Refinished Oak Dresser

by | Nov 23, 2021 | DIY, Farmhouse Furniture, Refurbishing Furniture | 0 comments

Several weeks ago, I purchased 3 antique dressers that needed a good makeover. I shared the makeover of 2 of the dressers HERE and HERE. Today, I am sharing with you the refinished oak dresser which is the 3rd and final dresser in this series.

Oak Dresser Before

Unfortunately, I was not able to take some proper “before” photos. So, this photo will have to do. You can see the dresser is in good condition, but the top is a little worn.

Of the 3 dressers I worked on, this was by far the easiest one to refinish. I decided to simply remove the old finish and let the wood underneath shine through. As previously mentioned in other blog posts, I tried unsuccessfully to use a chemical stripper on this piece. (On all 3 of the pieces) The temperatures outside were too cold for the stripper to work so I had to find another way to remove the existing finish on the dresser.

Removing the Existing Finish

For this piece, I sanded off the existing finish. At first I went over the dresser with 120 grit, then 150 grit and finally with 220 grit. It took quite a bit of time to sand off the existing finish and I was glad to be able to be working outside before the temperatures dropped into the low 40s.

I have previously shared with you some other examples of furniture I worked on to create a raw wood finish. There was this antique pine dresser HERE and a pine buffet HERE. This process simply requires patience and determination in sanding the old finish.

As an aside, this dresser also needed a good cleaning. Just scrubbing down the dresser with hot water and krud kutter made it look brighter and more cheerful. That was the first thing I did before sanding her down. So without further ado, let’s see how she turned out.

Antique oak dresser with basket and cutlery on top

The fact that she has new glass knobs, also gives her a little sparkle.

Antique oak dresser refinished

Sealing the Wood

It’s amazing how light the wood is underneath the original dark stain. I am sealing the body of the dresser with a clear bees wax and the top will be sealed with General Finishes “flat-out-flat”. As you know, anytime you apply a sealer to a raw wood finish – it changes the color. Often it makes the wood darker. General Finishes “flat-out-flat” is one of the few products that only slightly alters the appearance of the wood. An added bonus, this sealer is water based which makes for easy clean up. The tops of dressers and tables tend to get well used. As such, I think it’s important to try to seal them with a water-proof polycrylic. (Another note, I don’t use polyurethane to seal furniture because it turns yellow over time)

antique casters on a dresser
Original casters

Original Casters

The fact that this refinished oak dresser has its original wooden casters made my heart melt. So cute!! The wheels are even made out of wood and they all work. So many times, when I buy an old dresser with original casters, at least 2 of them are rusted into place and the wheels no longer function. Do me a favor and ignore the leaf on the floor that fell from the wreath. I never notice these imperfections until I import the photos into the editing software.

Refinished Oak Dresser

You can tell it’s the holiday season in this house since wreaths are popping up everywhere.

Vintage Farine canister holding utensils
Vintage French Farine (Flour) Canister

Also, I had the great fortune of getting a few more items from France for the shop. More photos of those items will be showing up soon. Some items have already been brought into the booth.

Final Result

Close up of glass knobs on oak dresser
Close-up of glass knobs

Here is a close-up photo of the glass knobs on the refinished oak dresser. If I were to guess, I would say that this refinished oak dresser is made out of the white oak. (As opposed to red oak)

Wreath on top of oak dresser
Wreath resting on top of the dresser

Here is one last photo I snapped as I was putting all the props away and taking the wreath off the wall. The sun had just come out and was shining on the dresser. It was too pretty of a photo not to include in this post.

So once more – here is a comparison.

Oak Dresser “Before”

And here is the “After” version of the same piece of furniture.

Antique oak dresser with basket and cutlery on top
Refinished Oak Dresser

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! I hope you found some inspiration.

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