Refinishing a Old Dresser
LESLIE: Sherry in Georgia is on the line and needs some help revamping a dresser. Tell us about your project.
SHERRY: Yes. I’ve got this dresser that my father found in a garage. It’s all wood and it’s beautiful but somebody has painted it white. And I would like to get the white paint off.
LESLIE: For good or to put stain on or to paint over it again?
SHERRY: Yeah, I’m thinking to put stain on. I think it’s all wood. It looks like a really nice piece of furniture. It also has framed drawers. I don’t know; I guess that’s what it’s called. It has the wood around the drawers. So I’m thinking that’s going to make it really hard.
LESLIE: So it’s like a glass front door with a wood frame?
SHERRY: Well, it’s not glass. It’s all wood but the wood has a good frame around it.
LESLIE: Alright. It shouldn’t be a problem.
What you have to do is if there’s any doors or drawer fronts or things, you want to either pull out the drawers or just take off the drawer fronts. You really want to make it easy to work on things, so you need a lot of flat surfaces.
So with the doors, with the framework, try to take them off if you can. Leave the hinges either on the door back or in the dresser itself. And then get everything on a flat surface. And you need to find a good paint remover, a stripper product. I’ve used Rock Miracle before. I like it because it’s got a really thick consistency and you kind of slather it on there. And you can actually see where it is, rather than brushing something on and making – wondering if you’ve covered all spots. And then you really want to follow the directions.
So you have to let it sit on there as long as they tell you to. And then you want to use a paint scraper to gently sort of scrape the paint off the surface, because you don’t want to gouge anything into it. Because that will show up when you start working on it in the future. And you could have to do it a couple of times.
Now, depending on the type of wood that’s underneath that white paint, you might not be able to get all of the paint off. So you really have to kind of experiment with it and see how well it is removable.
And then once you’ve done that a couple of times, you’re going to wipe it down. Then you might still have to sand it in a couple of places with a very fine sandpaper, to make sure that you get all the last bits of the paint off. Then you want to wipe it down with a tack cloth and then prep it for staining.
So, that’s when you really want to make sure that you’ve got it perfectly beautiful and clean and ready to go before you put the stain on. Because once you start to put the stain on, everything’s going to show.
SHERRY: OK. Now, what was the name of that product again?
LESLIE: I like one called Rock Miracle. It comes in what almost looks like a turpentine can. But there are all different kinds. So, you know, you might want to pop into your local home improvement center, ask them which one they like to work with because you might not be able to find Rock Miracle at your place. But definitely feel it out and ask somebody at your local home center what they recommend. But that’s the one I like; I’ve used it a lot of times.
SHERRY: OK. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.
LESLIE: You’re so welcome. Good luck with it.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show, 888-666-3974.