Antique Dresser Refinished and Painted "Ruby" Red

Friday, September 20, 2013

Well, folks, how are things on your side of life? As for me, my kiddos and the hubs all have birthdays in the fall so it's a busy (and expensive!) season for our family. The weather is finally starting to cool down. I don't know about y'all, but it's a bittersweet thing for me. For one, I LOVE summer. I don't mind the heat at all and I love a good pair of shorty shorts and flip flops, don't you? With fall arriving, it's a beautiful scene everywhere you go and the rich reds, yellows and greens are just a gorgeous blend of color. It all means that the cold is right around the corner, though, and that is NOT my cup of tea! I have spent many months in Kuwait in 140 degree weather, without complaint! Let it get down to the fifties, though? I am one shaking cold little Tex-Mex! Silver lining? Cute boots, jeans and sweaters....sigh. Gotta love silver linings. :)

This week's project was a doozie, I must say! I picked this old dresser up after seeing it on a local yardsale site. It was only $40 and I liked it's lines. I saw the potential in the picture....then I saw it in real life.

Yikes!!!! Talk about needing help! Alas, it was mine and I brought it home.

Initially, I was going to go with a stained top, painted bottom look (One of my favorite styles). These are a few pics of the process...

Citri-Strip doing it's magic!

Step 1: Use a thick layer of Citri-Strip and let it sit and WORK. This is after about 15 minutes!
Step 2
             Step 2: Using some afterwash and Formby's Refinishing Solution to clear the leftover gunk off!

Step 3
Step 3: Sand the area SMOOTH. I started with 120 grit and eventually ended up at 600 grit sand paper.

Step 4
Step 4: I used Howard's Feed and Wax to condition the wood after all that harsh stripping and sanding. It.Worked.Miracles. Seriously, it is amazing stuff. Just LOOK at that!

So, by the time I was done, I was happy with it. Then the hubs came along....and mentioned I should do the drawers to match the top. (-.-)

I started to say no. Actually I did say no, rather rudely. But the thought was stuck in my head. SooOOOooo.....Repeat steps 1-4. Try not to be as huffy as I was about it.

When I was FINALLY done, this is what it looked like:

After almost 10 hours of stripping, sanding, scraping and cleaning...voila!

 BUT!!!!I started to panic. You see, at first it seemed as though the woodgrains were totally different. This presented a stain matching problem. Luckily, though, I only needed to apply stain one extra time to the top and they matched just fine! 

I chose Annie Sloan's Emporer's Silk for the body and boy am I happy with the result:

I finished "Ruby" with light and dark waxes and here she is in all her glory:

I really love the red with the stained top and drawers. The original hardware was just gawdy, so that went and in came these cup style pulls. They were originally NICKEL color pulls. I'll have to do a separate post about how I got that awesome textured look, but it's something I really enjoy for them. 

Now when I was finally getting close to done, I started talking selling price with the hubs. His first response? I want to keep it! Sigh...I didn't object. ;)

Unfortunately, my living room layout is pretty restrictive so for now she is semi-hidden. I still love how we used two of our favorite transformation as living room end tables though! Hope you all enjoyed the story behind "Ruby"! Love to all, Claudia

I linked up to:
  Furniture Feature Fridays

 I've been featured!


  1. Beautiful Claudia. I love the red with the wood.

    1. Thank you so much, I finally stopped staring at it all the time, lol!

  2. Incredible job!! The red is gorgeous with the wood tones.

    1. Thank you, Susan! I love the red too...It's exactly why I didn't object when my husband decided to keep it! :)

  3. love your make over and I would love to feature it, if that would be ok please let me know,

    1. Um, lemme think for a sec...of course that's ok!!! Thank you so much, Lauren, I've been all over your blog and it would be an honor!

  4. This looks amazing! You did such a great job! Come link up with us at Craft Frenzy Friday at! I'd love to see these on our link up!

  5. Beautiful Job Claudia! Love your choice of keeping some of that beautiful wood grain on this piece with the Pop of red! Gorgeous upcycle!

  6. Gorgeous! I love this re-creation! All your hard work paid off!

  7. What paint did you use for the ruby red? looking to do something similar