Dresser refinish before and after, refinishing furniture with black stain DIY

Sep 30 2015
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A dresser refinish before and after using black stain. Between this one and the oak dresser from the screened in porch I really don’t know which one is more of a mystery. Neither dresser had been used in decades by the time I came along to refinish them. With the passing of my grandma we opened up the old play house and were both dismayed and delighted to find that it was full of furniture. I started pulling things out and discovered my mother’s two old dressers and this old thing with no idea where it came from.

It’s beautiful and it always was beautiful even before I started work on it, I had an inkling that it was probably the most unique and also the oldest piece of everything I had. A friend of mine (who had a bit of furniture experience) confirmed my thoughts when he said he thought that this piece was worth the most out of everything. Of course, worth really means nothing to me (I’ll never sell it) however, knowing that it is special outside of my own feelings toward it is pretty cool.

Before and after of an old maple dresser stripped and stained in black @GrandmasHousDIY

I sanded the whole thing down instead of stripping it and it just about killed me, definitely should have stripped all of the funk and gunk off of it first. I did this piece when I did Eleonora’s buffet/my entertainment center and I swear the same dude on the same day seventy years ago put the same nasty motor oil finish on them both. I felt like my arms were gonna fall off. I just sanded. And sanded. And sanded. *facepalm* The whole dresser probably has over ten hours of just me sanding into it. I should have just used paint stripper on it!

Before and after of an old maple dresser stripped and stained in black @GrandmasHousDIY

Once I had it down to bare wood though I really got excited. The drawer fronts are striped, seriously, like a zebra! It is SO cool. I used every grit of sand paper available and mostly my orbital sander on the entire piece. I stained it in a black minwax gel stain using a brush and just wiping it off after a few minutes with a rag. After that I put two coats of a satin poly acrylic over it to protect the finish.

I can’t get over the wood grain! I just love it! And then I put all my shiny knobs on it and I couldn’t have been more pleased. It sits in my office now, I never did manage to get the drawers working well so I just use it as storage that I rarely need. I really love it, can’t say exactly why, but out of all of the pieces that I’ve refinished over the last few years, this dresser refinish the one that holds my heart completely.

Before and after of an old maple dresser stripped and stained in black @GrandmasHousDIYAn ancient dresser stripped refinished refinish wood working sand sanding sanded diy do it yourself with black stain and a lot of elbow grease

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TarahlynnmummyitsokKathy AThe PramshedSam - Stressy Mama Recent comment authors
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Jennifer
Guest

It looks beautiul. You;re so lucky to have their wonderful pieces with you.Thanks for sharing with us at Thursday Favorite Things blog hop!

Cheers,
Jennifer
http://awellstyledlife.com

Carmen Gomez (Lilly)
Guest

You did such an amazing job refinishing this piece! It looks lovely I’m glad that you chose to stain it instead of painting it!

Ann Marie at Iris Abbey
Guest

Oh my gosh — the sanding that you did! I appreciate your commitment to this project. It turned out beautifully. Well done. I saw your link at Diana’s Adirondack Girl at Heart/Vintage Charm party.

JaneEllen
Guest
JaneEllen

Oh do I envy you that breath taking “tiger oak” dresser, what fabulous find, so lucky to have pieces you inherited. So many times younger people don’t want the old fashioned pieces that are so much better made than any new piece you’d ever find. Those old pieces were built to last a lifetime in most cases. And how fortunate and smart you are to live in your grand parents home. All your hard work sanding for all those hours was rewarded with your end product. You did such a fabulous job, should be proud of your efforts. Also so… Read more »

Diana
Guest

The things you have discovered tucked away in your family home are amazing, Tarah. You remind me that the back-stories of the objects we find are as interesting as the pieces themselves. Your dresser looks so beautiful; you did a wonderful job rehabbing it. Thanks so much for linking it up at Vintage Charm!

Debbie @ Refresh Restyle
Guest

Beautiful makeover! Thanks for sharing at Inspiration Monday!
Debbie

Brenda Young
Guest

Although I adore a great paint job, some pieces are just not meant to be painted, especially those vintage ones that are structurally sound. All your hard word refinishing this piece to the original splendor really paid off, it is a stunner with all that wood grain, I love it!

Melanie
Guest

I’m so glad you saved it!! And your hard work of sanding paid off. It looks beautiful 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #FridaysFurnitureFix!

Terry
Guest

Oh my goodness this turned out gorgeous! Your hard work really paid off. It’s nice to see a piece brought back to it’s original glory … I am not sure I would have had the stamina or patience to do this! Well done! I hope you have a great day!
Smiles!
Terry

The Curator’s Collection & Making Broken Beautiful

Debrashoppeno5
Guest

You did a beautiful job. Although I love painted furniture there are times when you need to respect a piece of furniture and restore it to its former glory. You did just that.

Paula@SweetPea
Guest

This piece looks gorgeous! I know that your grandmother would be so pleased to know that you’ve given this piece a facelift and that you are enjoying it.

Lisa
Guest

This dresser is absolutely gorgeous. <3

Heather
Guest

Loving your perspective and projects! I was cracking up when I read that your hubby was enamored with finally getting something new… mine has FORBIDDEN me from bringing home one more curbside find. 🙂

I’ve nominated you for a Liebster award. Check it out here:

https://growtastecreate.com/2016/04/16/liebster-award/

Christine at Must Love Home
Guest

Love it! This is perfectly lovely and I’m so glad you did not use paint!!! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Friday Favorites! I would love for you to join me at mustlovehome.com for the
Wonderful Wednesday Link Party…and enter our $40 PayPal Cash Giveaway for May!! Hugs – Christine at Must Love Home

Michelle Leslie
Guest

She’s the perfect a collectors piece for future generations. You did an amazing job restoring her to her former glory.

Mary-the boondocks blog
Guest

Sometimes a piece of furniture can speak to you. And I think Tarah this is one of those times. This is really gorgeous and it looks so solid, as in a don’t-mess-with-me-I’m-here-to-stay-for-another-seventy-years kind of way. I’m so glad you kept it. As for all that sanding, couldn’t you have used an electric sander? It is one of the few power tools I use and it saved me aches and pains. Pinning at Sweet Inspiration.

Jan Garon
Guest

This is such a wonderful piece. I was holding my breath, hoping it wasn’t going to be painted. You did an amazing job! It’s wonderful to see an old piece valued the way you do.

Mary-the boondocks blog
Guest

Tarah congratulations your great dresses is the most popular this week. Come on over to Sweet Inspiration to get your button! 🙂

Helen Fern
Guest

Beautiful job! Thanks for sharing on the DIY party!

LaDonna
Guest
LaDonna

This is stunning! My grandma had two very similar ones to yours, both a men’s and a ladies’, with the men’s being MUCH larger (and weighing in the area of 350 lbs if I remember correctly – my aunt took custody of that one.) The ladies’ I originally took and restored for my college apartment and first house (25 years ago)was very similar to yours, but also had a mirror and matching hope chest. I was able to restore the wood around the mirror but not the mirror itself. The story I have on ours is that my grandma’s family… Read more »

Sandy
Guest
Sandy

Hooray! Hooray! Applause! Applause! I am so glad you decided to redo your grandmother’s piece to show the beautiful wood it’s made of. So many people today slap on a coat of paint, which totally destroys the look of the vintage piece they are working on. Makes me cry!

Michelle
Guest

Beautiful piece of furniture and you are so talented. They don’t make pieces like that anymore.

Carol@blueskykitchen
Guest

Tarahlynn, lovely piece of furniture. I have a similar piece but mine has a top with a mirror. I recently decided to paint it. Such functional pieces. Thank you for sharing at Your Inspired Design link Party.

Danita Carr
Guest

Beautiful! I love it! Thanks for sharing at #SmallVictories

Rebecca
Guest

It is fabulous! Thanks for sharing it with us!

Cottage Blessings,
Rebecca

Victoria @DazzleWhileFrazzled
Guest

So pretty! I’d love to have that in my home. Thanks for linking up with Funtastic Friday.

Sandra
Guest

Love the dresser!
Thanks for sharing your post at the Simple Homestead Hop 🙂

Jess
Guest

Wow…looks so great!! 🙂 Nice job!

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

Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

Sylvia D.
Guest

Tarah, Love the dresser. The wood grain is really nice. Have you tried applying wax to the bottom of the drawer to help it slide easily. I have used this with some success. Sylvia D.

Stacey
Guest

This is the kind of old piece of furniture that people wish they had! You are so lucky to have this gorgeous piece and you did a fantastic job!

Thanks for sharing at Thoughts of Home and have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

Ashleigh
Guest

It was great seeing you at Peace, Love, Linkup #013! The next party goes live tomorrow at 6. Hope to see you there!

Joanne E Boulter
Guest

Thank you for sharing at SYC! Jo

Amy
Guest

Such a lovely dresser. They just made them better back in the good ole days. Lovely job on refinishing it. It turned out beautifully.
Thank you so much for sharing at the Monday Mish Mash Link Party!
*Hugs*

Linda
Guest

Beautiful transformation. I so admire people for taking on these projects. The wood grain is quite lovely. Thanks so much for sharing your creativity at DI&DI.

Jann Olson
Guest
Jann Olson

I love the lines on this beauty and the story behind it! You did an amazing job transforming it! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann

Jen
Guest

That turned out so lovely! Simple and holding to it’s antique origins, but with a modern look.

Thank you for linking this up over at the Happy Now!

Wishing you a great day 🙂

Carla a.k.a Mrs. R
Guest

Hi Taralynn, you did a beautiful job refinishing that dresser. It looks like a very solid piece that will last for years. Why don’t they make furniture like they used too, sigh … Thank you for sharing with us at #SimplifyWednesdays! Pinned, tweeted, shared

Lisa Ehrman
Guest

Thanks so much for sharing at Together on Tuesdays 🙂

Karen Grosz
Guest

Look at those beautiful legs on that dresser. I love legs with style. Thanks for linking up at Let’s Get Real Friday Link Up.

Pam
Guest

I love all of your furniture facelifts! I can’t wait until we finally close on our house. I have a few facelifts that I want to do. I guess you’ve inspired me!

Janice | MostlyBlogging
Guest

Hi Tarah,
So great you’re domestic. I’m not at all.
Thanks for bringing your post to Blogger’s Pit Stop last week.
Janice, Pit Stop Crew

Meena
Guest

Just beautiful.

Great job.

-AnchoredinSweets

Sandi
Guest

What a fabulous piece! Once again, you did a wonderful job. Thanks for sharing.

Jen Panguluri
Guest

I just can’t get enough of this dresser. I could look at it all day and still find it interesting!

Debrashoppeno5
Guest

What a beauty. Although I like painted furniture there are some pieces that should never be painted and this is one of them. The sanding ordeal was well worth the end result.

Michelle Felmlee
Guest

Really beautiful piece!!

Brenda Young
Guest

What a find, with wonderful grain! I don’t think I would have painted it either, all your hard work paid off she’s a beauty! Thanks so much for sharing it at Fridays Furniture Fix!

Julie Christiansen
Guest

What beautiful woodgrain! Your hard work and persistent sanding really paid off. Pinned!
Thank you for sharing at My Busy Beehives #beeparty this week!

Beverly
Guest

Wow, your dresser turned out beautifully. Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts at Over The Moon Party.
See you next week.
Hugs,
Bev

Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy
Guest

This turned out great!!

Iris Nacole

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