If you've got a little bit of time on your hands and don't mind putting forth some elbow grease, you can transform an old wooden dresser from a local antique store (such as http://buckscountyestatetraders.com/) into a unique and valuable furniture piece for your home. Not to mention, you can do this for a lot less than it would cost to buy a brand new dresser from a furniture shop. Before you decide to tackle a dresser restoration project, however, there are some tips you need to keep in mind.
Invest in a Paint Stripper
Understand that, with older wooden furniture, it's not uncommon to find that the dresser has already been painted and refinished several times in the past. In order to start with a "blank canvas" and ensure the best results, then, you'll need to strip all those layers of paint and finish. This is often the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process, but it can be made much easier with a quality paint stripping product and a putty knife.
Don't Skip the Sanding
While it might be tempting to start painting as soon as you're done stripping the existing finish, it's important to at least do a light sanding of the dresser and it drawers before you move forward. This will help to expose the grain of the wood, which will ensure the best possible adherence of the paint. This means less chipping and peeling down the road.
Prime Before Painting
For the best possible results, you should also apply at least a couple coats of a wood primer onto the dresser after you've sanded it (and blown away any saw dust or debris). A primer specifically made for use on wood will provide the perfect surface for your furniture paint to adhere to. This is especially recommended if you're painting over a darker wood, which could otherwise be difficult to cover (particularly with a lighter paint color).
Finish With a Sealant
Last but not least, don't assume that your work is done when you're done painting your dresser. Once it's dry, apply a couple coats of a clear sealant to help protect that paint job from peeling and chipping over time. Once you've done this and let it dry, all that will be left to do is to replace the existing hardware with something newer. From there, you'll have a beautiful new dresser for a small cost!