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Typically, you come across a good piece of old furniture one of two ways. Either it was passed down to you from your great-grandmother Pearl (never let that one go). Or you spent last Sunday scouring the local flea market for hours and happened to get really lucky. In either case, that dresser find may be overdue for a face-lift.

What you’ll need: Sandpaper, heavy duty rubber gloves, Minwax Antique Furniture Refinisher, fine steel wool, a good quality natural bristle brush and Minwax PolyShades

Step 1: Prep the dresser by removing all hardware and drawers. Sand the entire piece using medium to fine grit sandpaper to buff out any imperfections. Tip: Always sand in the direction of the wood grain. Wipe away dust and dirt.

Step 2: Pour the furniture refinisher into a glass or metal container. Wearing the rubber gloves, dip fine steel wool into the solution, squeeze out any excess and apply it to the dresser in circular motions. This will remove the dresser’s old finish and prepare the surface for a new one. Allow to dry completely. 

Step 3: Add color and durable protection by using PolyShades. Be sure to stir the stain with a stick instead of shaking the can. Dip a good quality natural bristle paintbrush into the stain (about one inch). Your strokes should follow the wood grain and go the entire length of the furniture. For even smoother strokes, brush at a 45° angle and keep a wet edge. After it’s fully dried, lightly sand with fine steel wool, wipe clean and apply a second coat.

Step 4: Put on the finishing touches by adding modern knobs, applying patterned liner paper or whatever else suits your fancy.

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