Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Refinishing Dressers - Part Three

This is the part where the dressers got really frustrating and made me want to start pulling my hair out. And I would have if I wasn't already losing so many on a daily basis. I know they say you lose 100 strands of hair a day, but I think I lose more. I should count them tomorrow.

Anyway, the color we chose for the dressers was black. We didn't want the dressers to be solid black though, we wanted them a little distressed around the edges with a dark cherry-like color underneath.

The problem though is that the dressers were oak. So we knew we needed to darken the edges in some way to give that cherry appearance.

The first thing we did was paint one coat of black on the dressers. We used Valspar Interior Satin Finish in Black.

Then we distressed the edges and began attempting to darken where we had distressed. The first thing we tried was Rust-oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in American Walnut.

Problem: The stain was much too faint. We probably could have done 85 coats and it would have looked okay, but who has the time?

Next we tried Valspar Antiquing Glaze in Asphaltum.

Problem: This glaze was still too light and it didn't give us a cherry color at all. It probably would have worked if the dressers were white, but there wasn't enough contrast from the black color to the grayish tone of the glaze.

As Justin and I sat on the basement floor covered in frustration, we spied an old paint can the previous owners had left behind. It was a partially used gallon of Valspar Exterior Satin Finish in Chocolate Cherry. 

Out of sheer desperation we decided to try painting the edges with the Chocolate Cherry, painting another coat of black on top, and then sanding them down. And you know what? The little cherry actually worked! 

We started rolling that Chocolate Cherry all over the dressers.

* You'll have to excuse the blurry pictures - I'm not a very good photographer and my incessant jumping up & down certainly didn't help matters :)

Now all that was left was to:
- Paint another coat of black
- Distress the edges
- Poly
- Sand
- Poly again
- Add new hardware

Anyone else hit any road blocks lately with their home improvement projects? Did you jump like a madwoman after you figured it out too? 

ps: pictures found from here and here.


  1. Those dressers are turning out to be a ton of work!

    I lose a lot of hair too, and I am also convinced that it has to be more than 100 a day. I just ran my hand through my hair while typing this comment and lost 6 strands.

  2. They are going to look great in the end! Keep up the hard work =)