This is a tale of how a dresser matured from rough and tumble pine beginnings to a sleek mahogany end. The blocky little dresser started life in glamorous 1980s Texas. After decades of abuse he found his final place in our beautiful home. Alas, he was not appreciated the way a solid pine dresser with so much life experience should be. He needed a makeover and I was the one to do it, being that I could not stare at the blocky orange dresser any longer.
The makeover started with a light sanding to prepare for some stain. I first tried Minwax in Dark Walnut on an inconspicuous area. Parts of the pine sucked it right up while others didn’t take at all giving a nice orange and black tiger effect. Needless to say… dark walnut was out. I then tried General Finishes gel stain in Brown Mahogany. I had heard great things about GF gel stain and I’m so glad I tried it. It’s thick, like pudding, and doesn’t suck into the soft wood immediately. It kind of floats on the surface giving everything nice even color. I applied it lightly with a rag, and did 2 coats letting each coat dry for a day. Brown mahogany is nice warm medium brown, but the underlying orange oiled pine made it come out a little more red than I would have liked, but still pretty.
Onto the drawers: after removing the old wood block handles the wood underneath had never been oiled so it was raw and much lighter color. I figured I would have to paint the drawers because of this, but wanted to see if they could be stained. I filled the holes with wood putty and gave them all a good sanding. I tried two light coats of stain but there was still an obvious mark where the handle once lived.
So I pulled out the primer and white paint. Three coats later and some new knobs and the makeover was complete and the dresser lived happily ever after.
Dresser: CARGO furniture circa 1980
Stain: General Finishes Gel Stain in Brown Mahogany
Paint: Benjamin Moore Advance in Super White
Blue glass pulls (on large drawers): Anthropologie (discontinued)
Porcelain pulls (on small drawers): Hobby Lobby