Vintage Dresser Makeover - The Black Beauty
Hey there friends! I love redoing furniture. I find it to be a great way to exercise my creative side. I'm going to share with you one of my favorite furniture makeovers to date. Keep reading to see how this ugly maroon dresser turned into a black beauty.
Since I own an antique store, Wild Iris Antiques, in Dalhart, TX with my mother-in-law we're always trying to find cheap pieces of furniture to re-sell and nine times out of ten they are in need of some TLC.
This piece was surprisingly one of the easiest pieces and quickest pieces that I've done. I think it took me a total of 6 hours start to finish.
So I grabbed my materials and went to work. Here's the list of products that I used for this piece. (I am not endorsed by these companies and do not get paid to use their products)
⦁ Citristrip - Great for stripping paint and finishes off furniture
⦁ Cheap chip paint brushes to use with the Citristrip
⦁ Good grade paint brush for paint
⦁ Paint (color of choice) & Stain (Dark Walnut)
⦁ Water based Poly (finish/top coat)
⦁ Electric hand sander/ sand paper (60 grit to 200 grit)
⦁ Hammer and Joint Knife (usually used for drywall but I use it to peel up veneer)
⦁ Mineral Spirits
⦁ #0 Grit Steel Wool Pads
⦁ Paper towels
Prep. I wiped down the dresser to get off any dust and dirt. I removed ALL of the hardware. Seriously, if you’re going to be redoing a piece just take the time to remove all of the hardware. This will save time in the long run. As you can see in my pictures the top of the dresser was peeling off. A lot of vintage furniture was covered in veneer. The veneer on this piece was brittle and peeling off so I just took my hammer and joint knife and pried the first layer off. Yes I said first layer.....This piece had TWO layers of veneer. I worked on getting the second layer off which took a bit more elbow grease because this piece was glued down fairly well. Once I got all of that off, the good stuff revealed itself. I decided to stain the top a dark walnut because I loved how the wood underneath looked. Before I was able to stain I needed to sand so I grabbed my hand sander and started at 60 grit to get the remaining pieces of veneer off. Then I worked my way up to a 200 grit, getting the top buttery smooth.
This next step was simple but time consuming which was all worth it in the end. The easiest way to take off old paint without having to sand the piece for hours is to use a paint stripper. I like to use Citristrip, which you can find at any local hardware store. I like this product because its thick and easy to use. I basically globbed on the Citristrip and used an old chip brush to spread the thinner out evenly. Wait at least 30 minutes and check on the progress. The paint will bubble up and then you’re ready to, scrape it off! I had to do this a couple times because it was a very hot day and the thinner dried out way too fast. I've heard that putting a layer of saran wrap on top of the thinner will help release the paint better, but I haven't tried that out yet. After I got all of the old paint off I used a #0 grit steel wool pad and some mineral spirits to remove the excess residue from the Citristrip.
After the old paint is removed and cleaned off I sanded down the piece a bit. Because I was planning on painting the dresser a dark color I didn't sand too much, just enough to even out and nicks in the wood and to give it a soft texture. I wanted to have a distressed look to it so I left some of the old paint that didn’t come off with the Citrtistrip.
Time to paint! Finally the prep work is done, now the fun part. I used a black paint color from my local hardware store. Since I wanted a chalk-paint finish without the price tag I used a flat finish on my paint. I used a good brush to eliminate as many brush strokes as possible. I always paint two layers on my pieces. Next I stained the top of the dresser with an antique walnut. I just used a paper towel to spread the stain. While I was waiting for literal paint to dry I cleaned up the original hardware. I used an old tooth brush, warm water and dawn dish soap to get the dirt off.
All Done! Now that everything is painted and cleaned up it was time to put on a couple coats of poly. I like to use a water based polyurethane because it won’t change the color of your piece and it cleans up easy. I put a least two coats of poly on the piece of furniture and depending on what type I'll put up to four coats of poly on the top for durability.
So here's the fished product!