A while back my craigslist spotter, nnK, spotted this little mid-century dresser for me. It wasn’t far away, and I was in the mood for a little mid-mod so Mr. Q and I went and picked it up.
I wanted to paint the body of the dresser, but leave the drawer fronts unpainted. However, in addition to being a bit worn, I wasn’t particularly fond of the ‘pieced together strips of wood’ look on the drawer fronts. So I decided to try using gel stain to solve both of these problems. First of all, gel stain can be used over an existing finish, so it wouldn’t require a lot of work to spruce these up and make them look new again. Second of all, gel stain is not quite as transparent as traditional stain, so it helps blend different grains of wood.
Before applying the stain, I sanded the drawers fairly well with my palm sander. Then, after wiping them down with TSP substitute, I applied Varathane’s Dark Walnut gel stain with an old t-shirt. I let that dry overnight and the next day I added two coats of a matte poly finish.
I definitely achieved my first goal of sprucing them up, but not so sure I minimized the appearance of those strips. Nonetheless, the drawers are definitely much improved!
I painted the rest of the dresser in Fusion’s Sterling, which is a pale silvery grey.
Once I had the Sterling painted, I realized that the original gold brass on the drawer pulls wasn’t going to work. I solved that by adding some Silver Leaf rub ‘n buff to them. I also gave the wooden centers a swipe with the gel stain and another swipe with the poly. I didn’t sand them, and I wasn’t terribly particular about the application of the products, but it was just enough to give them a fresh look and to blend their color with the drawer fronts.
These were all really simple techniques that gave this dresser a fresh new look in no time at all.
What do you think?
Anyone else in the mood for a little mid-mod?