Emma’s Red Dresser


Katie and I needed to get a dresser/changing table for Emma.  We decided to find an antique dresser to redo rather than the pressed-wood pieces of crap you can buy today.  We found one at the Corvallis ARC that fit the bill nicely.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take photos of it before attacking it with the sander.  The following two photos are during the sanding process, though.

Starting to sand off the stain

Starting to sand off the stain

Some of the drawers before sanding

Some of the drawers before sanding

The stain and finish that they used was nasty to sand off.  When it got hot from the friction, it would melt, kinda, and gum up the sand paper.  Eventually, and after many sheets, we got it all off.  In the process, I bought a Ryobi Corner Cat which I like O.K.  I had to replace the velcro pad that holds the sand paper because it wore out.  Shipping took a bit, but the replacements were only a dollar or two.

Once I got all the stain off, I could assess the level of wear the dresser had accumulated over the years.  In total, it wasn’t bad.  It was pretty interesting to see how construction methods have changes over the years.

Slightly distressed corner

Slightly distressed corner

In getting ready to paint, I masked off the inside of the chest openings.  In this view, you can see the construction.  Lots of random sizes of lumber, everything is mortised, etc.

ready to paint the chest

ready to paint the chest

It took a ton of coats to adequately paint the dresser.  It didn’t help that we did this at the height of summer, and it was HOT.  The paint was practically drying as soon as it left the pail.  This left a very poor finish, and honestly, I’m a bit disappointed in it.

The chest is painted

The chest is painted

Eventually, it got to a point that I could live with, and we reassembled everything.  I chucked the knobs into the drill to sand the finish off.  I’d like to eventually get some antique porcelain knobs.  I think that would look really nice.

One extra thing we had to do, that I don’t have pictures of, is replace the drawer bottoms.  Most of them were in really bad shape, and weren’t even square!  I just bought some plywood at the store and had my friend Tom cut them to size on his table saw.

Painting and reassembling all finished

Painting and reassembling all finished

We’re all finished!  Here’s the dresser in its new home, complete with changing pad.  Hopefully, as Emma grows up, she’ll like and appreciate it!

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