Monday, March 26

From Start to Finish.

So, I'm sorry this took so long for me to get posted!

Brian and I just got back from a trip to Orlando for the PGA golf tournament at Bay Hill.  

(We went to Ikea on Sunday.  I'd never been, that place is insane.  But I got a few exciting things for the apartment that I can't wait to show you!)

But first, here was the dresser before I began.

Annie, Scout and Atticus (aka The Blonde Dog Brigade)
were very excited about this makeover.

As I mentioned last time, this dresser was always in my brother's room when we were growing up, and then it came out of storage and with me to my apartment.

It's been in my parents' garage ever since I moved back, waiting for this makeover!

So, first I removed all the hardware.

Hanging on to these bad boys, surely to come up
with a handy use for them.

Then, I sanded all of the drawer fronts.  As I had plans to stain them, I needed to sand them all the way down, (as opposed to just scuffing them up, as you would if you were painting them.)

I decided to then use this Minwax pre-stain wood conditioner.  

Under my dad's advisement, actually, I decided to use the pre-stain because the wood is light and soft and the conditioner helps the stain go on evenly.

The pre-stain goes on really easily.  I used a synthetic brush and allowed the conditioner to sit for 15 minutes before wiping off the excess.

Once you've applied the pre-stain, you have to stain the wood within two hours.

It's hard to tell the difference here, but these were the three stains I tried.

I've used Special Walnut before.  (I used it here, on the breakfast chair that my grandmother gave me and that  I refinished...)

This time around I just liked the red that was in the Rich Mahagony Mahogany, (I just realized I misspelled mahogany in the picture...doh!)  and in the blend, but I liked that the Rich Mahogany was darker.

Thus, I chose it...

Seems like that was a long explanation.

Super-effective gloves


I love these gel stains, they go on really smoothly! 

I used cheese cloth, the directions on the can say that you can use a brush but I really think that it is easier to use a clean cloth...just rub the stain in until the wood is evenly coated and there is no excess stain left on the surface.

Once it is dry, (I waited over night for good measure,) apply a protective topcoat.  

I chose a semi-gloss, actually my dad had this in his shop so it's what I used, but I just knew that I didn't want anything super glossy, so it worked out well.

Avoid shaking the polyurethane, it bubbles easily.  Stir it slowly and strain it into a small cup or can that you can easily use.  

This makes a quick application easier, which is helpful because it does tend to dry pretty quickly and you don't want any nasty brush strokes on the surface!

My pictures jump a bit here, but the pictures of me painting the base of the dresser are pretty boring.

I used an off-white paint that we had left over from the trim in my parents' living room, (cha-ching.)


Now, on to my favorite part...

the hardware.

I am obsessed with drawer pulls and handles, etc. 

As you can plainly see...

My hardware collection (and one of my Dad's beautiful bowls.)
I've collected quite a few.

I found the blue and white ones at World Market, (for 4 bucks!) and the green I stumbled upon one day at JoAnn's 75% off!

I've been waiting to find a good spot for the green, so I decided to mix them in to drawer pulls for this dresser, (I have a few left and am planning on using them for my next project...)

I'll have to find a better picture of the drawer pulls.  But you can take my word for it, they look awesome.

I'm really happy with the way that this turned out, and I CANNOT wait to get it into my apartment!  

Now, I have a dad who has endless supplies in his shop, but all in all I think I spent less than $20 on this makeover...

Even if you didn't have a dad that's as awesome as mine is, though...I'm confident that you could knock this bad boy out for very little.  

I started work today on transforming an old, (very old) bookshelf into a small island for my kitchen.  

The projects I have on my list are endless and awesome...I can't wait.

But until then, one more time for the cheap seats...



  1. Oh wow!!! That is beautiful! Love how you mixed painting the outside a nice white and then staining the drawer fronts. Its a great look!

  2. Thanks! I love it, too! I got the idea from an old Anthropologie dresser, can't go wrong with Anthro!