Buh Bye Knotty Pine! {Before & After}

While my kids were in Florida vacationing with their dad, I was doing my best to keep busy.  This involved working some longs days at my job and on the weekend, I tackled this bad boy.
It's actually an old dresser that I just took the mirror off of and I use for storage.  It has sat in my living room, for years, looking like it belonged in a hunting lodge in the woods somewhere.

It's very functional though.  I use it to store a ton of craft stuff, my keys, cell phone, laminator, label maker, etc...  I have the three frames sitting on it because I'm planning on hanging a gallery wall of family photos up above the dresser (one of these years).

I'd been wanting to sand it down and stain it a darker color for a very long time. I kept putting it off though because I knew it would be a big, messy, time consuming project.  So, with my kids away, I tackled the project.
The first day I took off all of the drawers and took the dresser out to my backyard patio to sand it down.
This was the easy part with my circular sander.  The drawers took more work because the circular sander was a little too big and I couldn't get into all of the corners so these had to be hand sanded.
This piece is also just a pine veneer so I had to be extra careful so that this didn't happen (sanding down to the cheap plywood underneath).  This usually happened right after I put a new piece of sand paper on.
I have to admit, that after two days of sanding, I was ready to just torch this thing in my back yard.  But, I carried on and got it done.  Next, I stained it with Miniwax "Honey" which is just a nice dark brown.  I used the stain and sealer in one hoping to save time, but the finish dried a little dull so I went over it with a coat of satin poly.
The finishing touch was some new shiny hardware from Home Depot.  And, here is the after!
I absolutely love it now!  It's my favorite piece in the living room, and I'm so glad that I didn't give into my frustration and burn it in the back yard. ;)

I still need to finish the gallery wall and decide what I'm going to put on top of it, but it feels great to get a major project done.  My kids loved it when they got home!

What about you?  Have you tackled any big projects that you've been putting off lately?

12/4/12 Update: I finally finished the gallery wall! You can see the before and after here.

Linking up at Emilie A. Clark's, working with what you have.


  1. I hopped over from Deme's blog and saw this on your project gallery. It is simply stunning. I just gave up on staining my two night stands I had for three years and stained/painted 3 times. This is the color I wanted but I kept getting cherry and lame oak from 80s. I am so making a note on the one you used!

  2. That stain is beautiful. So glad you kept it! Thanks for linking up :)

    1. Thanks Emily! Sweet of you to leave a comment.


Your comments make my day! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. Comments are moderated so, it may take awhile for yours to show up.