Dressing Down

I was working on my post about the Grouse Grind when I got restless. I needed to do something active after a slow and rainy day of sitting around and pottering.

So I got stuck into a project that has been sitting around for years and years.

How many years?

Well, more than 10.

Mat has this small collection of wood furniture that needs to be refinished, including two dressers. These pieces of furniture have followed us around from house to house and Mat had them for years before we met, and always had the intention of stripping them and waxing them up.

And he has never worked on them in the whole time I have known him. He must have done some before we met, but …

I would also like to point out that i have lived without a dresser ever since I arrived in Australia. That’s correct, no drawers for 9 years.

I now have a night stand in which I store my socks and underwear, but prior to getting that I used to keep them in a basket under the bed.

I have a wardrobe, so I can hang my clothes and put some on shelves below, but the door is skinny and stuff gets lost in the deep corners of the cupboard…

So, today, I finally said “enough!” and went and set to cleaning the nicer of the two dressers stored in the laundry room.

I’ll spare you the photos of the dirty water and mouse poo, but feel free to use your imagination. Remember, it’s been sitting around for 10 or more years.

Everything got vacuumed and then scrubbed down with REALLY hot water with more bleach than is probably good for humans. But I needed to make sure the mouse smell was dealt with as much as possible to discourage them from coming back.

Here’s a few shots of everything sitting around drying…




It has these really cool old handles.


They are unusual because they don’t have screws through the drawer to hold them in place, so they appear to have their own built in ‘claws’ and would have been hammered into place. That explains why no on ever bothered to remove them to paint, and they’re pretty caked. I was hoping I could remove them, soak them in some turpentine and then give them a light spray of rubbed bronze or something similar. But I am petty sure I would ruin them in the process of removing them.

Or maybe not. Maybe they are tiny little nails?

Plus, there are three missing.

Pooh, odd number.

I thought I might be able to replace a few with funky drawer knobs like these:

or these:

But see, now, here’s where you come in.

I am at an impasse.

I was going to just clean it up and put it in my room and put it to use straight away. Afterall, people pay money for this old ‘distressed’ look.


it’s got about three layers of paint, there’s a dark blue and a greenish and a white that I can see, and some of it is THICK, but Mat had also started scraping all that paint off once upon a time, and there is one drawer, one side and half the top that are raw wood.

So, I have three options, really:

  1. Use it as is
  2. Get out the sander, give it a light go-over and repaint it
  3. Get out the stripper, scrapers, sanders and strip it all the way down and do it ‘right’

What would you choose to do?

3 responses to “Dressing Down

    • I ordered the knobs last night, four of the blue single pulls and two of the white handles. Looked closer and the handles are just n Ai led on with tiny little round head nails, so should be able to remove, clean and replace them.

  1. Pingback: Yes, Progress is Slow | Rusty Red Roof·

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