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Rehab Project - I Hate Veneer...I Love My Wife

author-gravatar jewanon Jan 09, 2019

My wife's grandfather's family received this dresser, and the set of furniture it came with, the day he was born.  Since then, it has been used, stored in barns and garages and basements, moved repeatedly, and generally had something of a hard life.  

She, of course, wanted to bring it home and have it live with us.  I hate veneer...but I love my wife.

I didnt think to take many pictures of the before state, but this gives you a good idea.  The lower sections of this veneered piece were a wreck...from the look of the strip between the middle and bottom drawer, it was exposed to a flood.  The upper sections weren't awful, and just needed some cleaning up.  The starburst pattern of the veneer was important to save.  Thankfully there wasn't one on the bottom drawer at all, so I didn't really have to worry about it.

I have a theory that the bottom drawer was rehabbed previously, just from some of the differences in the veneer between the top two and the bottom drawer, but that's neither here nor there.

Step one...replace the rollers so I can move this damn thing around.

Step two...get the wrecked veneer off of the sides and bottom drawer.  Strip strip strip...okay now its all cleaned to where the glue actually held...

...wet it all down...

...make sure to cover the glued areas and try to avoid wetting the wood...

...strip strip...wet...

..strip strip...wet..

...strip...strip...sigh.  Wet.

FINALLY.  Oh for the love of glue..

Sand it all.  Think you're done?  KEEP SANDING.

Better.

Better...

Good.  Clean.  

Same deal with the drawer.  Wet, strip, wet, strip, wet, strip, sand sand sand.

Sanded,

This is where everything went to hell.  At this time, I was working in a garage.  Uninsulated, no heat, in winter...water...oy.  I should have left it alone and not done this until summer...at least spring...this was my fault.  There are now cracks on both sides.

Stained.

Two or three rounds of stain, three or four rounds of poly to get it exactly where I she wanted.  Halfway thru the second coat of poly, it was determined that the chosen poly was not the right finish...so we went to a different one.    

The edging and upper sections were cleaned up as non-destructively as possible.  There are some burn marks on the top that were not removed out of fear of damaging the veneer on the top of the dresser.

Drawer stained and set with its compatriots.

In its new home.  Somehow, this became my dresser...

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