Earlier this week, I shared a room makeover at my friend’s house for her son, R. So I wanted to elaborate a bit about the total steal of a deal I got that allowed me to stretch my budget: the furniture!

These were the pictures in the Craigslist post priced at $25 for the WHOLE SET. Aren’t they little gems?

Ok, I know they look rough. But come on, nothing a little TLC can’t fix!! When I went to get the furniture, I realized it was made by Stanley Furniture Company, and these pieces were SOLID. And heavy. So the hubs had to help me drag everything in the house.

Upon further inspection, I found the tops of all 3 pieces to be laminate (the super shiny top coat kind)…but the rest was a nice thick wood veneer. Hmmm. Originally I thought I would just paint everything, but now I really wanted to see what the wood looked like underneath the stickers. I got out the goo-gone and de-stickered everything. Fortunately it didn’t take too long, as the glue on the stickers was also from the 60s. Some 80 grit then 120 grit took care of most of the finish pretty easily, which made me think that refinishing in wood tones maaaaaay just be possible.

Up the stairs I flew to the box of goodies Old Masters sent to me a few weeks ago.

***side note***Just so you know, this is not a sponsored post. Old Masters just contacted me saying they liked my Gel Stain Door tutorial where I used their product and wanted to send me some product to play with. Aren’t they nice?!

So anyway, I dug around in the box until I found the American Walnut Wiping Stain. I thought about using gel stain, but in the pamphlet they sent with the product, it seemed like the wiping stain was best for wood pieces with a previous finish (whereas gel stain is really designed for either vertical surfaces or non-wood surfaces). I had never used wiping stain before, but I gave it a go.

TOTAL WIN. This stuff was seriously amazing. It’s a bit thicker than the Minwax stain I normally use, but thinner than a gel. I just stirred it, dipped in a piece of an old sheet (my staining tool of choice, lately), and wiped it on. Easy peasy. It went on super smooth even though the wood surface was not pristine. Check out the difference:

Puuuuurdy, isn’t it? I was getting probably a little too giddy over the change in direction my furniture makeover was taking. It took me about 3 hours to do the dresser and the nightstand from start to finish…not bad at all. And that included priming the top and feet after sanding with some Kilz. The desk was still hanging out in the Jeep because of lack of space.

As far as hardware goes, new knobs were not in the budget (there were 15 total). I really wanted to re-purpose some leather belt pieces into pulls, but Halloween totally wiped out my local Goodwills and there was nary a belt to be found. It actually bummed me out quite a bit and took me awhile to come up with a cost effective solution.

Knotted rope! It is great for little hands to grab and can always be swapped out for something more “adult” later on. Here are some before and afters for your viewing pleasure 🙂

The color on the nightstand and desk is SW Gold Crest. The color on the dresser is SW Light French Grey.

As you can see from the last picture, I haven’t quite finished the legs on the desk yet (oops!) When all the paint and stain was done, I waxed with paste wax (Minwax).

For $25 plus a few bucks in sandpaper and rope, R will have pieces of furniture to last years. I could totally see these (maybe with new hardware) in a hip bachelor pad. I’m so glad I decided to go with the stain route, I love the wood tone contrast with the paint colors and it really grounds the room. Have you ever used wiping stain? I’m such a fan now!




2 Responses

  1. Marsha

    I am not sure if you sanded off the complete finish, brought it to the bare wood
    and then put the wiping stain?
    Is this what you did?
    It looks perfect.
    I prefer to use stain and then use a wax. I feel far more in control of the
    process with the the wax. The varnish takes a lot of paience and skill.
    Thank you for the info, great as usual.

    • Rachael Evans

      Marsha- I sanded to mostly bare wood, but it was far from perfect- there were a few areas of old finish left because I really did not want to get in deep with sanding). I really only was prepared to do some 80 to 120…any more work than that would have sent me painting instead. The wiping stain is great to make everything look uniform even if what you start with isn’t! I’m with you, I love wax!!


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