Have you ever had one of those “Holy crap, I’ve bitten off more than I can chew!” moments on a project? Well most times when that happens you can typically just write off the $30 you spent in crafting items and just walk away.
But what if you can’t? What if a craft project involves something (personally) priceless that you’d hate to walk away from?
That was the quandary I found myself in for almost a year. But by pushing through it, I’ve completed my most satisfying project yet!
I inherited my grandparent’s dresser set when I moved to CT and let me tell ya…these pieces are nice. Solid wood…well constructed…and huge…better than anything you could find at
Ikea a cheap-o boxed furniture or even Ethan Allen a higher quality furniture store nowadays for that matter. One dresser even has a hidden drawer! Sorry, no secret treasure or hidden will was found!
Despite their quality, they had 30+ years of wear and tear and while I wanted to use them, I knew they needed to be refinished. Completely overwhelmed by that thought, I hid them away in my guest room for two years. When I moved again, I committed that I’d finally replace my current dressers from the previously mentioned cheap-o boxed furniture store and therefore decided to take on the task of refinishing.
Since I didn’t know where to even start I had to consult someone more knowledgable (my Dad) who could tell me all the things I needed (who knew you used steel wool to help strip furniture!). He even brought his palm sander across 5 states to give to me! I love my dad! So armed with the basic supplies and a general sense of the steps it would take (strip, sand, stain/paint, clear coat….sounds easy enough) I set myself to the task.
Why did it take almost a year to complete you ask? BECAUSE REFINISHING FURNITURE IS HARD AS CRAP!! It took me three attempts to strip all of the pieces (Did I mention there was a total of 19 drawers… all with curved fronts!?!). While staining and lacquering (which I’d reserved for the tops and drawer fronts) wasn’t too bad, painting became a nightmare and took a combination of spray and brush painting and a partial re-stripping to get it right.
There were several times I wanted to quit, but the thought of basically ruining heirlooms and such nice pieces of furniture made me keep going. After 1 year, 2 cans of stripper, several trips to home depot, numerous cans of paint and a probably annoying number of phone calls to my Dad, I finally finished them! I learned a lot in the process, including the fact that I do not want a second career in furniture revitalization, but mainly I discovered that with a little time and research I’m capable of making beautiful things.
So here is the finished project!
I hope it inspires you all to bite off more than you can chew on your next project!