Before & After: A College Dresser Grows Up

published Oct 8, 2014
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(Image credit: Jessica Heller )

Jessica bought this dresser four years ago, as a college student. At the time, the entire dresser was painted green and naturally distressed (or “beat to death,” according to her mother) and worked with the shabby chic trend of the moment. After tons of elbow grease, it’s still chic but not so shabby.

(Image credit: Jessica Heller )

From Jessica:

A couple months ago I finally decided to tackle the refinishing project. (The before picture is actually more of an in process picture, oops!) I didn’t own any power tools and I live in a small San Francisco apartment with a tiny patio. After tons of research, I decided to use a heat gun to remove the paint. It was super easy (even relatively easy to clean up). Much easier than a chemical stripper would have been. Sanding on the other hand took forever since I didn’t have an electric sander. I worked one drawer at a time and over the course of two months managed to finish! I chose a natural Danish oil instead of staining it. Although the wood isn’t perfect (I believe the dresser is at least 80 years old), my hard work, blood, sweat and tears went into it and I love it. Including the heat gun I spent about $40 on materials and supplies. Making the piece glow was awesome!

Thank you Jessica!