A forlorn washing stand, bound for the burn pile, recovered to beautiful white-washed farm room dresser. Removing the veneer from the doors provided the re-style inspiration.
Fix the doors first
Actually, I tossed the doors in the trash first! I’ve seen many of these wash dressers with missing doors, replaced with two cool baskets instead. Yeah, maybe too many. An initial search for right sized baskets bombed out. Good thing I could still fetch those doors from the trash. I succumbed to the chore of removing the veneer rather than repairing it. Way too much missing to fill and sand.
I had no re-style plan in mind before starting this project. It was an uncomfortable wait for an inspiration.
Removing the Veneer
The YouTube video’s I watched made the process look so darn simple, but this veneer was stubborn. The first technique used was the heat-gun method. The adhesive should soften with the heat and bubble up. Chip, chip, chip. No big strips were detaching. This age old adhesive was not giving up at all. At this rate, it would be weeks and accidental digs into the top base.
Second, I tried wet towel and hot iron method. I burned the iron instead and the veneer moved, bubbled and detached NOT. Dang this should have worked.
Lastly, I wetted a terry cloth towel and soaked the veneer for a few hours by sandwiching it between the two door faces. Added heat from the heat gun and finally, satisfying strips of veneer separated.
What lay under the veneer were light colored rough and raw assembled doors, as farm housy as could be. There is my inspiration.
Make finished wood be unfinished
With haste and courage, I reached for the big-girl belt sander. The belt was switched for the largest grit sandpaper on hand – 60. Using the full weight of the sander, I laid into each surface taking off a measurable layer of wood, maybe even .030 inch.
Though I was going for a complete surface of raw blonde wood, without stain or varnish, I stopped in time to appreciate the dark blotches that remained.
Watery white paint, a dry brush, and flat poly
Watered down shite chalk paint brushed completely over all surfaces. It soaked into the wood providing no opportunity for wiping or rubbing. It gave a transparent white hazy appearance. I love how it did exactly what I wanted – which never ever happens.
Using regular undiluted chalk paint, a dry brush technique provided a bit more farm house styling and contrast with the dark blotches.
Choosing knobs for a pieces is a lot like staring in ones closet, figuring out what piece goes with the other. Something I am not good at. I’ve said for years the designer that makes ‘Gar-animals’ for adults has all my business!
After consulting with paint friend Sue, we settled on mercury bling on the top drawer and two crackle painted smaller knobs on the bottom. I’m still not convinced these knobs are the best for this piece. Looking at it again, perhaps some metal brackets or straps might give it the old ice box look.
There are no right or wrong knob and handle selections but there is bland.
For sale at Antique Mercantile, Jackson MI
This is a great addition as a mini buffet or wine bar in a dining room, even a TV stand. It’s got great look and great storage.