I spotted this mid-century gem at my local thrift store over the summer and I’m ashamed to say I actually left it there to think about whether I really wanted it or not. What?! Yes, I left it there to decide if it was something I really needed or could find just the right spot in our house for it. I was regretting it that very evening as I was hoping it would still be at the thrift store the next morning….and it was! Just in time, too. Some other man walked up to it and was admiring it just after I made the purchase.
I’d like to tell you I started working on it right away and knew exactly where I wanted it. Instead, it sat in my carport for a while until I finally made a decision on how I would refinish it.
It had some damage on the surface and a little deeper underneath the surface as well. I knew for sure that I didn’t want to paint this piece so I could keep it as close to original as I could. It was so beautiful, I didn’t want to completely change the appearance…just freshen it up a bit!
I decided to use the furniture stripper, CitriStrip, to remove the old finish and what looked to be nail polish on one of the drawer fronts.
I had never tried CitriStrip before, but it worked like a charm and wasn’t as harsh as other chemical strippers I have used….although I still used plenty of protective gear and did this job outside. The finish just peeled right off!The wood surface was already looking better. There was still some damage underneath, so I ended up sanding the surface to remove it. I was able to remove the ring and some other marks, but some of the damage remained…and that’s okay. I say it gives the piece character anyway.
After I removed the CitriStrip, it felt like I had a clean slate to work with. I especially wanted to concentrate on those faded inlays behind the pretty gold knobs on the top drawers.
Have you heard of the Minwax stain markers? I have used them before to touch-up scratches on my furniture, so I knew the marker would be perfect for bringing the inlays back again…especially if I could stay in the lines.
I used the dark walnut stain marker to color them in….and they worked perfectly! I called this my version of adult coloring when I posted this picture to Instagram.
For the rest of the surface, I decided to just finish it using Minwax’s Wipe-On Poly. I used that recently on another antique piece and it has such a nice finish. The wipe-on poly was really bringing out the beautiful color of the wood!
Not only did I have a dark walnut stain marker, I also had a small can of the dark walnut Wood Finish stain, so I could match the handle and the outer edges of the piece with the inlays. The handles, outer edges, and legs were a different wood finish than the rest of the piece. That wood was really light so I thought I’d darken them, and it matched great with the inlays. Well, it was the same color, so of course it did.
The Wipe-On Poly really brought out the beautiful wood again and the dark walnut stain gave it some contrast on the handles and inlays. I think we found the perfect spot for this lovely piece. I am so glad this dresser was still waiting on me at the thrift store that day!