100+year old dresser restoration

Whelp, this weeks project was a challenge, I bought this 100+year old oak dresser Saturday at a garage sale for $45, I saw it at 7am and was scared of all the work it would take to make it pretty again (not to say it wasn’t pretty like this but I knew it could be better).
It drove me crazy until I went back at 11:30am and it was still there. The woman said the work scared A LOT of people off.


When I brought it home I thought The Hubby was gonna murder me
It started to basically disintegrated as soon as we started to move it out of the car, I mean the back was completely coming apart and the bottom started to shift, it was a HUGE mess
He was not too pleased with me
So Sunday I got started on it by giving it a good cleaning with the hose, making sure not to use too much water, and some Murphy’s Oil Soap


Then I started to take it apart
This was the first piece that I would have to really re-glue and restrengthen the structure but I knew it would be worth it


Along with my trusty clamp and Gorilla Wood Glue it started to come back together


The top however was gonna be a challenge
It was pretty warped but I couldn’t replace it so I tried to figure out how I was gonna fix the HUGE gap down the center, the split that paralleled it and the lifting on both sides


I ran some more Gorilla Wood Glue under the side and used my “c” clamps hoping that it would stay down


Then I noticed that it was warped in the center as well
How was I gonna fix this? I came up with the idea of just trying wood glue again and using my 25pound weights to try and push it down


I left it overnight and it seemed to work
I wanted to try and fix an area between the top drawers where a piece of wood was missing
Luckily I had a scrap piece in the garage that fit perfectly


I then filled the gap with Elmers Wood filler
Then I noticed that the other side needed to be glued and clamped
After I finished that, I left it to dry another night to make sure everything was completely dried


The next morning I sanded the whole top
Already it was a huge difference


I wanted to darken the entire piece so Minwax’s Dark Walnut came to the rescue


Next came paint
I wanted to try and get an aged old red barn look
I stirred up some chalk paint
My first coat was Behr’s Burnished Mahogany then after that dried I applied a coat of Behr’s Indiscreet
These 2 colors are similar to Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paints
Primer Red and Emperor’s Silk


After the paint dried I did some distressing
Then using a glazing technique I found here where you use baby oil and stain, I finished glazing it again with the Minwax Dark Walnut

I’ll be waxing it in a few days but for now, I added the old handles until I find ones that I like better
They don’t look too bad : )

I can say now that I’m not scared of any piece that has to be “re-built”

Continue Reading

Leave a Reply