Sep 21 2015
My posts include affiliate links Click here to read my full Disclosure Policy

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


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


  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.


  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!
    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!


    • 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! 🙂

  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. Hope you have a lovely week!! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

Leave a Comment


Everything you see here on this blog the author has chosen to do so entirely at her own risk. And that is: risk to herself and risk to whatever she may be working on/her home and her own wallet. The author assumes absolutely no liability if you choose to follow in her foot steps and attempt anything you see on this website yourself. The author strongly urges you to do your due dilligence before attempting anything of a diy nature at home.

Disclosure and Privacy Policy

This post may contain affiliate links and, if you do choose to use them it will cost you nothing, but you will be supporting our little farm as well as this blog and our future projects. Likewise for the banners and ads you see around this site. Thank you so much for your support!
For our Full Disclosure, click HERE
For the Privacy Policy, click HERE

Copyright Notice

All the photos and text on this blog are copyright Protected and owned by the author. If you would like to feature or use any of the photos or work you see here that is wonderful! You may share one photo from a post, if linked back to the original post. You may not copy entire articles and posts (even if you link back to me) without my express permission. Email requests using the contact form HERE