There’s a First Time for Everything

Ethan Allen Old Tavern Pine Dresser

This dresser is a gem. I’m in love. Both my husband and I can’t believe just how beautifully this dresser shines with a little bit of love. I wanted a new dresser, but the styles these days weren’t exciting me so my husband and I decided to check out all the consignment shops in the area. I wasn’t looking for new because I had seen some old dressers that people had brought back to life and decided to give that a try. We found this dresser under a pile of junk in a little shop. It’s an Ethan Allen, from the Old Tavern Pine collection from 1970. It was in bad shape. So bad that I didn’t think there was any hope of anyone ever loving it again. It was pockmarked, burned and dinged. The finish was no longer glossy. I hadn’t planned on staining at all so the cosmetic issues didn’t pose a problem. It appealed to us for its solid wood, all the drawers worked, and it was sturdy. Oh, and did I mention that we got it (along with the mirror) for a bank-busting $40? Who wouldn’t buy it? How could anyone go wrong?

Anyway, my husband decided to sand it down to see if staining was possible. I, not thinking, didn’t take a before picture of the damage. I’m kicking myself. Dare I say it looked really, really defeated. Especially because it was buried under a pile of unwanted junk. But we saw the potential, the brand and the price and took it home.  If you are interested in seeing a picture of the original design, google Ethan Allen Old Tavern Pine Dresser.  I would have posted a facsimile, but I didn’t want to pirate a photo that someone else took.  Chances are that you’ll find one in beautiful shape compared to how this sad block of wood looked.

My husband sanded the dresser down to bare wood.  He had to take a little more off of the drawers due to the hardware ghosting on the surface of the wood.  We were both thrilled that we didn’t have to paint it.  For stains, I shopped around and went with Old Masters stains in Spanish Oak and Red Mahogany. We were really happy with how the stain took to the wood. The contrast was shocking, especially when that first coat of poly went on. I was not a fan of the original hardware, it’s just not my style, but will keep it in the chance that I sell it some day. You never know, someone just might want to restore it back to its original self.

I will update this post with the mirror when we get that finished.  It’s probably going to be a while because we don’t have a ton of time to put into it at the moment.  The glass is in beautiful shape so we will be able to use it if we don’t have a giant oops.  I’m attaching a slideshow and I hope you like what you see.  We really can’t wait to get the mirror finished so we can move on to another project!

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