Overall, the look turned out pretty good and almost gave it a woodgrain look. The dresser was too bright right after we finished painting it red, so I was glad to see how much the stain darkened and subdued the color.
  6. Used sandpaper to distress the edges in just a few places.
  7. Painted 2 coats of polyurethane to seal the paint.
  8. Added new drawer pulls.
refinished dresser, antiqued dresser, faux antiquing, how to antique furniture
 
refinished dresser, antiqued dresser, faux antiquing, how to antique furniture
A close-up of the antiquing
 
refinished dresser, antiqued dresser, faux antiquing, how to antique furniture
Front view – you can see the dark stain on the drawer fronts in this photo
 
refinished dresser, antiqued dresser, faux antiquing, how to antique furniture
More sandpaper antiquing detail and a close-up of the drawer pulls (purchased from Knobs4Less.com)
 
refinished dresser, antiqued dresser, faux antiquing, how to antique furniture
Here’s a good picture of the stain on the top of the dresser

Phew! As you can see, this sucker took a lot of work. But I am totally in love with the transformation. It ended up costing us about $100 ($40 of that went to the drawer pulls, which were the most expensive part). We had to buy a lot of things we didn’t already own like polyurethane, paintbrushes, etc. and I would imagine if you were an avid crafter you might have some on hand, saving you some money.

For a solid piece like this, I think $100 is a pretty good bargain. I know our little Lincoln will have it for years to come and I love that we put so much hard work into it!

 

Link Parties:

  • Jeremy & Mattie Benbrooks

    I was wondering what you primed the dresser with? Thanks!

    • Actually, I didn’t prime it at all. Just sanded it really good, painted and covered with polyurethane. :)

      • Jeremy & Mattie Benbrooks

        Ok – thanks!