Good Questions: How Can I Brighten This Up?

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Hello AT,

I recently bought this relatively young antique chest of drawers(35 years old). While I love the shape and lines of the chest I really want a 'whiter' looking finish. The original finish seems to have been a cream colored paint but it has gotten worn and dingy with age.

I've tried washing/wiping it with soapy water but it still remains dingy looking. Is there anyway to clean or brighten it up without repainting it? [more below]

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If I must repaint it, do you recommend DIY or hiring a professional? Any tips on doing it yourself or estimates of cost/time that it would take to have it done by a professional?

Thanks, Danae

Dear Danae,

While you should first give your beloved chest a good scrubbing with Murphy's Oil Soap and perhaps a little Bon Ami, you will probably want to repaint it to make it really shine.

Can you do it yourself? Absolutely, but you need to be careful and patient with your painting. If you have a professional do it, it will probably *look* more professional, but we would be hard pressed to tell you where to go for this. Furniture repainting is not a big profession. What you might want to do is take it to a stripper and then repaint it yourself. This will ensure that the lines are sharper and you don't get a thick coat of paint.

Anyone else??

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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