The last week has been totally crazy and I didn’t get a chance to write a “One Room Challenge” update! Sorry about that! Honestly it’s taking shape S-L-O-W-L-Y. I started by sharing the current state of our master bedroom. Then I shared my mood board and plan for the master. This week I’m sharing the two-tone dresser that I refinished and my top three products for refinishing furniture.
I picked up this vintage dresser from my neighbor’s garage sale. It wasn’t in awful shape, but it wasn’t great either. The wood was dried out and scuffed up, and the top was a very fake looking laminate. It’s crazy that on an all wood piece of furniture they would put such a crummy top on it, but I find pieces like this ALL the time.
You can see here how the sides were pretty scuffed up and needed some love.
This is where I talk about the three products I ALWAYS use for refinishing furniture *contains affiliate links*
- Howard Restor-a-Finish
- Melaleuca Tough & Tender
- Chalk Paint (in this case specifically Paint de la mar in “Wetsuit”
OK, I’ll start with the Melaleuca Tough and Tender. This is just a household cleaning product that my friend got me hooked on and now it use it for cleaning EVERYTHING. Like the title says it’s tough and tender. It gets grease and dirt off of anything, but doesn’t leave your hands feeling rough and damaged. I use it on mirrors, wood furniture, and everything else. It has replaced almost every cleaning product I used to use. You can see that this piece was pretty dirty… mainly due to me storing my furniture stash in the garage.
Next up is the Restor-a-Finish. I started using this a few years ago and have used it on EVERY item since. It’s sort of like a mild stain that helps cover up imperfections and brings a piece back to it’s original luster. You can see on these drawers how they were scuffed and scratched.
Then take a look here at how good they looked after just one coat of Restor-A-Finish! It’s definitely not as good as sanding a piece down and then re-staining it, but it’s WAY less work for those pieces that don’t require a total re-do.
While we’re looking at the drawers check out those awesome pulls! I love that they’re quirky and Mid-Century and totally unique to this piece. You can see here that one of the doors had a pretty big ring of damage on it. The Restor-a-finish helped conceal the ring but it is still visible. I guess it just adds some vintage charm to the piece!
Now let’s talk about the chalk paint. There’s probably a lot of brand-loyal painters who will hate me for saying this, but I’m really not partial to any one brand of chalk paint. Usually it just comes down to the color I’m looking for and the availability of it. In our small North Dakota town you can get Paint De La Mar from my friend Des’ Shop. You can also get Amy Howard’s from Ace. I’ve also found this brand you can get on Amazon, but I’ve never tried it. I also like Annie Sloan, but I’ve got to drive 100 miles to get it so I either need to be planning really far in advance or REALLY want a certain color.
For this piece I just used two coats of Paint De La Mar in “Wetsuit” sealed with Fiddes clear wax. I love how this method of just painting the top was able to eliminate the awful laminate while still preserving the wood on the rest of the piece. Along with painting the top I also painted behind each of the drawers where you see through the cracks. This just adds a little charm and covers up more very fake-y laminate.
Eventually I’d love to put some legs on this piece, but in the mean time though it doesn’t look too bad on the floor.
I love how the black top ties in with the other black accents in our bedroom. It’s a long ways from the kids blue dresser I’d been using for the past few months!
Even though the room is coming along slowly you may have caught a sneak peek through the mirror of some of our progress! I’ve still got a rug to figure out, lighting, and a few other details though.
So do you have any tried and true products you love for refinishing furniture? Of course there’s others that I’ve used for different products, but it seems that these are the three that I find myself pulling out for every project.