When I picked Long Sylvia up from a young couple's house it was love at first sight. She (and her matching tall sister) were sitting dejected and forlorn in a dark garage underneath a taxidermied moosehead. I was told that the dressers belonged to the BF, but a swift ultimatum of 'It's me or the dressers' by the lady in question promptly saw an ad posted on Craigslist. Enter me.
I was so happy to see that they were in great condition. Although they were manufactured in the 1960s, there was nary a scratch on them, and their shape was just beautiful. Classic mid-century modern. I loaded em up and the happy lady even through in a double bed for free. Thank you very much.
I tackled long-Sylvia first (as opposed to tall Sylvia). I decided to go with a trendy midcentury two-toned look. I used pure white on the drawer fronts, and I restained the entire body of the dresser in Kona and American Walnut mixed together. I had trouble with the stain on the top of the dresser drying. Days passed and it was still tacky to touch. I realized I didnt sand back far enough, so I spent several more hours resanding off the stain, and then really sanding all the way back to the wood grain. It was a serious hassle, which by the end of it had me swearing off stain for all of eternity.
I realized after reapplying the stain that I should have used a pre-conditioner, because the stain absorbed funny and left a weird hazy looking film that looked really milky at certain angles. I wiped off some of the excess stain even further and in the end I wiped on some polyurathane which did help cut through that hazyness a bit. But it still wasn't perfect, so I applied some wax and buffed that out. Well, that seemed to do the trick, because the hazy/milkiness was virtually gone.
It was a learning curve though, I realized that stain really isn't simple to work with, it takes time, patience and a fair bit of knowledge. I have since stained other pieces, but it still isn't my favorite thing to do, fortunately, I am getting better at it.
I kept the original pulls because I thought they were gorgeously angelic.
With all the sanding, re-sanding, and re-staining. I think I spent about 13 hours on this dresser. A little long, but I think she turned out lovely in the end.
I forgot to snap a before pic (Doh!), but I have a picture of a dresser in the same colour, so you get the gist of what colour she was.
This last picture shows the milky/hazy look after I restained. I did some research and some other people have experienced the same thing, but I didn't find much online by way of a soloution.