Refinishing the Top of an Antique Dresser

I have an antique dresser from my grandmother, made of solid wood. Due to my stupidity, it has water damage from me keeping a plant on the top; as well as some scratches from moving. How can I restore the top without spending a fortune? (Research has showed that it's $1000 to take it somewhere to get it done, plus it's super heavy, not easily moved, and over 80 inches.)



By Josee from NJ

June 3, 20110 found this helpful

If it just water marks and scratches you can strip the finish offf and re-stain it. If the top is warped it might need professional help.

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June 6, 20110 found this helpful

Home Depot carries a product called antique refinisher that you just spread over the furniture and it makes it like new again. As this is not permanent, you will have to reapply it periodically, but it is a lot cheaper. I hope this helps!

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June 6, 20110 found this helpful

You can rub the white kind of toothpaste with a cotton rag on the water spot and it usually will come out and look like new. Then you could use some Old English rubbed over the top and it should magically blend in the scratch marks. FYI: if you do refinish the top with varnish or polyurethane, avoid doing this on humid days as this will never fully set.

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June 6, 20110 found this helpful

Check handy man ads, local chamber may know of a person who does this in their garage. My husband and 8 year old granddaughter do this all the time as projects for the fair. Not that hard to do. I have a 100 year old dresser to work on this summer and someone has layers lots of paint on this one. Will finish in a stain or danish oil.

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June 6, 20110 found this helpful

Before you do any of that take ivory dish soap and warm water and plenty of soft rags to dry with. Put ivory soap and warm water in pail (about l/8 cup to l/2 of a 5 gal bucket) wash gently and rinse immediately and dry as dry as you can get it. It will take the old wax off and usually the stains go with it. I have used this for over 20 years and redone a lot of furniture. you will have to probably wash the whole thing though because it will lighten up the color. If not then use Fornbys refinisher kit and do it yourself. Just take it outside for that because of the odor. When finished and dry ....use past wax only.

By the way you will have to keep changing the water and you'll wonder where all the dirt came from.

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