When Mike and I first moved in together, we inherited his Dad’s childhood dresser and chest. The result of my blue and chocolate with a twist of Asian love affair was this:

Hey I was proud of my stenciling! We had chocolate bedding, blue curtains and throw pillows, and bamboo shades. When we bought our first house, I didn’t bother redecorating really except for the orange walls. We upgraded to a King size bed to accommodate our spoiled rotten Boxer pup, and I was able to find new bedding that fit with the theme.

Well now I’m bored again. I was craving something bright, hence the new lime/blue/teal decor inspired by my new super chic side chair. The next step was to take the dressers to a more sophisticated level. I love the idea of keeping them in the family, but they were just not working with my new bright and fun fabrics. Also, it’s likely they will end up in a guest or kid’s room-so a more versatile look is a must. I decided to stain them, even though they are veneered.

I wanted a rich dark walnut with a hint of red, so basically that meant I invented a color. You see, I actually already had a small can of Minwax stain in Dark Walnut from a bathroom project, but this type of stain doesn’t include the poly finish. To get the high gloss, protective seal I needed to either buy some clear coat or use a 2-in-1 product like Minwax PolyShades. I decided to use what I had and finish it with a coat of Minwax PolyShades in Bombay Mahogany Gloss.

**It’s important to note that staining should be done in very low humidity, otherwise you’ll end up with a sticky mess that will take 24 hours to dry!**

First I started with the drawers. Using an electric sander, I started with 60 grit sandpaper to take off what seemed like 8 layers of paint and primer (I guess I was really ambitious the first time around). Once I got to bare wood, I used 100 then 220 to leave a smooth finish. I like to use a shop vac to clear off the dust, then a tack cloth or a damp rag. Once everything is dust-free and dry, you can begin staining. I applied a coat of Minwax Dark Walnut, waited until it dried (about 30 minutes) and then wiped off any excess stain with a rag. I wanted a deep saturated color, so I applied one more coat and let it dry. I followed that with a single coat of the PolyShades Mahogany. Here was the result after I finished the drawers (and already started demo-ing my bedroom, apparently)

Then about a week later, having been interrupted by rain, I finally got around to working on the frame. I followed the same proceedure: sanding with coarse then fine grit, vacuuming the dust, applying 2 coats of Dark Walnut, and then 1 coat of Bombay Mahogany.

Finally I put all the drawers back in, here’s the big reveal! It matches the nightstand I also refinished as well as a $5 Goodwill mirror that I stained. I am going to add drawer pulls, as soon as I can decide on a style. And, as usual, try to ignore the orange walls!

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