Sunday, 25 May 2014

Is That an Optical Illusion in my Woodgrain...

I discovered this beautiful piece whilst out perusing my favorite re-store.  I spotted her strong beauty straight away - I think she was flexing her biceps at me, and as a bonus, she came with a large 'leaner' mirror. 

An older gentleman also navigating the store's aisles stopped and gave me a wink.  He said, 'that is a very good piece of furniture. Solid wood.  You could refinish it by sanding back and it will be beautiful again."

You read my mind little old man!
If you have read my blog before, than you know that sometimes the wood purist in my (inherited from my traditional parents) chirps up and commands 'Put thy paintbrush down, young lady!'  Sometimes I listen, sometimes I don't.   If its an ugly 70s dresser, than paint is almost a must to make the piece tolerable again.  But on MCM pieces, I will usually restain, or do a two-tone.
This piece had stunning grain.  Like swirling Van Gough clouds dancing across the top.  Paint that?  I. Just. Cant. 
But more amazing.  This piece contains an OPTICAL ILLUSION on the wooden inlay of the middle bank of drawers!!  Can you see it?  Take a look through the pictures, its pretty obvious, and SUPER COOL if you ask this old bird!  Stare at it long enough and it will turn into a breaching whale with a rainbow overhead!  Serious! You just need to keep staring.
So after I hauled this mammoth home (all 75" of her), I plugged in the orbital and sanded off the old finish which was easily done on all parts accept the top.  The top had a few extra coats of protection and it was making the orbital (and my elbow) I stripped it instead and finished it off with the orbital.
I was very careful not to sand through the grain, this can be tricky at the edges and corners (as I have learned the hard way in the past).  After all was sanded, I wiped down all the dust and I started staining.

I than protected with three coats of poly (5 on the top).

I opted to keep the original hardware because I love the way they slope up at the top. It reminds me of the peaks on BRASLIA dressers.
Here is the before.  She is on her side. She had a lot of scratches, but overall very good condition. No significant chips or dings.


  1. Stopping by from MMS FFF - LOVE this! Great work. And what a cool feature in the wood inlay. :)

  2. wow! that is such a beautiful piece! great job restoring it!

  3. Gorgeous! You did a great job. She is a stunning beauty.