I just inducted myself into the world of furniture refinishing. What I’ve learned so far: veneer is a pain in the ass.
I have two pieces of my maternal grandparents’ bedroom set that they got when they were first married. They’ve been my bedroom set since I was a little girl, and my mother repainted them a couple times (I loathe painted wood. I think it defeats the purpose of having wood in the first place). So, I bought some stripper and went to town getting the two layers of paint off, and then the vanish that was on the wood underneath that. When the paint came off it was even more evident that the veneer was beyond help. I know you can repair veneer, but it’s not always that easy when it’s chipped in dozens of places and very small. I don’t like imperfections and I don’t have the patience to buy veneer and spend a week repairing all the chips. Not to mention, there were lots of scratches and gouges in the veneer that stain and varnish just wouldn’t hide.
So, I just sanded it all off. The bases of the dressers were too much of a pain to sand because for some reason they’re indented, but they had water damage anyway so I just took them off. Much easier. But sanding off all that veneer from the surfaces and drawers was, to say the least, a giant headache… especially the dresser that’s about 4 feet long. That’s a lot of veneer to sand off…
I’m pretty much finished the one dresser. It’s been all sanded and buffed, and I just stained it yesterday. Today comes the varnishing. And then I have to finish sanding the big dresser, and I’m sure that will take another 2 days.
But the one I’m nearly done looks great. My first refinishing project!
After this I have two tables I’ve started stripping and sanding… both heavy, solid wood tables that will be perfect here in the house. We need one in the basement by the bar, as well as one in the porch. Lucky me, I have one complete set for the porch. But the chairs have spindle legs, which means lots of grooves and notches, and I’m going to die of aggravation before I finish that project. The basement table is easy because it’s all flat surfaces and easily accessible for the sander.
Lastly, I spotted this beautiful old farm hutch at the Salvation Army the other day that needs a lot of TLC, but looking at it I saw so much potential. I initially spotted it last weekend and I had an urge to buy it, but I thought I’d better hold out until payday… and if it’s still there by then, I’ll know it’s mine. So, I went back about four days later and there it was, still up for grabs. So I bought it. It’s also solid wood, but it’s missing its back panel and whoever stained and varnished it didn’t do a very good job. So I’m going to give it the attention it needs. I’m thinking of staining it a greyish-blue to match the table and chairs going in the porch. I’d like to put it in the kitchen after we rip it apart and replace the linoleum. I have a perfect spot for it and it’s going to look so awesome!! Pictures soon.