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Refinishing a Dresser and Retaining Its Value?

A wooden dresser with metal drawer pulls.This was given to me in perfect shape and my kids have since beat it up. Does anyone know anything about this piece? I took it apart and there are no markings. It has a slab of marble on top.

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If I refinish it, should I strip all the veneer (I think that's what it is) and stain the wood underneath or would the value be better kept if I fix the peeled veneer and keep its normal appearance?

A wooden dresser with metal drawer pulls.
 
A wooden dresser with metal drawer pulls.
 
The side of a wooden dresser.
 
Inside a wooden dresser drawer.
 
The top of a wooden dresser.
 
An open drawer to a wooden dresser.
 

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
February 7, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

Contact a furniture restorer or antique furniture dealer. You would want to have more knowledge before any attempt any process on this piece. Once you apply the wrong choice, it may devalue the piece. Better to be safe than sorry!

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
February 7, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

If this was mine I would refinish the item and make it look nice again. If there are no marking on the dresser and you have no idea who has made it then it would be fine to refinish it and it should not hurt the value considering a lot of wood furniture is dropping in price these days.

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Sand down the dresser with sandpaper, use steel wool to do the fine clean up, remove the handles before applying the stain, and if you want to apply a clear coat of varnish to the finished product. I normally skip the varnish stage because I perfer the stained look to a varnish look.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 168 Feedbacks
February 9, 20201 found this helpful
Best Answer

According to Antique Roadshow's evaluations, if a piece of furniture has been restored, the value depreciates some versus leaving as is in spite of the flaws.

IF you intend to try and repair the deep scratches and not too concerned of value change, then there are ways to remove them and restain over the area trying to match the original w/o doing a total overhaul. Stains can be mixed to get the closest shade possible as long as you use the same brand name if necessary.

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I used to buy used furniture when I was first married and learned how to refinish each piece usually oak wood. The way I learned was through a skilled refinisher who was my neighbor. I watched her work on a table and listened to her directions.

There's a liquid stain remover (not thick type) you can tell when you shake the container if it sloshes a lot or less. Anyway, the liquid is best for stain removal and you apply with a paint brush and wipe off with old rags. Wear thick work gloves; not rubber as it will still cause your hands to be affected; also wear long sleeves to protect yourself. Once the stain has been lifted, use a steel wool pad (without soap) can be bought at Lowes and going with the grain, move the steel wool pad firmly over the area until it feels smooth to the touch. Wipe with a dry clean dust free cloth before applying stain. If there are tiny grooves, you can also wrap a clean cloth over a flat screw driver and gently slide down the groove to remove the build up.

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The stain will be slightly gummy and it is easily removed w/o disturbing the wood. You shouldn't miss the step of using a steel wool because the stain remover causes the grains to rise a little and it needs to be smoothed before going to the next steps. Be patient and don't expect the steel wool sanding to go as quickly as an electric sandpaper tool or regular sandpaper. Use a fine grain sandpaper if that is your preference, but the wood still needs worked by going with the grain; not against. Steel wool pad is the best as it smooths the grain w/o removing as much of the wood.

I have a 1950s cherry sewing machine cabinet that belonged to my deceased grandmother. My sister was given the cabinet and years later, she got a new one and offered me Grandma's. I took it and her children when young had damaged with scratches over the drawer front. I had to sand it down and it turned out great. Can't even tell it was ever damaged. My sister saw it afterward and said if she'd had known to do what I had done, she would have kept it.

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I reapplied the cherry stain in order to cover the old with the new look wood surface after sanding. I didn't really need the furniture stripper, but I did use steel wool pad.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 433 Posts
February 8, 20201 found this helpful

If you do it over it will lose it's value.If it's beat up it 's value goes down.I would go to an antique dealer who is nowledgable.Also go on E-Bay marble dressers range from 900.00 to 3,000.

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