Use What You Have

When we moved into our new home I decided  I wanted our master bedroom to have a warm sophisticated feel.  I wanted dark neutral paint colors and dark wood furniture.  Fortunately we budgeted for a new bed frame and   nightstands, but that was it.  In the end the room turned out awesome, but we were left with a nice dresser that did not match and no budget to replace it.  So, of course, I thought of the next best thing, lets stain it.  Keep in mind, I have never stained before, but I wanted my black-brown wood dresser and I did not want to pay for it.  Besides, I have watched enough HGTV’s DIY shows to know I can do it, right?

My husband had to help me on this one.  We did some research to figure out how to accomplish this goal and the final conclusion was it only required a few items, a sander, wood conditioner, stain, and a polyurethane finish.  Well, it turns out, it is actually pretty simple to stain a dresser and the best part of the actual staining is that you don’t have to be that neat.  The point of the stain is to be absorbed by the wood.  I was unaware of that so I was pleasantly surprised to find out i was nothing like painting.

This project can easily be accomplished in a weekend, but due to our schedules and having a 20 month old, one can imagine how excited I was to finally be finished with this project after a week and a half.  I am so elated over the finished product and the feeling of finishing a DIY project is priceless.  As an added bonus, when I was eagerly putting away our clothes (several days of pulling clothes off beds and couches became quite old) I realized that my dresser felt a bit fancy.  I am not sure if it is the stain choice or the smooth finish, but I feel like I now have a  piece luxury furniture in my bedroom.  Despite the work and the smell (please note, the fumes from the chemicals are strong and unpleasant), I would do it all over again.

The Dresser Before as Purchased from Ikea (On Sale $250)

The Surface of The Dresser Post-Sanding by My Husband

The Second Application of Stain

First Application of The Polyurethane Finish

The Finished Product



Price to buy the dresser: $299+

Cost of Wood Conditioner, Stain, and Finish:  $24

Cost of knobs: $40*

*Note this cost could be significantly lower.  Check the amount of knobs you’ll need before purchasing.  I ended buying two $19.99 boxes from Target….arrrrgg!

Total Cost:  $64

Total Saved: $23o+


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