Refurbished federal style bow front dresser

Despite feeling completely lethargic and ho-hum this week, I managed to finally snag, and refurbish, a federal style bow front dresser for our bedroom! You have no idea how many federal-style dressers I’ve lost on Craigslist to: “Well, someone has already scheduled a time to come and see it. If they don’t buy it, you’re next on the list.” Of course, they’re going to buy it, and I’m out of luck. Seriously. It’s happened half a dozen times over the last couple of months.

This beauty was an awesome deal at $40 (we had already taken the top pulls off before I realized I hadn’t snapped a before photo):

I spoke to the nice seller lady on the phone and asked if she knew how old it was. She said that when her aunt took her and her siblings into her home in 1958, it was already there then. Perfect! The age definitely showed on this piece. There were a lot of dings and scratches.

We already had a great antique 4 drawer dresser (2 large drawers and 2 small drawers) in our bedroom, but we needed a little more space. And while I’m not typically one with the mindset “more, bigger, better”, it was actually time for a little more room.

I painted the base and the drawer fronts pure white and I wanted to stain the top of the dresser. Our room decor is coastal, breezy so an entirely white dresser would have been fine, but I wanted a wood top to tone it down a little and give the dresser some depth.

I power sanded the top of the dresser in two stages. While sanding, I questioned why I didn’t use Citristrip to take off the existing stain, but considering I had already sold the other dresser and my clothes were all over our bedroom, I had convinced myself a distressed look to the top would only enhance the rough, woodsy, beach feel. Sure, Laura, that’s it. In reality, I just didn’t have time. Oh yeah, and we were out of Citristrip. So a sanding I went.

I stopped halfway through staining it to show you

For the stain, I chose the color “Early American” by Minwax. It actually ended up taking the stain really, really well and in the end, I wasn’t disappointed at all that I didn’t strip it down completely. I then waxed the entire dresser in Minwax Paste Wax in Natural and buffed it with a cloth diaper to get it nice and smooth.

Here it is now sitting at the foot of our bed:

I wish you could see the top of this dresser because it actually looks store-bought. I’m super, duper happy with how well it turned out.

Love, love, love! I’m so glad I pulled the energy out from I don’t know where to get it done this week!

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