I've always been a fan of salvaging old furniture for a couple of different reasons:
1. It is less expensive than buying new furniture
2. You can tailor the piece to your specific taste
3. They just don't make furniture like they used to!!!
So, when one of the Mister's friends was moving out of his apartment and getting rid of two dressers, we were on them like white on rice! We rented a car, a Chevy Orlando, which fit the two perfectly (after some Tetris like manoeuvring). These little gems have dove-tailed joints and are made out of solid wood, which makes them rather heavy (try carrying THOSE suckers up three flights of stairs!) and totally worth saving!
There is a taller-thinner dresser (4 drawers) and a shorter-wider dresser (3 drawers). However, they were a colour that was not to our liking. So we went to Home Depot and bought all of the necessary tools:
Stripper (to remove the paint/stain/finish)
Scrapper (to scrape off the finish once the stripper had worked it's magic)
Stain: Wood Finish (after much deliberation we went with Minwax's Dark Walnut)
Polyurethane (which is used to protect the furniture once the stain is on there)
Drop cloth (or garbage bags)
Sponge Brushes (for the stain)
So, after we bought everything we needed (which was around $50-$60) and I did ample research (check out Frugal Flourish and Pregnant Power), I got to work!
This is the colour of the dressers before. As you can see, it needs a little love!
I took the drawers out and removed all the hardware (knobs and legs) with our handy dandy multi-purpose screwdriver (gift from the Mister's Pop's) and poured on the remover. Make sure you read the directions, all the way through, and WEAR GLOVES! I cannot stress this enough...if you get it on you, it will burn! If you do get it on you, make sure you flush the area with water IMMEDIATELY. Okay-enough of my safety talk :-p
So then you let the remover sit on there until the finish softens (it depends on the type of remover you have...this took about 15-20 minutes). Make sure you apply a generous amount of the remover, or else you'll have to do it twice.
After I had removed as much of the previous stain as possible, I set to giving everything a nice sand. This took much ages because I was doing to all by hand, but hey, at least it was sunny yesterday!!
So here she is, stripped and sanded, it is already so much better than the original. I'm still in the process of staining it and will post the rest of this little re-finishing project once it's done!