My wife's refinishing project - From awful to Awesome

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Project by lumberjoe posted 06-05-2012 02:23 PM 1596 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This little dresser was a tag sale find she picked up for 7$. It was in absolutely terrible shape. It looks like someone attempted to refinish it by dumping ploycrylic all over it – literally pouring it on. There were huge pools of finish on the top, and the grain wasn’t even visible. My beautiful wife painstakingly sanded this down to bare wood. There are a lot of profiles and this took her quite some time. She then stained it with Minwax Ebony stain and finished with several, very even and very well applied coats of poly while buffing them out with steel wool. The knobs are new which she stained and also applied a few coats of poly. I can’t really identify the wood species although it looks to be maple. The top is one solid piece with beautiful grain. The drawers are laminated, also with really interesting grain.

This has to be very old judging by the construction methods and the fact there is not a single piece of plywood,hardboard, or any other manufactured material anywhere. The drawers are also hand cut dovetails. I think she did an amazing job. This is now a part of my daughters nursery, who just turned a year old on Sunday (pictured with Daddy)

I think she’s getting better at finishing than I am!


8 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2893 days

#1 posted 06-06-2012 12:47 AM

She did a beautiful job on that! If I were you I would never finish another project. Just hire her!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2690 days

#2 posted 06-06-2012 01:15 AM


-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2452 days

#3 posted 06-06-2012 01:46 PM

Thanks gfavdm and Dallas. I agree, this came out amazing. She seems to have a knack for this as it was extremely time consuming, however she never struggled. This definitely looks better than any finish I have applied. Also of note the stain was rubbed in with rags but the poly was applied with the cheapest of cheap foam brushes and was not thinned at all. That fact alone makes this even more amazing (to me anyway). It looks like it was sprayed.


View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11072 posts in 3632 days

#4 posted 06-06-2012 02:09 PM

An awesome job!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View sgtq's profile


370 posts in 2879 days

#5 posted 06-07-2012 01:46 AM

This is gorgeous! Very impressive wish you had a before pic up.

-- There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America. ~William J. Clinton

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2452 days

#6 posted 06-07-2012 12:32 PM

she’s not big into taking pictures, I’ll be sure to get some before pics of the two projects she is working on now, although one is already sanded and stained.


View chrisstef's profile


17765 posts in 3210 days

#7 posted 06-07-2012 01:33 PM

Look out charles neil mama joe is on the rise! That is one heck of a salvage and what a finish.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View SawDustNeophyte's profile


115 posts in 3302 days

#8 posted 06-19-2012 05:35 AM

Nice work.

-- So many tools, so little money. *heavy sigh*

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