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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a dresser that is approx 1920 vintage or a bit earlier, looking at the interwebs it might go 1850-60. Looks like poplar, doweled sides on the drawers, back nailed, real silvered mirror . It was my mothers growing up so I know it wasnt new when she got it. It isnt a great dresser as in worth a lot as a antique. I was going to leave it alone, however it has come to the point where it is going to start living upstairs and I really took a good look at it and just cant do it. (Like I need another project) It is rough. My mom liked refinishing furniture so I kind of doubt she would mind.

Looks like it lived in a basement or garage where cans were placed on it. The top is covered in rings and flaking off. I know the top layer is shellac because alcohol can be used to remove it. Under the shellac, it looks antiqued, no idea with what or how they did it, or when it was done. I have never had a lot of luck with chem strippers, and I have to try the citrus stuff though, it needs to be done inside. Not my first rodeo, but I seem to always end up sanding for a week or more.

Any stripper tips, finish ideas, or an idea of when it was made?





The plan is to strip it as best as I can get it, then do a black cherry stain and oil finish it if it has any grain at all. I hate poly and am willing to put in two extra weeks to do it. If it has GOOD grain, then I will probably leave the character marks and finish w/o a stain.
Cool stuff on the piece





bolts and nuts
 

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Wow, I thought this thread was about something else.
Me too, what I first thought of, won't stay on here very long, and would probably get someone a timeout.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, the project that ate my life is done.

It ends up it is about a 1925-1935 low end dresser in a kind of Shaker style. There was shellac over varnish, over milk paint. FYI, if anyone ever gives me something with milk paint on it and suggests that I can refinish it, I will, I will transform it into ashes. Re milk painting would be the only way to go.

Anyway, it ended up stripping each part 2-3 times, 1-2 with a scraper and the last with steel wool, then get out the 80 grit. I used conditioner because the wood is poplar, knobs are walnut, and Special Walnut stain after taking the majority of the milk paint off leaving it in the character marks and where it was to embedded in.
Before and after
 

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If it was on storage wars it would be worth at least $3000. Nice job. My daughter in law had some bedroom furniture from her grandmother that was mahogany. She wanted me to make some small dressers to match it. It took me almost 3 weeks to get the stain to match.
 

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Really nice work. Got to get a new picture in that frame though 😜,
 
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