Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A New Lease on Life

The Bag Lady hosted Thanksgiving dinner last month for some of the Rancher's family, and during the course of the day, her sister-in-law mentioned an old dresser that she wanted to re-finish, if only she had the time. Naturally, the Bag Lady volunteered to do it because she loves that sort of thing. It took her a couple of weeks, partly due to the fact that she had a few other things on her plate, but it is now completed.

 She forgot to take an actual "before" picture, so the first pictures were taken when she had already started to take the old finish off.

She had not started on the top of the dresser when this picture was taken - someone else did that - but she had started on the spindle on the left...

 The dresser had an odd paint-like finish on it. It had originally come from an old hotel in the small town near where the Bag Lady lives. Her in-laws acquired it in 1949, and her mother-in-law told her it had not been changed since (except for some stickers put on by the teenaged sister-in-law!)



The partially-stripped side of the dresser....


 The Bag Lady was delighted to find this beautiful wood beneath the finish....



Here she has started the staining process.....



 She had quite a time getting all the old finish off the carving at the top of the mirror (thank heavens for old dental picks!) but thinks it turned out quite nicely.



  And here is the end product. The Bag Lady is quite pleased with the way it looks now, and only hopes her sister-in-law likes it, too!

Do you think she will?

22 comments:

Leah J. Utas said...

If she doesn't, then there's something wrong with her. Beautiful job.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, cousin! I tried to tell her that I screwed it up and burned it, but when I tried to get her to also promise to never go into my bedroom again, she clued in.... dang it.

messymimi said...

She better! After all that work, and it turned out so beautifully!

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, messymimi! I'm sure she'll love it.

Reb said...

Well done! Too bad she didn't buy your tale of burning it. On the other hand, you could take the white paint off of the similar dresser that you have.

Hilary said...

Oh you know she will. It looks fantastic. I've refinished furniture before and I know how much work goes into it. Brava to you!

the Bag Lady said...

Reb - believe me, I have thought of that.... and then re-thought! That would be a LOT of work!

Hilary - thank you. It was fun - I love the way it came out.

solarity said...

It looks much healthier now! Are you sure you wouldn't like to get paid to do this?

Mary Anne in Kentucky

solarity said...

(Not by your relatives, I don't mean, but by other people.)

Mary Anne in Kentucky, clarifying

the Bag Lady said...

Mary Anne in Kentucky - of course I would love to get paid to do this (not by my relatives), but so few people have the desire to have furniture refinished....

solarity said...

Well, you already have several full time jobs, it seems, so if more than a few people wanted furniture refinished you wouldn't have time to eat and sleep.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

the Bag Lady said...

I could probably stand to miss a few meals....

Carla Birnberg said...

she will.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Carla!

Geosomin said...

Beautiful job!
Seeing this I think you might be horrified at what I've just done. We have an old wood dresser J's grandfather made and have used since we married (looking suspiciously like this one without a mirror) which I have just primed and painted up to match some bedside tables that my Dad just built for us.
I was disappointed that I forgot to take a "before" photo, but perhaps it's for the best :)

the Bag Lady said...

Geo - was it painted before you painted it?
To be honest, I have several painted pieces that I should probably restore to their previous stained and varnished glory, but I like them the way they are!

Geosomin said...

It was stained solid with a single coat of varnish on top. It needed something either way and it was nice as it was, but this way all our bedroom furniture matches (ooh aah). Knowing me I'll likely find myself stripping it back in about 20 years, but for now it looks quite spiffy. I just have to paint the brass handles black and I'm good to go...

the Bag Lady said...

AAACCCKKK.... painting brass handles black??
Well, alrighty then.
:)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

*sigh* If only we had known what to do when we "refinished" the old dresser/desk/hutch that had been my husband's great-grandfather's piece of furniture. Sometime before we were given it, dh's grandmother had painted it white. I'm not sure how many layers it had total, but we were clueless and did a poor job saving its original beauty.
We've since seen one like it -- only much better taken care of -- on Antiques Roadshow. If we'd not made it possibly worse instead of better, it would be a $1,000 piece.
Oh, well. At least we still like it!

the Bag Lady said...

Karen - it can probably still be saved... right?

Joanna Jenkins said...

Whoa! That is stunning. You are gooood!
xo jj

PS Stop by, I'm having a giveaway.

the Bag Lady said...

Thanks, Joanna!