Finally. I’m writing! Fueled by a lazy morning sleeping in (until 6:45, sheesh I’m showing my age) and two cups of coffee. Will this good amount of coffee and sleep keep me energized all day? Let’s hope so!
The last couple weeks have been busy. And brutally hot -this means alot coming from a Texan.
Seriously. I had no idea how hot it could get in Maryland, not to mention the humidity? Just breathing has felt like inhaling steamy water. My mental countdown to fall has been ticking since mid-july. Comfy sweaters, leggings, and boots here I come! The end is in sight… or is that just a mirage?
I shouldn’t complain! August hasn’t just been about intense loads of humidity and heat. It’s been a wonderful month that has held two visits from sweet Texas friends and family, my 26th birthday, dinners with new friends, trips to D.C. and the eastern shore beaches, ice cold beer with salty popcorn, summer runs in downtown Annapolis, and the completion of some fun projects, one of which being this Tiger Oak dresser I acquired antiquing in Pennsylvania (which is a dream, by the way).
I’m really excited to share this with you, and instead of posting all my before pictures, and then all my after pictures, I thought I would interchange them so you could keep soaking up the transformation. I’ll include some tips and the products I used along the way if you’re interested in that kinda’ stuff!
When I first found this antique dresser my online community of painters were screaming at me in all caps to not touch it. No paint. No refinishing. That’s what the majority said. Huh….
I debated, because I know refinishing an antique can decrease its’ value, but its finish was so dry, crackly, and gross that I couldn’t help myself. Being the person I am, I wanted this piece to have new life. To be used and loved again. So I turned off my notifications and went with my heart. I got right to work, and I’m so glad I did.
I carefully sanded this piece with 80, 120, and 220 grit sandpaper. I had to do most of it by hand, though I did use my electric sander a bit. Once I began working on it I marveled at the construction. Everything looks to be handmade and solid oak, though not every piece is Tiger Oak. There isn’t a compromised piece of wood on this dresser. Strong and heavy, it’s going to last for many years to come. Having worked on quite a few dressers, this is the most solid piece I have ever seen. No particle board, no screws, no staples, no plywood or veneer. Solid oak, people.
Take a look!
Here is a great picture of the dismal condition of the top of the dresser. It was dry and had old glue and paint crusted to the top. I sanded the top for hours before revealing the beautiful Tiger Oak finish underneath this mess.
In person, the top is so smooth and the color is so rich. I used my favorite gel stain on this piece and it worked wonderfully on the porous grain: General Finishes Java Gel.
I love the grain on the top of this piece. It’s so unique and beautiful, furniture just isn’t made like this anymore.
The sides were just as dry and in need of refinishing as the rest. It took a lot of patience to make it happen, but I did sand down to the wood to reveal the beautiful oak beneath the old stain. I also oiled the back of the piece to condition it and give it a glow.
The drawers are dovetailed and solid. They look to be handmade but I’m not for sure. No matter how they were constructed, they are truly a work of art. I oiled all of the drawers inside and out to condition them and highlight their natural beauty.
The bottom of the dresser boasts a beautifully designed piece of Tiger Oak. you can also see Tiger Oak on the bottom drawer towards the top left.
I cleaned all of the key holes with ketchup and it brightened them right up!
I couldn’t be happier that I went with my heart and gave this piece the love and attention it needed. I know that it will soon find its new home and be a quality piece of furniture for years to come. I sealed the entire dresser with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat to protect its new stain.
What do you think of the transformation? I would love to hear your thoughts! Thank you for reading and sharing this project with me. Happy Hump Day!