Introduction: Before and After: the Old Oak Dresser From the Screened in Porch
No one knows where this dresser came from, nor does anyone know exactly how long it sat out on the screened in porch. Both my mother and aunt would agree that it had been there for as long as they could remember. There is a rather good chance that this dresser may have even been in the house when my Grandparents moved in in the ’50s. We just don’t know. What I do know is that before it was moved to the screened in porch to experience all of the degrees of Minnesota weather, it had been painted white and a mirror (not its mirror) had been added to the back of it. It may have had its own mirror once I only know that the mirror that had been added had fallen off at some point and was sitting behind it. The entire thing was so utterly covered in dirt that no one wanted to even touch it. This is the kind of filth that’s hard to explain, dirt that is so old and so dense its like skin. But, I thought, what the hell, what have I got to lose? It wasn’t terribly heavy and, amazingly, the drawers worked and it seemed sturdy. So, I took it home to see what I could do.
Step 1: First, I Needed to Get It Clean
This to me is my very best before and after when it comes to a save I made from the farm house. I would give anything to go back and get a good before pictureof this beast. Why don’t I have one you ask? Because I’m a bull and I couldn’t wait to strip it so I just threw myself into the job the first chance I got and boom I had forgotten to take a before. Seriously, the before picture should have been taken even before we cleared out the screened in porch because this beast was not even recognizable as a piece of furniture at that point. As just a reminder, here is the before and after of what the screened in porch looked like! Right there on the left (not far from that creepy old chair) was where this dresser resided for DECADES.
Step 2: Cleaned Up
I started out by hosing this puppy off as I had no intention of touching that second skin of filth any more then I needed to. I mean, seriously, I don’t mind getting dirty but this thing was FILTHY. Underneath the paint was what someone who likes shabby chic would probably have paid a fortune to achieve. It was utterly cracked, jagged, rather amazing actually. (This is when I should have taken the before picture.) It came off in one quick stripping and became what you see in the before picture. Underneath revealed solid oak.
Step 3: Dresser Transformed!
With a couple of passes with my sander it looked brand new. I consider this old beast as my greatest save/transformation but, amazingly, it was also one of my easiest. It had seen so much weather that it sanded up really quickly and took stain in text book style. At first I had planned this for the third bathroom vanity in the house but it became so dear to my heart that I decided to keep it as a dresser in Dakota’s bedroom. I used this red oak stain by minwax and two coats of minwax polycrylic. The hardware is off of amazon and its an absolutely awesome deal click here to check it out. The knobs are heavy, really high quality and so little compared to other hardware costs that I’ve seen that you’ll be seeing these pretty little knobs on just about everything in my house!