This mid century modern makeover almost didn’t happen. Richard spotted this small chest of drawers at a thrift store- wonky drawers, sort of a whitewashed finish, just generally sad looking. I wanted nothing to do with it.
Oh, and the hardware didn’t match- some shiny brass, some pitted and dark.
Richard realized the drawers were simply off their guides and put them into place. I still wasn’t very interested, but the price was right, so we brought Harry home. Yes, I named him.
Poor Harry had some identity issues and needed a makeover inside and out.
I didn’t take many pictures of the refinishing process, but it was pretty simple.
- Fill dings and chips with wood filler and sand. This usually takes 3 or 4 applications to get it level and smooth.
- Glue loose veneer. Harry only had one small spot that was loose.
- I discovered when looking for replacements for the drawer pulls, there were none to be found with the same hole spacing. You can see on a previous post how I made a template and drilled holes for the new pulls. It’s a good idea to do this step before you refinish.
- Clean with tsp (use gloves), then lightly sand the entire dresser. Wipe off dust with a damp cloth.
- Apply primer- I used one coat of Kilz spray primer.
- Apply 2- 3 coats of paint. I brushed on General Finishes milk paint in Lamp Black using a sponge brush. For other projects I use a disposable sponge brush, but for furniture I like to use Wooster sponge brushes- they’re a little sturdier and give a smoother finish.
- Finally, add 2- 3 coats of varnish. My first coat was Minwax wipe-on poly, but I sanded most of it off because so much dust settled into it. I decided to finish up with 2 coats of General Finishes Water Based High Performance Top Coat. It repels dust and I didn’t have to do any sanding between coats. It’s labeled as a satin finish, but it is a little shinier than I would prefer.
Harry is looking quite dapper now, don’t you think?
Do you think this mid century modern makeover turned Harry from pauper to prince?