Introduction: Furniture Restoration: Decoupage Removal and Refinishing

About: Hello my name is Whitney Nicole and I enjoy all things related to crafting. Instagram: @whitneynicoleofficial Twitter@1WhitneyNicole

In this instructable, I will be showing you how I transformed this dresser and night stand. These items were definitely the biggest fixer uppers I’ve gotten so far, but I got them for free so I’m not complaining. The items were covered in decoupage because the previous owners had attempted to cover the tops and drawers with fabric. There were also extra holes in the drawers that the previous owners had made to change out the drawer pulls with knobs. There was also just an incredible amount of grime stuck into the intricate detailing of the furniture. Watch the 3 minute video above to see how I fixed this or keep reading below.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

For this project, I used:

Step 2: Remove the Decoupage and Finish

I started by applying goof off pro strength remover to the decoupage and used a paper towel to wipe it off. This removed most of the decoupage. I then used a sander with an 80 grit sanding pad to remove the rest of the decoupage along with the original finish. I also had to use a utility knife to get the decoupage out of the grooves. I only removed the finish on the tops and the drawers since this was where the decoupage had been. Ideally I should have removed the finish on the entire pieces of furniture to have a more uniform color upon restaining, but it was going to be too difficult to remove the finish on some of the intricate detailing.

Step 3: Prepare the Wood for Restaining

After all of the decoupage and original finish were removed, I worked my way up to a 220 grit on the sander to prepare the wood to be restained. I then used a clean rag dampened with mineral spirits to wipe off the sanding debris.

Step 4: Fill the Extra Holes With Wood Putty

I then used wood putty to fill in the extra holes in the drawers and allowed that to set for 24 hours.

Step 5: Apply the Stain

I placed a drop cloth underneath the furniture to protect the ground from the stain. I then applied a thick layer of Varathane classic wood stain in the direction of the grain on the tops and drawers of the furniture, making sure to do so in a well ventilated area. I then wiped the excess stain off with a Kleenex hand towel. I waited for 2 hours before applying another coat.

Step 6: Clean the Brush

I cleaned my brush off with mineral spirits after each application of stain. (This should also be done in a well ventilated area. I poured the mineral spirits into a paper plate and agitated my brush in the product until all the residue had dissolved. I pressed out the excess, wiped it with a clean towel, and laid it out to dry.

Step 7: Apply the Protective Finish

I then waited 24 hours before applying Varathane Polyurethane protective finish in the direction of the grain. (This should also be done in a well ventilated area). I waited 2 hours before applying a second coat.

Step 8: Clean the Grime

After allowing the second coat of finish to dry for 2 hours, I used Old English Scratch cover on a toothbrush to clean the grime off of the intricate detailing of the furniture. This is not the intended use for this product, but it is safe on wood and it hides any scratches on the furniture at the same time as I clean it.

Step 9: Attach Drawer Pulls

Lastly, I added new drawer pulls to the furniture.

Step 10: Finished!

And that’s all it took to transform this dresser and nightstand! If you enjoyed this tutorial, please consider following me on Instructables and subscribing to my Youtube channel to see more content like this.

Trash to Treasure

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Trash to Treasure