I tossed up what to do with this piece. When I picked it up it wasn't in as good of condition as the picture made it seem, but there was very few serious dings or chips in the veneer. I was going to do a white wrap, but the wood was so nice that I decided to strip and re-stain the entire piece.
The old finish came off really easily, it wasn't one of those super-duper thick finishes. After I wiped all the dust down, I preconditioned the wood, and once that was dry I re-stained the piece in special walnut by Minwax.
I really wanted a low sheen finish so that it almost looked like bare wood, yet I still wanted to offer some protection for the wood. I opted for wipe on poly. These pictures show how a bit of a sheen is still visible, but Im planning to knock back the sheen with some steel wool.
The legs had a lot of wear on them, and I have learned from experience that I have a very hard time getting my legs to stain to the same darkness as the dresser. This has happened on several occasions, and it baffles me. It must be that it is a different wood and it doesn't like stain. When I look at the existing stain I can see it is more like a paint-stain. I have even tried gel stain, but no luck.
So in this instance I decided to paint them off-white to add a bit of a contrast with the wood, but still keeping it fairly traditional.
This is the picture from the ad listing, it was the only picture, so not much to go on, but I instantly loved the crosspiece that connects to the two legs. The finish looks like it is really good, but pictures are so deceiving! In real life all of the drawers had wear marks everywhere, so she definitely needed to be taken back to the raw wood.