DIY Art Deco Furnature Refinishing

How to Restore an Art Deco Dresser: CraftHabit.com

I’ve been wanting a “new” dresser for a while now, so when I found this vintage waterfall deco dresser on craigslist for $50, I knew it was for me. The dresser was solid wood and good shape for all it’s years, but I didn’t love the honey color of the wood or the worn finish. I decided to refinish the piece in in a dark tutor stain, which turned out spectacularly. Tutorial after the jump!

Deco Dresser Before & After: CraftHabit.com

Materials:

  • Wood stripper
  • plastic scraper
  • latex gloves
  • old baking sheet
  • steel wool
  • Wood filler
  • Medium grain sandpaper
  • Electric sander
  • Rags
  • 2 half pints wood stain (I used Minwax Poly Shades in Tutor Gloss)
  • Clear gloss spray paint
  • Replacement nobs and handles (purchased at Lowe’s)
  • Power drill and bits

Step 1: There are many great videos on how to strip stain and varnish, this is the one I followed. To get started, put on gloves and follow the instructions on the wood stripper to strip off the old finish. Use the plastic scrapper to scrape off of the stain and stripper gunk after the instructed amount of time (I left it on for 30 minutes). Use an old metal baking sheet to catch all the gunk.

Step 2: Use steel wool and more wood stripper to rub off more varnish and stain. Use the scrapper to scrape off the gunk onto the baking sheet. To neutralize the wood stripper, wipe down the piece with a wet rag.

Deco Dresser Before & After

Step 3: Let the piece dry for several hours. Sand the piece thoroughly with an electric sander, repeat if necessary. Remove sawdust with a rag. Use wood filler and the scraper to fill in any holes or gouges. Let dry according to the instructions on the wood filler package.

Step 4: Use a clean rag to apply the stain. Rub off excess. Let stain dry according to the instructions on the can-about an hour- before applying another coat. Let stain dry completely overnight.


Step 5
: Use clear gloss spray paint to finish the dresser. Two thin coats of spray paint with 15 minutes between coats. Let dry completely.

Step 6: If necessary, drill new holes and attached new nobs and handles.

DIY Deco Dresser Makeover

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