Hi guys, today’s makeover is for all you wood lovers out there! I don’t often work on furniture in good enough shape to sand and call it a day, so restyling this solid walnut dresser was a treat. I really like the au natural naked wood look, but I’m not 100% convinced unfinished wood furniture can REALLY be left unprotected. If you’re like me and USE your furniture, you don’t want to worry about spills, stains, dirt or any other mishaps. I’m low maintenance. And admittedly, not the neatest. So the easier and faster it is to wipe something down, the better.
I really hope this article starts a conversation on how to protect raw and unfinished wood furniture because as much as I love this dresser, once I sealed it, it did turn darker than I expected. Maybe some of you have some product suggestions or tips for me, or anyone else reading this. 🙂
Here’s what I started with. This is another great piece I picked up. If you missed last week’s post on my big furniture score and ‘high school reunion’, you can read about it here.
I wish I had taken a pic once it was 100% sanded down, but the only one I have is below – and it’s only partially sanded. Here’s what the dresser looked like after I sanded with 80 grit. It was even lighter after ALL the sanding was finished.
And here’s a close up of the after. This is with three coats of dead flat water based poly. LOVE IT… I really do! But as you can see it’s not as light as it was BEFORE it was top coated. As far as I know, there are no top coat products that don’t deepen or darken the look of raw wood. Whether it’s wax, water based poly, hemp oil, tung oil, or shellac, the wood is ‘enhanced’ with the protection.
THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS USED. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
- Vintage Stained Dresser – SALVAGED
- TSP for Cleaning
- Orbital Sander
- Sandpaper 80, 120 & 220 grit
- Palm Sander
- General Finishes Java Gel Stain
- Dead Flat/Matte Poly
- Shop Towels and Sponge Brush Applicator
- Hardware Pulls – SALVAGED
RAW WOOD DRESSER MAKEOVER::
- Repaired dresser drawers
- Cleaned inside and out with TSP
- Sanded all the old stain off with orbital sander & 80 grit sandpaper
- Sanded with palm sander 120 & 220 grit
- Stained legs with GF Java Gel Stain
- Sealed with 3 coats of Flat Water Based Poly
- Changed out Hardware
Tips: For a raw or unfinished-wood-furniture-look, a flat or matte finish looks most natural. Also, it’s best to stay away from oil based polyurethanes as they always amber over time.
And on the topic of staging, I have to show you what I found. Take a look at this wood ladder I salvaged while walking Gidgy yesterday! It stands a full seven feet tall and has amazing texture! Gorgeously rustic. I’m guessing it was used as a trellis for wisteria or some sort of climbing plant.
Let me know what you think of this walnut dresser makeover… or if you’re a fan of raw wood furniture. Also, feel free to chime in if you have ANY products or tips to help keep a natural wood finish! I always love hearing from you!
Have yourself a creative and inspiring day my friends!