Antique Pine Dresser

by | Oct 4, 2021 | Farmhouse Furniture, Refurbishing Furniture | 10 comments

September 28, 2021| DIY, Farmhouse furniture, Refurbishing furniture

Do you want to transform an antique pine dresser into something more appealing? I will share with you how I refinished a recent find.

I went to a fundraising event for a library that was a little unconventional. In addition to selling books, they were also selling furniture, home decor items, sets of dishes, and more. While there, I stumbled upon an antique dresser that needed some attention.

So let’s get started on this transformation process.

Antique Pine Dresser

The antique pine dresser started off looking like the photo above.  In addition to having the unfortunate orangish color – a couple of the drawer rails needed to be repaired and some of the drawers needed some work.

Step 1: Strip the Existing Finish off the Antique Pine Dresser

First I used Citristrip to removed the existing clear finish. I brushed on the stripper and covered it with saran wrap. I put some videos together showing how the dresser was stripped and sanded.  You can watch how the dresser was stripped of its existing finish HERE.

Once the dresser was stripped, I wiped it down using steel wool and denatured alcohol. The denatured alcohol helps to remove the gunk that the stripper leaves behind.

Step 2: Sanding the Antique Pine Dresser

Then I started part 2 of refinishing this dresser- sanding it down.

Partially sanded top of an antique pine dresser

Then I started sanding using 120 grit sand paper. 

The biggest challenge was getting rid of the splotchy areas on the wood.  You can see them clearly in the photo above.  The bottom drawer was sanded once using 120 grit sand paper.  I ended up sanding the entire dress three times using 120 grit. Then I still had to do some spot sanding.

I kept sanding and sanding and sanding until there was a uniform finish.  Of course, for the larger flat areas, I used a random orbital sander.  For the crevices and the corners, I hand sanded. 

There is a video showing progress on the dresser as it was being sanded click HERE.

When I finally achieved a uniform appearance, I went over the dresser again with 200 grit sandpaper.  

All in all, I am happy with how it turned out.  Here are some more photos.

The top came out amazingly well considering the age of this dresser.  Fortunately, during the past 100 plus years, there was no significant damage to the top of the dresser. All I had to do was sand the top really well. 

The sides also came out well.  See the wood in the middle of the side that has the wood frame around it?  That’s a single board.  That’s one indication that this is an antique piece of furniture.  Most modern furniture has multiple pieces of wood glued together. 

Step 3: Final Details

The glass knobs were cleaned by placing them in distilled white vinegar and gently boiling them on the stove for about ten minutes.  These knobs are original to the antique pine dresser.

I should also mention that I sanded the interior frame of the dresser and scrubbed it using Mr. Clean in a bucket of hot water.  The inside of the dresser really needed to scrubbed.  When I was done, the water was black. 

I didn’t want to apply a polycrylic to the dresser because it would change the color of the raw wood.  Instead, I decided to apply a clear furniture wax.  Although, it did change the color slightly, the change is not noticeable.  The benefit of the wax is that is preserves the wood and protects it from moisture.  (Like a spilled drink or water from a vase of flowers)


Thank you for following along on the transformation of this antique pine dresser. This was a fun project to work on and the end result was very rewarding. If you have any questions, please let me know.  Thanks for following along on this little journey.  If you decide to use this technique on a piece of furniture, I hope you share a photo with me.  Please let me know how the process goes. 


  1. Ashleigh

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

    • Sky Lark House

      Thanks for commenting Ashleigh!

      • cindy

        Where for you think this dress e r was made, and about what year? I have never seen such a clean and refreshed antique like your dresser’s end result..

        • Sky Lark House

          Hi Cindy- I am not positive but I believe the dresser was made between 1880-1890s. Sanding down antique pine gives it such a beautiful clean look. Thank you for commenting.

  2. cindykin

    I love that you didn’t “paint” this beautiful piece! Wonderful Job!!

    • Sky Lark House

      Thank you for the comment! I am happy it wasn’t painted too!

  3. Ann Alonso

    I am so pleased to see that you showed off this beautiful antique piece and did not paint it. I am so sick of people covering beautiful aged pieces with paint and all the other trendy surface coverings.

    • Sky Lark House

      Ann thank you so much for your comment. Old pine is my favorite wood to preserve and showcase.

    • Cassandra

      I am a beginner to diy I didn’t know about it being 1 piece of wood on the one side and that’s how you can tell how old it is.thank you

      • Sky Lark House

        Hi Cassandra – Thank you for your comment. Yes! Generally if you have wide single boards, it is an indication of age. I am glad you found this post helpful.


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