Not every piece of furniture you come across needs to be stripped down to the bare bones, or maybe I should say not ALL of it needs to be stripped down.

How many of you have a dresser that is in perfect condition except for the top?

Partial refinish - when all you need is to clean up the top

It’s the surface that takes the most abuse.  We put our jewelry, perfumes, drinks and papers all over it.  It’s usually piled with something or another that has yet to be put away and if you have a mirror on it, chances are you wear it down a bit each day with your elbows – leaning forward for a closer look.

But the rest of the dresser is still gorgeous.

This is Sherri’s antique, and while she was willing for me to refinish the entire thing – I didn’t want to waste her time or money since most of it was in really excellent shape.Sherri's Dresser - 2

The only problem with a partial refinish job is coming up with a matching stain and finish.  This piece was pretty easy to match, but it could end up being a hit and miss effort until you find just the right one.  (In this case a combination of special walnut and dark walnut).

You can use scrap wood to test out your colour combinations, but you’ll never really know if it’s a match until you put it on the dresser – it’s the only way to see how the wood will absorb it – but don’t worry, if you don’t get it right the first time, a light sanding will get you back to square one to try again.

Sherri's Dresser - 3

Surface sanding is SOOOOO easy – no nooks and crannies, no bending and squatting – just smooth-sailing-sanding.  I used 60 grit to get down to the bare wood, then 100, 150 and finally 220 grit to make it as smooth as a baby’s bum.

Sherri's Dresser - 4

The second challenge to matching on a partial refinish is finding a varnish with a lower sheen in it.  Here I combined 1/3 matte varnish with 2/3 satin to give it just a slight shine.  It would look funny if the top was a high-gloss shine when the rest of the piece had an aged patina.

Sherri's Dresser - 5

Two hours total (not including drying times).

Sherri's Dresser - 6

We’ve kept the integrity of the antique, but we’ve removed the blemishes and it’s gorgeous!

Sherri's Dresser - 7

Just think – two hours and you could have an almost new dresser from one you already own.
Sherri's Dresser P


Have a great one!

too funny


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