Bedroom Furniture Refurb

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Project by William posted 07-29-2014 01:29 AM 2157 views 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Bedroom Furniture Refurb
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I guess there are always jobs that some of us hate. Actually, I bet all of us hate some job or the other. I also would venture to say that we have to do it anyway to grow as wood workers, or any other kind of work for that matter.
For example, I hate refinishing. So why do I take on a refinishing job? That is a very good question. One day I will figure that one out and get back to you with an answer.

When this dresser and chest of drawers set came into my shop it was a mess. I originally thought the stain or whatever kind of wood this was just simply needed a little tender loving care and it would be no big deal. Boy was I wrong.
The surface I was looking at, I should have used a light and took a closer look before I agreed to the job. However, by the time I realized this, I had already told the lady I would do it, and I am a man of my word. So the sanding began.
First though, let me show you how bad it really was so you can see why I kicked myself throughout this job.

The tops were bad enough. This part really didn’t worry me and it is mainly what I looked at. It appeared to be some sort of stain on a lighter wood. Like I said, no big deal, right?

Then I started disassembling everything.
I don’t know if you can see it well enough in this photo. I know it’s there because I seen it up close. This was where I realized what the finish really was. It is that gunk stuff you get if you try too hard to get every last drop out of a rattle style spray can. Someone actually spray painted this.
That isn’t even starting into all the runs I found that made me think that whoever did spray paint this should have their painting privileges revoked.

So, it wound up taking a lot (A LOT) more sanding than I originally thought. As I got further into this project, my heart sank a little bit. I am not positive on the wood, but this looks to be light cherry. It is beautiful wood. I would have loved to sand this all the way out and clear coat it, showcasing the beauty of this wood. This proved to be a problem though. About two days of trying and too ruined sanding attachments later as the paint in the carved details gunked up and turned to a nightmare, I realized that it was simply going to be too large a job based on my time frame to remove everything.So this is where I had to stop on the sanding.

I stained it with Minwax dark walnut stain so I could blend everything as best I could with the paint that was left in the recesses of the carved areas.

Then after five coats of polyurethane, I put all the original hardware back on.
While I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t get it down to the bare wood, I am pleased at the end result.
I just don’t think I wish to take on any more furniture refurbishing projects any time soon. Every single time I do, it always turns into a lot bigger headache than I ever imagined. For the business side of this equation, I always wind up giving a price way too low. Then, since I stick to my word, I am severely underpaid for this type of nightmare.


25 comments so far

View Cricket's profile


2803 posts in 2748 days

#1 posted 07-29-2014 01:34 AM

This turned out beautiful!

-- Community Manager

View Gary's profile


9419 posts in 4588 days

#2 posted 07-29-2014 01:37 AM

Even in this case….where there’s a William, there’s a way.
You did the superb job we expect from William.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4459 days

#3 posted 07-29-2014 01:40 AM

if there is something i hate about woodworking, or really this isnt woodworking its wood refurbishing, i dislike it with a passion, my dad worked in a refurbishing shop back in the early 70’s, they had a dip tank, as large as a large dumpster, they lowered the piece in and brought it out totally stripped, ill never forget that…ive got a job right now also, its a small chest of drawers, im almost done cleaning it up, but have to stain it and a clear finish…ill be glad to see it go back to its owner…these you did turned out fantastic..great job…for me on this job it was the money…after this one, no amount would be high enough…:)

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View William's profile


9950 posts in 3998 days

#4 posted 07-29-2014 01:52 AM

Thank you all for the kind words.
Grizz, I agree completely. I’ll be happy if I don’t see any more used furniture for a long while.


View Luke's profile


546 posts in 4449 days

#5 posted 07-29-2014 01:55 AM

Great job. Looks like it turned out awesome.

-- LAS,

View firefighterontheside's profile


21451 posts in 3012 days

#6 posted 07-29-2014 02:07 AM

Looks great man! They’d better appreciate the time and effort that went into this.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30628 posts in 3494 days

#7 posted 07-29-2014 02:13 AM

Incredible restoration. I doubt that they ever looked this good before.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View lightcs1776's profile


4268 posts in 2810 days

#8 posted 07-29-2014 02:16 AM

Looks amazing, William. I showed Sherry the before and after picutres (she has more taste than I do) and her response was, and I quote, “Oh wow!” Without a doubt, the folks that requested the rehab will be extremely pleased.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View JL7's profile


8786 posts in 4121 days

#9 posted 07-29-2014 02:24 AM

Great work William, the hard work really paid off, hope the recipient realizes just how much work that was….

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View StumpyNubs's profile


7852 posts in 3956 days

#10 posted 07-29-2014 02:38 AM

I would have slapped a few coats of Rustoleum on ‘em and called ‘er good. Maybe a nice lemon yellow. But your way looks nice too…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3830 days

#11 posted 07-29-2014 03:00 AM

I don’t think I would have attempted this rehab.
Unless it was a family heirloom….
& my family at that!!!

Ya done great there, William.
You can be proud!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3846 days

#12 posted 07-29-2014 03:29 AM

Just a spectacular job! The paint left in the carving adds a lot to the look as far as I’m concerned. Maybe when she sees the end result, that lady will give you a big bonus.

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

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 3769 days

#13 posted 07-29-2014 03:34 AM

looks great William but these job are to time consuming and labor intense for me ,

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View luv2learn's profile


3130 posts in 3458 days

#14 posted 07-29-2014 03:46 AM

Beautifully done William.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3231 days

#15 posted 07-29-2014 10:16 AM

Wow! I think the owner is going to be thrilled.
Kudos on all the work that went into it and sticking to your word.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

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