Mid-century Dresser Rehab

Dresser Rehab

When I saw this mid-century dresser at one of my favorite online garage sale sites, I couldn’t help but think of the Parent Trap movie.  Not the Lindsay Lohan version, the good old Hayley Mills movie.  I loved that show.  I’ve got the whole script memorized.  I especially loved Mitchell Ever’s ranch home in Caramel, California.  The lake, the horses, the courtyard in the center of the house, the modern furniture.  This dresser was screaming “I’m from the Parent Trap, ‘Let’s Get Together’ please take me home.”

dresser rehab before

dresser rehab beforeThis dresser really wasn’t too bad, but needed a tender loving care.


midcentury dresser makeover supply

Here is the list of materials you will need.

  1. Dusting cloths and staining rags (a.k.a. old cloth diapers)
  2. Dust Mask
  3. Sander
  4. 60 grit sanding disk, 120 grit sanding disk
  5. Vacuum with small attachment
  6. Foam brushes
  7. Minwax water soluble color stain
  8. Minwax wood finish in gray
  9. Minwax Paste finishing was


midcentury dresser refurbish sanded

Step 1:  Sand every surface.  I start with the 60 grit sanding disk.  I may need to use a block and regular square sand paper for the hard to reach areas.  This dresser was pretty square, so there weren’t many curves are hard to reach places.


midcentury dresser refurbish sanded drawers

Step 2: After the initial rough sanding with 60 grit sand paper, I moved to 120 grit sand paper until the surface is nice and smooth.  You can use even higher number if you would like after the 120, such as 200 to get an even smoother surface.  Now your dresser is nice and smooth and almost ready for some stain.


midcentury dresser makeover vacuum

Step 3:  Remove the dust before staining.  I usually vacuum all surfaces to be stained and then wipe down with a slightly damp, clean cloth (my favorite cloths to use are old cloth diapers).  Wait until the surface is completely dry before moving to the next step.

Step 4:  Stain.  I prefer dipping my cloth into the stain and wiping it immediately.  Another technique is to dip a sponge brush into the stain, brush a light layer of stain onto a large portion of the surface and then immediately wipe down with a soft cloth.  I used the blue stain first.  I stained they entire dresser and then let it dry according to the instructions (24 hours).  Next, I used the same staining process to stain on top of the blue stain with the gray stain.  It created the perfect color I was looking for.   You may want to stain several layers in order to get your desired color.  This dresser took 2 layers of the blue stain and 1 layer of gray.  After the gray staining was complete, I again waited 24 hours before waxing.


midcentury dresser refurbish top

Step 5: Wax finish.  I waxed over the finish with my Minwax finishing wax.  I just dip my cloth directly into the waxing container, get a nice amount on and then rub into the wood.  This takes a little elbow grease to get a nice smooth finish.  But just look at that nice shiny top!  After waxing it needs to sit another 24 hours before you can place items directly on it.  All Done!


midcentury dresser makeover leg

This dresser’s legs and trim were made of pine while the body of the dresser seemed to be a maple vernier.  The stain took a little differently to the two types of wood, but I really like the different dimensions of color.


midcentury dresser makeover finish

All done!  Not too shabby.  And I think it would fit perfectly in “The Parent Trap” mid-century ranch house.

Here are my affiliate links to some of the products I used for this project.

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