Granny’s Old Dresser

My {amazing} sister-in-law, Ilke, gave me this dresser a couple of months ago. It belonged to my hubby’s grandma {we call her Granny}. She didn’t need it anymore and she asked if I wanted it. Ummm, yes please! 
It’s beautiful, and I loved it the way it was, but I knew I could make it so much more!  
So out came the mouse sander. 
Surprisingly, this varnish came off very easily.

There were a couple of places in the wood that needed repairing though. 

I’ve seen hubby use Elmer’s Wood Filler for several projects and thought it might work for this.
I globbed it on. Let it dry. Sanded it smooth. Then painted over it. It worked like a charm!
One coat of primer and two coats of Olympic Heavy Cream paint and it looked like this.

I decided to leave the top the natural wood color. It was pretty damaged to begin with.

So I sanded. 

and finished it with a coat of Minwax Polyurethane.

Of course I added a little bit of a distressed look by sanding the paint.
Same as always, I start with a low-grit paper and smooth it out with a very fine-grit sand block.
The knobs were an antique brass and my dining room is silver and nickel-finish so I sprayed the knobs in my favorite paint, Krylon Brushed Nickel.
And when it as all said and done. . .

I had a beautiful new piece of furniture in my almost-finished dining room!
Love it! Thanks Ilke!

79 thoughts on “Granny’s Old Dresser”

  1. Wow, Jen, I love what you've done to this dresser!!! I'm so impressed by you and all the projects that you take on yourself. I got my grandma's old dresser a couple of years ago – it had about 20 coats of old paint on it. My hubby (who is a painting contractor) spent hours cleaning it up and refinishing it for me. Seeing you take this project on yourself makes me feel a bit lazy! LOL

    Anyway! Well done and it makes a gorgeous piece of furniture!

  2. oh gee. i wish people just wanted to give me gorgeous pieces of furniture like this! i love what you did with it. it looks just absolutely fabulous. dressers are just great everywhere aren't they?!

  3. What a great makeover! I love that you kept the top natural….it looks great against the lighter colored paint!

  4. You did an awesome job! Refinishing furniture is work!!I have a few pieces begging to be worked on but dont have a garage, summer started too early this year so I am waiting for fall.

  5. Sandi @ Making It Homey said…I love how it turned out. The style is so gorgeous and you were right when you said you could improve it. I've been looking for one like that for some time, you lucky duck. Love it though.

  6. Darn!! Why did I give this to her? I could have done the same!!

    Lol!! No, I could not have! Who am I kidding?

    You're welcome, Jen. I knew you could make this piece talk! It is in much better hands in your dining room! I am excited to see the finished room!

  7. Wow what a great piece. I love the curves and the little details on this. It turned out really good.

  8. Absolutely fabulous Jen! I was curious as to what color you were going to choose… like a bold blue or something. Then I wondered if you would choose the route of restoration. The end product is fantastic!! Can't wait to see what you do next!

  9. I just love old dressers!! My grandma had one that that curved in almost a w shape, if you know what I mean. I would love to find one like it someday.

  10. Looks awesome! Just out of curiosity, how long did you wait before putting the drawers back in? Any problems with the paint sticking? -Amber

  11. I love granny's dresser, too! What wonderful lines and hardware it has. You did a great job. Hugs, Kim

  12. Amber, I put the drawers in several hours after it dried. The drawers stick, but not b/c of the paint. Just b/c it's old. πŸ˜‰

  13. I {love} this!! Thank you for all the details. I have been wanting to do a similar finish on a side table, so I really appreciate knowing what paints, stains, etc you used.

  14. That is gorgeous! The stained top is perfect. Now if I could just get a perfect little dresser like that to fall into my lap somehow…

  15. First of all, I can't believe how lucky you are to be GIVEN this piece! It's gorgeous! You did such a great job with it! Thanks for sharing!

  16. I love this dresser! I recently acquired a dresser that I'm going to attempt to turn into a china hutch. I'm going to bookmark this and use it as a guide because I've never done anything like it. Your step by step instructions are awesome…I need visuals. How long did it take you to finish it completely?
    Thanks so much for sharing!

  17. Very beautiful – I love this style dresser, something about the hardware, I think! What a gorgeous transformation. Well done!

  18. Oh it's sooo beautiful!!!

    I have a dresser I can't wait to redo! I'm hooked on re doing furniture now and LOVE looking at what/how others do it too…

    Great Job!

  19. I so, so love the combination of stained wood with painted wood. Working on a dresser in those same tones myself! Lovely job!

  20. I love it!! That looks fabulous. This post would be so great at my weekly blog party "from trash to treasure." I hope you'll join me!

  21. Just found you on Met Monday. Fabulous job on this dresser! Granny would be proud.
    I like how you kept the top wood. Wonderful piece for your dining room!
    – Susan

  22. Jen, you did a beautiful job of restoring this piece with a great history — and now you've given it even more history and meaning with all your hard work, attention to detail, and creative finesse!


  23. Ahh! I love it, I am so jealous of your beautiful dresser!! Great job, your dining room is very lucky πŸ˜‰

  24. Gorgeous job! It looks amazing with the dark stained top! I am a huge fan of two toned dressers…check out the one I just did on my blog!! Great transformation!! πŸ™‚

  25. Wow! I have this same dresser, however, mine is in great shape so I am not sure I want paint it. I will show DH and see what he thinks. Very pretty!

  26. love it so much. just emailed you some questions on doing the same to a telephone bench I found at a yard sale! You are so talented!!

  27. This is such a gorgeous makeover! I love how you kept the top a dark wood, it's beautiful!

  28. I just came upon your website via DIY. You are one talented woman! I love your style and you have given me inspiration to begin some of my rooms. Thank you! What color Blue is that in the dining room? It's gorgeous.

  29. hi Jen. You talk a lot about Krylon Brushed Nickel spray paint. I hate my gold finishes in my bathroom and can't afford to replace all of them. Have you ever used them for towel bars, shower trim or even shower handles?

  30. Awesome job!! I love the contrast between the top and the base. The only thing I would’ve done different is leave the missing veneer spots on the drawers alone….once you paint over those spots and distress everything else it all blends in anyway and you never notice it!! I take a rock and put dings and little dents all over my pieces when I “redo” them…Plus it saves you time not having to repair all the damage! Try it…you’ll like it, and you can throw away the wood filler!!…lol

  31. How long did that take you?! I have some antique furniture that I’m thinking about refinishing, but I know it is going to take a lot of work! Just trying to figure out how many weekends though…

  32. Jen,
    I absolutely LOVE the way your dresser turned out! Great job!
    I like your taste and cute personality.
    keep up the great work!

  33. I love this! I just got a very similar dresser I’m going to “make new”. Curious … did you brush your paint? Spray?

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