The Beastly Piece

Okay, so I think I'm ready to revisit the antique dresser.  This was one of the most difficult pieces I have ever refinished.  It was very large and very beat up.  I had never worked with a piece that had peeling veneer, so I was unsure of what to do with it.  Should I replace it, pry it off or patch it with some wood putty?  Turns out I did two of the above.  Some parts were too far gone to try and repair, so they required complete removal, other places I fixed with wood filler.  Prying off old veneer sounds like it'd be relatively easy, but I was wrong.  It took lots of elbow grease, a hammer and a blade to get that stuff off.  I had to chisel away slowly in order to get it off in one piece, otherwise it would split and that was not good.
So I ended up prying off several pieces on the drawers and on the inner side.

Once I got all that off, then it was time to sand.  That all went well, then the primer went on.  I allowed that to dry and then mixed up my concoction of paint. I used a light gray called Woodlawn colonial gray and mixed it with a white I had on hand until I achieved the pale gray I was looking for.  I gave it two coats.  I then applied an antique glaze to give it a worn look. After it fully dried I gave it a coat of clear semi gloss poly acrylic. 
I debated over what hardware to use, I searched high and low for something that would do this piece justice.  But in the end found nothing in my price range, so I decided to try and spray paint the old ones. 
They looked pretty, so I decided to go with it.

Once it was time to put the handles back on, it got a little tricky.  If you look closely, you can see there was a plastic part on the handle that I took off.  That made it a little more difficult because the screws didn't line up the same.  Let's just say I wanted to throw my screwdriver in the woods and never look back.  But finally I made it work.
Then it was time for the doors to go back on. I made the mistake of not marking where each screw and hinge was to return.  So it took me several attempts to get them back on right.  Because when they don't line up correctly the doors won't close.
Ugggghh!  This was the most frustrating part, but eventually I got it right.  So from now on I will be taking note of each and every screw and hinge I ever take off in the future.  Let that be a lesson to you.
So even though I've had my time with this thing, I still love it dearly.  It was a great learning experience overall.   Please see the after here.


  1. Sounds like it turned out nice, just one question, are you going to show us the whole dresser now that it is all done? I would love to see how it looks now! Thanks!

  2. I think the hardware really goes with the piece. Makes it art deco. Different yk?
    I can not wait to see what you did. I cant imagine having to chisel back veneer! yikes

  3. I'm so disappointed in not being able to see the finished project. Pease do a reveal. Your work is always so classy.

  4. For those wondering about this piece I did a post about it last week here


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