Thursday, November 14, 2013

Vanity & Dresser Refinish

Red Hen Home Aqua Room 006

Thank you for all the kind comments about my daughter’s bedroom makeover, both here and on Facebook!  It was so fun to get to work on this with her.  She is always my sounding board for the various crazy ideas I have, but this time she was truly invested in the project!

One of our first steps in her room remodel was finding some new furniture for her to use.  The $100 junky particle board set I bought four years ago (at her request, make no mistake about that!) was promptly sold—for the same price I paid for it!  There’s just no accounting for tastes, is there??

We scoured Craigslist for a vanity/dresser set, and finally came home with these for $150:

Red Hen Home Vanity Before 4

Red Hen Home Dresser Before 1

Only $50 more, and this time it was actually decent furniture!

Red Hen Home Vanity Before 6

Well, you can see the finish on the top was in REALLY rough shape.  But structurally everything was sound, and the veneer was in very good condition…a couple of chips here and there, but nothing major.

The “to-paint-or-not-to-paint” question was discussed at length, but Naomi eventually decided on “not.”

Since she wanted a darker stain, I decided to use my favorite miracle product, General Finishes Gel Stain (no, unfortunately they don’t pay me to say that) in Antique Walnut.  

You can see how I used it in my card catalog refinish here and a bedroom set here.

The great thing about this gel stain is that you DON’T have to completely remove the old finish.  Rough it up, yes—but if you’re going darker, you don’t have to go down to bare wood.  You can see how I lightly sanded the bottom half of the side of the dresser below.

Red Hen Home Dresser in progress

I did have to do some more serious sanding on the top of the vanity.  Where the poly finish had worn away over time the colors were very splotchy—so I had to do a little more work to get everything back to the same tone.

But oh, look at what a difference ONE coat of gel stain made!

Red Hen Home Vanity progress 3

I ended up using two coats on everything, followed by two coats of General Finishes Polyurethane.

And oh, I think it was worth it!

Red Hen Home Aqua Room 012

The handles are original, I just cleaned them up a bit a lot!

Red Hen Home Aqua Room 011

And I recovered the vanity bench in a fun yellow and white chevron.

Red Hen Home Aqua Room 008

Have you ever used gel stain before?  What did you think of it?


Linking up here:

The Inspiration Exchange Elizabeth & Co.
Primitive & Proper Thrifty Décor Chick
Friday Remodelaholic The Scoop!
Funky Junk’s Saturday Night Special The DIY Show Off
Miss Mustard Seed
Beyond the Picket Fence Coastal Charm
Knick of Time
Domestically Speaking
Perfectly Imperfect No Minimalist Here
Common Ground My Repurposed Life
From My Front Porch to Yours Mod Vintage Life
A Little Knick Knack


Carolyn said...

Wow, I have not heard of that type of stain. It looks like it really is a miracle worker! Will have to try to find some for future use.
Your daughter's furniture turned out great!

SImple and Serene Living said...

I have never used gel stain, but love how it all turned out. xo Laura

Cynthia said...

WOW this turned out great!!!


Full Circle Creations said...

It all looks great! I prefer using gel stain over other types.

My Repurposed Life said...

I have gel stain... but not sure I've ever used it before. That picture is so impressive!
you did a great job Korrie!

Jenna @ Sharing My Jennarocity said...

I have actually used that very gel stain in that very same are some of my results here.

When I first read how to use it, someone told me to use a sock, which ended up being ridiculously hard and the finish didn't look consistent. I ended up using a sponge brush and it worked a lot better. I liked the fact that it doesn't have a really terrible odor like other stains. I would definitely use it again. It's not messy and drippy either, which is another plus!!! I used it and the finish that it comes with and my table has done really well. It's been two years and that table has been wiped down so many times and still looks as good as it did when I did it!

Loribeth Clark said...

Those look wonderful! I'm so glad you didn't paint them. I love painted furniture, but I'm getting tired of seeing EVERY thing painted!!

Great find too! I love shopping on craigslist. We've gotten a china cabinet, dining table, a recliner, stove/range, dishwasher and kitchen cabinets. Now I'm watching for different furniture for our bedroom.

Kelly said...

Wow, beautiful! I'm so glad you stained it instead of painting! :)
Kelly @ View Along the Way

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Katie I blog for I am learning the in's and out's of this blogging thing, and was wandering if it is ok that I add a link in an upcoming post I'm writing. I was inspired by your two-toned dresser and I wanted to give you credit. I hope this is ok, I don't really know the protocol on this sort of thing.


Holly @ Down to Earth Style said...

Where are you friend? OK?