Before & After: A Damaged Mid-Century Dresser Gets a Stunning Makeover

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Lori saw the potential in a dark and damaged dresser and nightstand combo. After what one can only imagine was a serious arm workout, she sanded and painted the pieces to a nearly unrecognizable state of fabulousness.

From Lori: These dark and dated Craigslist mid-century dresser and nightstand were in need of repair because some of the veneer was chipped, missing or falling off. There was also water damage to the tops from plants. They were generally very dark and in need of modernizing.

It took about a week to transform the set. First, all the loose veneer was glued and clamped for 24 hours. All the chipped veneer was patched using Bondo and sanded. They received a good overall sand. I discovered front curved drawers and legs had salvageable wood so I carefully sanded them down to the bare wood. They were then stained with a light walnut stain to expose their amazing wood grain. I wanted to rescue the wood reveal around their tops to show off their unique design as well. It took some tricky taping, but I was successful. The remaining pieces received two coats of primer and three coats of Benjamin Moore Advance paint, sanding between each coat.

I love how the clean white paint lightens and brightens them allowing their amazing lines, legs and burled drawer fronts to be the heroes now.

Lori’s words of wisdom: Be prepared to get dirty and to work hard. To get a clean modern result you need to sand and patch, sand again and sand between every coat of paint. It is well worth it rescuing a beautifully well made piece of furniture that will live on for another 50 years.

Thank you, Lori! You can see more on Lori’s blog Little 2 the Right Design.