No. 104 Gray & Wood Mid-Century Dresser | Top Coat Discussion Part 2


Sorry for the thumb in this one.  But here is where we started.  Kind of unremarkable if you ask me, but it was solid, the drawers are dovetail and they worked, and the price was right, so it came home. 

The top was too far gone to refinish, but the veneer on the drawers was in pretty good shape, so I thought I'd try to save the middle stripes, and freshen them up a bit.  I sanded the whole piece down like normal, then went back and wet sanded (literally dipped my sand paper in water) the middles of the drawers with 220 grit sandpaper until I was pretty sure the varnish was gone. 

I then applied a very quick coat of General Finishes Gel Stain in Java to give it a little more color.  This stain is great, but it soaks in quickly so if you don't want it too dark, just wipe on/wipe off. 

These drawers are still all dusty (I did clean the middles well before staining), but you can see the difference in the stain vs. not.

The rest of the piece got a custom mixed gray in homemade chalk paint of course.

For a crisp line in the middle of the drawers, I first gave the whole drawer front a light coat of General Finishes Poly Acrylic (more on this in a minute).  Once dry, I used blue painters tape along the line of veneer and rubbed it down with the edge of my paint stick.  I then painted two coats of gray.  I pulled up the tape when the second coat was still wet and got a perfect line. 

The whole piece then got 1-2 coats of Poly Acrylic in flat finish. What a fresh new look!  I think this would be a great piece to be used as a buffet or an entertainment center.  Dressers are so versatile for storage, I have them all over my house!

So let's discuss this finish.  On pieces that I don't distress, I like a harder top coat.  Something that will protect the paint more during shipping and in it's new home.  These mid-century pieces I often feel like need a bit of shine, to complete the slick, modern look.  I've used Minwax Poly-Acrylic now over my wood tops and have been really pleased with the result.  However, sometimes when applied over chalk paint I got a really funny color bleed through. After reading several review of the General Finishes High Performance Poly (say that 5 times fast), I gave it a try.

It's really a great product!  It dries very quickly, so I have found the best application is a high quality brush (I use my Purdy) just brush on smoothly but don't over-brush.  It is water based so easy to wash off - but do make sure you wash your brush well so it doesn't get crunchy. 

It's a little drippy, and I would say works better if the piece is not super detailed.  It's hard to brush it out of little grooves and details.  So you just have to pay attention it's not pooling anywhere. 

Pictured is the flat finish, which still has some shine to it which I am fine with. 

This dresser/buffet/entertainment center is for sale in the shop



I am putting the finishing touches on my new basement photo studio, which is probably not super exciting to anyone but me, but never-the-less I will share soon!