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!
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!