Projects & Improvements

Before & After: Restoring a Craigslist Dresser

published Feb 17, 2012
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Back when she moved into her new condo, Michelle decided the time had come to replace the IKEA dresser in her bedroom, a dresser purchased back when she was in middle school! After scouring Craiglist and thrift stores for months, she finally found the perfect piece for her new home, and picked it up for only $50 delivered. You see, despite its great shape and solid construction, this dresser had some cosmetic issues (scratches, missing veneer, and a couple of burn marks on the top) that needed to be addressed.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Because she loves the old wood tones, Michelle was determined to try to restore the beautiful finish on her new dresser. After asking for advice from her readers, she bit the bullet and got to work. Michelle removed the strip of damaged veneer on the front of the dresser using a damp cloth and a hot iron to loosen the glue. She then stripped off the old finish on the entire dresser using a chemical stripper. She replaced the missing veneer with a piece of veneer banding, once again breaking out the handy dandy iron to help with the glue. After sanding the entire piece, Michelle applied a pre-stain wood conditioner then stained the dresser in dark walnut. The final step was applying clear Polycrylic to give the piece a protective finish.

Images: Michelle/Sweetsuite10