Antique Washstand

If I told you I paint furniture that would be a lie. The truth is, I paint a LOT of furniture. My objective is to transform furniture that has seen better days and give it a second chance. So I'm always on the lookout for another project piece. This washstand looked like a good project piece, so I snatched it up. But after I brought it home for further inspection, I decided to refurbish it instead of painting.


It's a solid wood piece circa late 1800's. The finish was in horrible condition and one of the doors was literally hanging on by a thread. The locking mechanism was missing. There were some holes in the door from the original latch (missing) and a knob that wasn't very pretty. If I filled the holes then I would need to paint it, so I decided to work with it as-is.

Someone had tried to reattach the hinges, but the screws they used were too long and were poking through the front of the door.

 The interior shelves are solid wood. But the wood was very dry. And dirty, yuk.

The interior of the drawer was yucky, too.

The top had some gouges in the wood and had some unsightly stains.

So for the first order of business, I sanded down the top with my orbital sander. I stained the top and sealed it with a clear top coat.

Next I applied Restor-A-Finish with a shop cloth and then beeswax for conditioning.

The photo below is the refinishing in process. The wood took on a lovely patina.

Since the screws were previously drilled through to the front, my husband filled the holes with wood dowels and inserted the right size screws in order to reattach the door.


Now it's a lovely piece once again while still retaining a bit of the rustic charm and history. I'll be honest and tell you I much prefer to paint furniture, but I don't paint unless I think it will add value. Nevertheless, if this one doesn't sell then I will reconsider painting it, but I hope a buyer sees the beauty of it.


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