Advice for Renewing Much-Loved Heirloom Dresser?

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Q: This dresser and mirror are family pieces that I love, but the dresser is in need of some major attention. Pulls are falling off the drawers and it is severely scratched all over, with large chunks of wood missing from the base.

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My first choice would be to redo the wood, as I love natural finishes, but I do think I will need to paint at least some of it since the bottom will require some patching.

My other issue is that the current pulls are 2 inches screw-to-screw (top drawer) and 2.5 inches (bottom two drawers) — yet as I have been looking for new ones they are almost exclusively 3 inches screw-to-screw. That's ok, but it would mean I would have to patch over the current holes, which I would guess would make refinishing the wood on that part a little weird.

I wouldn't mind painting it, but either way I prefer something neutral and clean. Though I love deep oranges, greens, and yellows, I am a renter and would like this piece to fit with my likely to change space for many years to come. I would like to leave the mirror as is, but am not sure how that would look if I paint the dresser.

I really love the piece and need some help!

Sent by Caitlin

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(Image credits: Caitlin)

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Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.