Sand, distress and wax a vintage, painted wood dresser!

black. painted dresser before
Before – SOLD

I am always on the lookout for interesting, vintage, wood furniture. A few weeks ago, I was fortunate to find a vintage sideboard that was painted a high gloss black. Loved that it was tall, skinny, painted and had the wooden spacers in the drawers for organizing socks, etc.I discovered it on a weekly visit to a favorite thrift store at the bargain price of $55.00.

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Dearest hubby hooked me up by picking up the dresser in his truck, then buying the rough  sand paper and picking up borrowed electric sander from my parents. Then, he was also willing to take some photos for my WIP details.

I used heavy sand paper on every surface to remove the gloss. On edges that one would expect to have wear and tear over time (decades- there are some huge chips here?), I laid into it with that sander and removed paint down to the bare wood.

black dresser before wax
After rough sanding, before wax

Before applying wax, remove as much of the sanded paint and debris from the surface as possible. I used water and paper towels, then used a spray cleaner.. I think most cleaning sprays will work (my goal was simply to have clean, oil free surface).

black dresser

Finally, a generous application of matte wax was applied using a cloth. You can tint the wax, if you like. I considered adding a color, but felt the natural wood would eventually get a dark and interesting patina on its own.

Project took 3 days to complete (for me). It could be done in a single day if you chose to.

Total cost for me was under $70.00, because I borrowed sander and wax and got a good deal on the dresser. When I see furniture like this for sale in boutiques/shops, I am always very conscientious of the improvement time & original purchase price that goes into a vendor’s selling price.

Whatever you pay for re-purposed furniture, remember that time is something each person values in a different way. Ask what does it cost an individual to devote large portions of 3 days work before making a “lower  offer” than price marked.


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