Before & After: Rescuing a Vintage Dresser

updated May 6, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

When Elisa picked up this vintage dresser for only $60 at her local secondhand shop, she knew the horrid brown paint just had to go. Though she initially considered repainting, once she revealed some of the wood grain below the paint, she decided this piece deserved a full refinish all the way down to the bare wood.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Using a hand sander and liquid stripper, Elisa was able to remove all of the dull brown paint from her vintage dresser. Once the paint was gone, she made some small repairs to fix a crack in the top and a bottom drawer that closed just a little too far. The revealed wood grain was so attractive that Elisa decided not to stain the piece, choosing instead to coat the dresser with a clear coat for protection. For additional pictures of the work in process, check out Home Sweet Nest: Elegant Dresser, Elegant Picture.

Though all that stripping and sanding is a labor of love, the final result more than justifies the effort. Elisa was lucky to be able to remove all of the paint without damaging the wood underneath. Though not every DIYer is fortunate enough to discover such beautiful wood grain, this project does serve as a great reminder to be prepared both to be surprised and to change plans if you find something unexpected in your next DIY.

(Image: Photos by Elisa at Home Sweet Nest)