Refurbishing Old Antique Furniture

Posted by Jonathan Kostyra on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 at 9:51am.

Restoring Furniture Ideas--Refurbishing Antiques

How do you strip and repaint a dresser? 


I have always liked the matra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. My mom and dad taught me this growing up. Recently, my brother and I started remodeling an old farmhouse that was built roughly 100 years ago. Remodeling this old farmhouse has been a very labor and time consuming process. However, finally, light is at the end of the tunnel!

As we approach completion of the project and are adding the finishing touches, I've wanted to stage the home with a few select antique pieces. So, I have gone to the local Salvation Army's, Good Will's, Miracle Hill's, and consignment shops. 

What I've found has been surprising. I've found many old furniture pieces and antiques that just need to some TLC to make them look great again. To refurb an old furniture piece, sometimes paint stripping is important while at other times simply repainting does the trick. 

In this article I'm going to focus on an old antique dresser.  The whole dresser had a couple layers of bright green paint on it that needed to be removed. Typically, I personally use either Citri-Strip or Gel Stripper like Klean-Strip. A word of caution: You should use protective gloves, eye protection, and even a paint vapor mask for protection against the stripper and the old paint. Paint strippers can harm the eyes and skin and lead paint could be present on the old furniture.

This antique dresser took about 4 strips and I was done. The stripping is the most time intensive part of the process. After the 4th strip, some paint was still on the wood. I used an orbital sander with fine sandpaper to remove the last remaining paint layers. Which brand of orbital sander is best? I won't get into this debate in this article, however,  I purchased an inexpensive Black and Decker from Lowes on sale for $29 dollars and it has been a work-horse for me for some time. You can do your own research and read other purchasers' reviews on power tool brands.  An orbital sander is a great tool to have on hand. 

So, now that the top of the dresser and the fronts of the drawers have been stripped of paint, I now have to decide what color to paint the base of the dresser. One person that saw the dresser actually liked the green. I am thinking about painting the base of this antique dresser a greyish blue, the same color as this cabinet below. What are your thoughts on color? Please leave a comment. Thanks! Jonathan K

antique dresser restoration

+Jonathan Kostyra is an Associate Broker at Carolina Realty Associates Located at 607 Pendleton Street Suite 222 Greenville SC 29601 Jonathan can be reached at: 864-335-8936

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