Thursday, May 20, 2010


I've started refinishing my dresser.  Here are the steps I've taken so far, steps you, too, could take if you'd like to refinish something:

1. Take everything off the top of it and out of the drawers, and put those things somewhere else (on top of the dog crate and in some garbage bags, in my case).
2. Take off the handles.  Keep the handles and hardware in a bag together (also on top of the dog crate), but contemplate buying new, outrageously overpriced ones from Anthropologie.
(Interlaced Twigs Handle, only $18 apiece)
3. Lay down drop cloth outside.
4. Set drawers outside.
5. Drag dresser outside.
6. Apply Citristrip all over dresser.  Citristrip is a theoretically non-toxic paint stripper made from orange peels.  It's an orange goo, and I think it smells good, kind of like futuristic Push-Ups.  It should be applied in thick coats -comparable to how much Nutella any normal person would apply to a slice of bread.
7. After 30-45 minutes, start scraping it off with a putty knife.  If the paint doesn't want to come all the way off, apply more Citristrip.

That's where I am now.  I'm going to apply more goo to the un-scraped pieces tomorrow, then start washing and sanding.  It's all very exciting, though a little unnerving, as a ton of my stuff is now in plastic bags scattered throughout my living room and kitchen, and my dresser is dissembled on my deck, covered in goo.  There's no going back (though the thought of dragging it to the curb and buying a new dresser has flitted through my mind once or twice...).


  1. Liz - I LOVE the way you describe the process. It makes me think that maybe, I too, could refinish something! I will be very happy to find out how it's progressing. Thanks!

  2. "-comparable to how much Nutella any normal person would apply to a slice of bread."

    Ha ha! I also love your descriptions!
    I'm moving back to Lincolnshire West later this week, and I plan on repainting my dressers, so this is very inspiring. Are you planning to tackle your couch reupholstering this summer too?

  3. Oh man, you're moving back to Lincolnshire West? That's awesome! Yay!

    There's an 80s vs 90s night in Madison on June 12th! You should come up. I bought raver pants to support the 90s; they are hilarious.

  4. Liz - those pants are the MOST AWESOME things I've ever seen. Connie - you NEED to see them!!!!!

  5. Oh my gosh those sound also need to get one of those pacifier necklaces to go with those pants! You are right, Mary, I MUST see them!