Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Refinishing the Buffet

David and I bought an old wood dresser off of craigslist. It has curved front drawers giving it a vintage look. The dresser also came with a mirror. We put the dresser to use as a buffet in our dining room to store extra dishes and kitchen items.

Craigslist dresser.

I didn't mind the color of the wood, but it didn't match with the other furniture in the dinning room. We have a very dark wood dining table and secretary desk and a white fire place.

Dining room furniture.

David wanted to paint the dresser so that it would blend better, but we weren't sure what color. He decided to paint the drawers white and stain the top a dark color to tie it in with the rest of the furniture.

We had this project on our list for a long time, and we decided to tackle it right before it got too cold outside to work on it. We wanted to work outside because we were using paint stripper which has a strong odor.

Preparing the furniture.

First we brushed paint stripper on the dresser and all of the drawers. After giving the paint stripper time to do its work, we used a putty knife to peel off the shellac. This process took a long time because we had to strip it down completely to the wood. After we got a lot of layers off, the next step was to use sandpaper to get all of stickiness off. David decided it was best to do this by hand rather than with an electric sander so that we could get into all of the grooves. At this point it was dark outside, so we had to put the project on hold for another day.

Giving the paint stripper time to work.

Paint stripper on the drawers.

The paint stripper and the sandpaper did not get all of the sheen off so we had to resort to using steel wool to get the final layers off. Finally after a lot of hardwork we had stripped everything off.

Using steel wool to remove the rest of the shellac.

Drawers almost ready for paint.

David painted the side of the dresser and the drawers. He used a cloth and rubbed stain on the top. It took a lot of coats of stain to get it to the right color.

Painting the drawers.

Staining the top.

This project like most, ended up taking much longer than anticipated. I probably put 4 hours of work into it and David put in around 10 hours. But we ended up with vintage dresser with a modern touch that looks a lot more expensive than it was.

All painted.

Finished dresser.

Stained wood top.

Dresser with stained mirror.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


It has been a (little over a) year since I began my blog! Although I haven’t updated as much as I wanted to because well, life happens; I am happy that I’ve stuck with it this long. David bought the house almost four years ago and has been working on it ever since, so there are still many projects that I need to catch up on and blog about. I am glad that I will be able to look back on this blog and remember all of the changes that we made to the house. It's very easy to forget, but I have the documentation and can see the transformation.

On another note, I was happy to see that Redfin named Hampden as one of the 2016 hottest neighborhoods in the U.S. It really is a wonderful town to live in with lots of charm, great places within walking distance and a nice community feel. I can see Hampden changing and growing before my eyes, so I hope it doesn’t get too congested like other neighborhoods in Bmore, but I think we will be here for a while. Which means I'll have plenty of material for my Historic Hampden Rowhouse blog. 

Thanks for letting us share our home renovation journey with you!