Dresser before and after....

Our "grand opening" was this weekend at Midtown Eclectic so I was ubber busy getting pieces ready last week....no time for flubs.  But things don't always go as we plan in the world of refinishing....

First, heat is a refinisher's nemesis!   Neither paint nor finish appreciate hot AND humid conditions.  And since my garage is technically my "shop" I am a slave to the elements.

Don't get me wrong...this summer has been seriously mild compared to years past.  It is the end of August and we have probably only had a hand full of days over 90.  And the rain has been super awesome.  I am watering my potted plants, but haven't had to water my yard since June! 

But because of the mild temperatures and wet summer, and with temperatures returning to normal, the mosquitos and humidity are just horrid!  Soooo, if I work during the day I risk battling the heat and humidity...early morning and late evening, when it is cooler, and the mosquitos are unbearable!

Which brings me to my point (I get there eventually!) 

Friday I sprayed clear coat on a meticulously refinished dresser top.  Because of the heat, it "streaked."  Usually the result of it drying too quickly.  So when I went to "sand" it with steel wool, the clear coat just peeled off...humidity!!! Imagine sunburned skin...you know, how it peels off in those nasty little sheets after it has blistered.  Yeah, that is how the clear coat came off...well some of it...not ALL of it.   

I am sooooo impatient when it comes to finishing furniture....and that is NOT a good thing. Cure time is seriously important....and I normally respect that. (which explains why I rarely have those pretty "stage" pictures with all the froo-froo stuff!)  But when something isn't right, I get in a big hurry to fix it...thus the nasty mess I made on this dresser I spent days refinishing!  

This is one of those maple pieces you can find major cheap at any garage sale or thrift store.  Cheap, because they are a bit unattractive.  

But the upside is they are solid wood and usually very sturdy.   

Just remember to be PATIENT and give it the time it needs to cure...and remember, not everything has to be PERFECT!   

If you take your time and put a little effort into these pieces, they really can be beautiful again! 

After a day of peeling and sanding and fretting, all's well that ends well. 

I used the gel stain on the top...again, it allows the grain to show through on woods that otherwise will not take a stain. Maple is one that does not take darker stains well.  So gel stain is usually the only way to go.   You can paint the tops of these pieces, but I have to have my stained wood fix!

I used plaster paint on the cabinet and gave it a little "distressed" sanding.  After filling the old hardware holes, I kilzed, sanded and painted the drawer fronts.   New crystal knobs...my favorite!

And all of it got 2-3 coats of poly!  Applied in the evening when it was a little cooler...while the mosquitos made a meal of my legs....grrrrr! 

Beautiful.  A piece that was destined for the dumpster is restored!  

Worth a few skitter bites....