DIY: Vanity Redux

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So, I have quite literally been trying to redo this dresser for 15 years. My mom and I picked it out from a handmade pine furniture store when I was 11 years old — and even as a wee lass I had DIY on the brain! However, this brain has also always been indecisive (and lazy), and just couldn’t figure out to do with this clunky little nugget.

While part of me actually wouldn’t mind keeping it as pine, it had just gotten so dirty over the years that I had to do something to it. There was an odd pink stain on the top, among many other mystery globs. Plus, it’s a pretty hefty piece, and I generally think pine looks much better with slimmer/sleeker lines.

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See above? Ew.

I mulled over options at the hardware store for a solid 45 minutes trying to pick the right color, because once you stain unfinished pine, there isn’t really any going back.

TIP: Be sure to use the stain sample charts that the brand displays in store, because the colors pretty much don’t look anything like they do on the face of the cans.

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The rest was really pretty straight forward! I gave it a good sanding because of all those nasty stains, decided to condition because the unfinished wood was looking parched (and the kind man at the hardware store said it would allow a more even finish), and used a silicone brush to add the two coats of stain.

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Tip: If you’re doing this indoors (because you’re an idiot like me who decided to wait until late fall for a big DIY) prepare yourself for some seriously fowl aromas. I chose not to sleep in my bedroom for three nights, keep the windows open, and fans on 24-7, and the smell still took about 2 weeks to finally dissipate.

So a better tip? Maybe wait until spring/summer when you can air it outside overnight.

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But the horrid smell was worth it! I’m so happy with the color choice of — not too red and not too dark. The handles are mismatched feathers that I had picked up on sale at Anthropologie years ago, waiting for this moment to finally arrive, but If I had my choice of any handles I may go with something like these brassy guys.

I should probably also seal it, but that may take another 15 years or so.

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If you like what you see:
Wood Stain, Minwax in English Chestnut
Storage Ottoman, Target
Frameless Mirror, Ikea
Glass Table Lamp, Ikea (similar)


— rkv

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