Before and After: The old oak dresser from the screened in porch

Sep 21 2015
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This to me is my very best before and after when it comes to a save I made from the farm house. I would give anything to go back and get a good before picture of this beast. Why don’t I have one you ask? Because I’m a bull and I couldn’t wait to strip it so I just threw myself into the job the first chance I got and boom I had forgotten to take a before. Seriously, the before picture should have been taken even before we cleared out the screened in porch because this beast was not even recognizable as a piece of furniture at that point. As just a reminder, here is the before and after of what the screened in porch looked like! Right there on the left (not far from that creepy old chair) was where this oak dresser resided for DECADES.

Before and After gallery of the office in our 100 year old farm house @GrandmasHousDIY

No one knows where this oak dresser came from, nor does anyone know exactly how long it sat out on the screened in porch. Both my mother and aunt would agree that it had been there for as long as they could remember. There is a rather good chance that this oak dresser may have even been in the house when my Grandparents moved in in the ’50s. We just don’t know. What I do know is that before it was moved to the screened in porch to experience all of the degrees of Minnesota weather, it had been painted white and a mirror (not its mirror) had been added to the back of it. It may have had its own mirror once I only know that the mirror that had been added had fallen off at some point and was sitting behind it. The entire thing was so utterly covered in dirt that no one wanted to even touch it. This is the kind of filth that’s hard to explain, dirt that is so old and so dense its like skin. But, I thought, what the hell, what have I got to lose? It wasn’t terribly heavy and, amazingly, the drawers worked and it seemed sturdy. So, I took it home to see what I could do.

Before and after of an oak dresser @GrandmasHousDIY

I started out by hosing this puppy off as I had no intention of touching that second skin of filth any more then I needed to. I mean, seriously, I don’t mind getting dirty but this thing was FILTHY. Underneath the paint was what someone who likes shabby chic would probably have paid a fortune to achieve. It was utterly cracked, jagged, rather amazing actually. (This is when I should have taken the before picture.) It came off in one quick stripping and became what you see in the before picture. Underneath revealed solid oak.

Before and after of an oak dresser @GrandmasHousDIY

With a couple of passes with my sander it looked brand new. I consider this old beast my greatest save/transformation but, amazingly, it was also one of my easiest. It had seen so much weather that it sanded up really quickly and took stain in text book style. At first I had planned this for the third bathroom vanity in the house but it became so dear to my heart that I decided to keep it as a dresser in Dakota’s bedroom. I used this red oak stain by minwax and two coats of minwax polycrylic. The hardware is off of amazon and its an absolutely awesome deal click here to check it out. The knobs are heavy, really high quality and so little in cost compared to other hardware that I’ve seen that you’ll be seeing these pretty little knobs on just about everything in my house! We love how this oak dresser turned out!

Before and after of an oak dresser @GrandmasHousDIY

98 Comments

  1. February 24, 2016 at 1:14 am

    Wow, what a transformation! Thanks for adding your flair to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop! This post has been pinned to our group board.

    Shellie
    http://www.thefabjourney.com

  2. February 26, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    Marvelous! With the current trend to paint furniture I feared that was what I’d find here, but I’m so glad to see the beautiful finish! It’s just lovely.
    Blessings, Leigh

    • February 26, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Leigh, thank you so much! When its solid wood like that I just have to stain 🙂

  3. February 27, 2016 at 7:36 pm

    Wood beauty at its best!! Love how you upcycle that gorgeous dresser!
    Thank for sharing with us at #2usestuesday

  4. February 28, 2016 at 5:44 am

    This is gorgeous. I appreciate your courage in tackling such an icky job but you reign supreme. You did a terrific job. I saw your link at the Vintage Charm party.

    • February 29, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you Ann for stopping by and having a look!

  5. February 29, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    What a big undertaking! It turned out lovely! Your hard work really paid off! If you are interested in joining in one more party each week I host Making Broken Beautiful every Thursday thru Sunday and would be happy to host you. You do lovely work! I hope you have a great week!
    Smiles!
    Terry
    http://thecuratorscollection.wordpress.com
    Making Broken Beautiful

    • February 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you Terry I will definitely do that!!

  6. March 2, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Oh my, Tarah–what an INCREDIBLE transformation! You sure are working your way through your grandmas’ treasures. You did a terrific job transforming this piece. I’m sure it has real pride of place in your home. Thanks so much for sharing it with us all at Vintage Charm 🙂

  7. March 5, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Your painstaking work on the dresser paid off. Well done!

  8. March 6, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Nothing is more beautiful than restored wood. This chest proves it. Lovely job!! Thanks so much for linking to Friday’s Furniture Fix. We love having you!!

  9. March 11, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    What a beautiful job. I love painted furniture but this piece is not meant for that. It looks lovely.

    • March 11, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      Yeah when I saw those stripes on the drawers I got so excited to see it stained! Thank you!

  10. Monique
    March 25, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Visiting from Lost and Found Decor and saw this AMAZING transformation! I’m not sure I would have seen the beauty in this dresser.

    Beautifully done!

    • March 29, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Monique, thank you so much!

  11. April 21, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Wow, the transformation is gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing at Friday Favorites! I hope that you will join us again this week! Christine – Must Love Home

    • April 21, 2016 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you Christine! I’ll be there!

  12. April 29, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Gorgeous!! Your work and vision TOTALLY paid off. Nicely done! 🙂

    Found you via Sweet Inspirations!

  13. May 2, 2016 at 2:59 am

    What an amazing transformation!!! I love that you uncovered the beauty of this dresser and was able to restore it to its wonderful self!! You truly got a treasure in this dresser. Thanks for sharing at Sweet Inspiration!

  14. May 3, 2016 at 12:46 am

    I really love this dresser! Thanks for sharing at Meet up Mondays.

  15. May 4, 2016 at 1:00 am

    I love the transformation. I never paint good old oak furniture and I was a little scared to see if you had done that. Great job on bringing this piece back to life!

  16. May 6, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Thank goodness you didn’t paint it. It came out too beautiful to cover with paint. Great Job!

  17. May 14, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Tarah,

    thanks so much for sharing your lovely chest of drawers on Wonderful Wednesday’s Link Party this week. I will be sharing it on next week’s link party as a feature!!
    Just beautiful….great job!

    Maxine @studiopaintdesign.com

    • May 16, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Oh that’s awesome!! Thank you so much!

  18. May 17, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Amazing transformation!! So happy you restored this piece to its former glory! Thank you for linking up to #OMHGWW and so glad to have you as my feature this week! Pop by and grab your button! 🙂 http://fromevijawithlove.com/2016/05/17/wonderful-wednesday-link-party-3-may/

  19. May 18, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    You have done such a great job indeed. The dresser is so beautiful. Classic, yet elegant. Thanks for joinin us on #OMHGWW 🙂

  20. May 22, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    What a beautiful end result! Thanks for sharing at You’re Gonna Love it!

  21. May 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Nice job!! Thanks for sharing at the DIY party on Pleasures of the NW

  22. May 31, 2016 at 1:44 am

    What a great makeover! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Her is the link to this week’s bash. http://www.thededicatedhouse.com/2016/05/make-pretty-monday-week-178.html Hope you have a lovely week!! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  23. June 7, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    What a bonus to find that amazing dresser underneath all the filth! It’s gorgeous! xx

  24. June 9, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    I bet all that lovely dirt protected it! 🙂 gwingal

    • June 10, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      lol Nikki I think you’re right!

  25. June 10, 2016 at 12:53 am

    My goodness – what a transformation!!!! Looks great and you know it will last forever! It already has!

  26. June 10, 2016 at 1:41 am

    Wonderful job. You have knack for these DIY projects.

    • June 10, 2016 at 3:44 pm

      Thanks Michelle for commenting and stopping by!

  27. June 10, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    The dresser looks brand new! You did an awesome job 🙂

    Blessings,
    Edye

  28. June 11, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    What an amazing transformation. I love renewing old things. Please join us on Sunday’s Best Linkup, I would love for you to share your posts.

    • June 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      I’ll be there, thank you!

  29. June 12, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    Tarah, your dresser transformation is beautiful. What’s a little dirt to a girl with a hose, a sander and some mini wax ? How special to have this piece in your home. Thank you for sharing at Your Inspired Design Link Party.

    • June 13, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      Isn’t that the truth!? I do recall exclaiming last weekend to my husband though, “Why is it that everything I do is so dirty and gross?!” Thanks for coming by 🙂

  30. June 14, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    This dresser is absolutely gorgeous1 And now it can be used for generations to come! Great job!

  31. June 14, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Wow, what a transformation. I love the finished product. We don’t always need to paint furniture and it is true in this case.
    Bev

    • June 14, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Thank you Bev 🙂 I’m so glad I went to all the work of stripping this one instead of painting it!

  32. June 14, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    It is absolutely gorgeous! I am so glad you stained it! You did a beautiful job! Stopping by after seeing your post on “Tutorial Tuesday”! Thanks!

    • June 14, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you Teri for coming by!

  33. June 15, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Wow! This turned out so pretty! 🙂

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for Recipes and Crafts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

    • June 15, 2016 at 6:36 pm

      I will Jess! Thank you very much!

  34. June 17, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Great rehab on a classic piece! They just don’t make them like that anymore. Good stuff!
    Also, I’ve chosen to feature this post on the next Peace, love, link up! Thanks for linking with us! Be sure to grab a button and check out the post which goes live tomorrow at 6! : )

    • June 18, 2016 at 9:55 pm

      Ashleigh my gosh thank you so much!! Glad you liked it 🙂 I was so excited when it turned out good lol sometimes you just never know!

  35. June 18, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Looks great!

  36. June 19, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    I think it’s either a generational or a midwest thing to have dressers and old furniture on the porch. One sat on my grandparents back porch right next to the chest freezer for years to store my grandma’s canning supplies.
    You did a wonderful job at restoring this treasure!
    Thank you so much for sharing it at the Monday Mish Mash Link Party!!
    *Hugs*

    • June 20, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      lol so true! Yup my Grandma had a chest freezer out there for years along with this dresser! Thank you!

  37. June 22, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Boy that is a treasure you’ve uncovered!! Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday!

    Mollie

  38. June 22, 2016 at 6:50 am

    What a great transformation.

    Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  39. June 22, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    That looks amazing! Well done! I would take an old all wood piece of furniture any day over the things that are now not made of wood. Thank you for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  40. June 22, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    That looks amazing!! Great DIY and before and after…lol!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! Hope to see you again tomorrow! Pinned!

    • June 22, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Elaine thank you so much for coming by!!

  41. June 30, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I love a good “before and after”!

  42. July 6, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Tarahlynn, this is such a beautiful piece. You did such a great job saving it! They just don’t make furniture like they use to so when you can bring a piece back to life it begins to hold a special value. You have inspired me so much that I’ve been plundering the local thrift stores in search of something to repurpose as a TV stand as well as something I can repurpose as a unique bathroom cabinet for our bathroom remodel. Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration with us at #SimplifyWednesdays !

    • July 6, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Carla, thank you so much for commenting, that’s wonderful to hear! We used an old buffet for our bathroom vanity and we just love it, SOOOO much storage! Good luck on your plundering!

  43. July 19, 2016 at 4:41 pm

    Oh, I love taking it back to the dark oak color! I really don’t like to see solid oak painted white. This is beautiful 🙂 Thanks for sharing your post with us at Together on Tuesdays!!!

  44. July 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Just lovely! What a wonderful transformation.

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Iris Nacole
Iris Nacole

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