Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Project: Dresser Redo

FINALLY got around to finishing this project. I started several months ago, sometime last fall. I wish I had taken pics of all the steps involved, but I only have a before and after. It was quite an ordeal, but all the hard work paid off!

I started with this dresser a friend had given me in college. It had several coats of very stubborn paint on it that needed to be stripped. I started with CitriStrip, which did a decent job on the first few layers, but still left a lot of paint on some areas. I ended up buying an orbit sander and recruited my husband to sand the rest of the paint off.  He used 250 grit sandpaper, then I did some more sanding with 400 grit for a finer finish.

Once it was nice and smooth, I began to apply wood oil using a soft cloth (an old cut up t-shirt actually). First I applied several coats over an hour, making sure not to let it dry during that time. Then the wood got an additional coat of oil every day for about a week.

After all that coating, I brought the dresser back outside for additional wet sanding. The theory is that wet sanding creates a wood oil "sludge" that penetrates the pores of the wood, making it super smooth and slick. So I applied a thin coat of wood oil and sanded with a fine 500 grit paper. Once that was dry (after several days), it got another coat of wood oil. 

Really there's no way you can apply too much wood oil. The more you add, the more it penetrates the wood and the smoother your piece becomes. Just make sure it dries completely between each coat or it will get tacky.

Here's what it looks like now! I think it's quite handsome!

My husband had the idea to customize the dresser by adding some art on the top drawer. We asked the very talented Chrissy Valentine to do a wood burning of a hummingbird. Isn't it awesome?!? This was done before the wood oil was applied.

You can see more of Chrissy's work here.

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