Refinishing Small Chest

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Old 07-09-13, 12:52 PM
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Refinishing Small Chest

I am as old as dirt and this is my first attempt at restoring a small chest of drawers. Below are images of my progress thus far. I only own a little mouse type sander and it can't reach into the hard to reach corners, etc.

Should I try using paint stripper and sand some more?

I love the little wood casters but the hardware is quite rusted. What is best way to clean without hurting the wood? The hole is too large for one of the casters, but that I can fix.

I am missing the handle for one the the small drawers so I plan on using the handle from the top drawer for this drawer and looking for a new handle at a rehab store to replace the top drawer handle.

I have to glue most of the drawers as they are pulling apart.

Lucy


Name:  Chest Drawers, Casters, Knobs.jpg
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Size:  32.1 KBName:  Chest_After Sanding.jpg
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Size:  36.3 KBName:  Top Drawer.jpg
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Old 07-09-13, 02:02 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Usually it's best to start with a stripper to remove the bulk of the old finish and then proceed to sanding. I'd suggest trying some small scrapers to clean up the grooves you can't get to...... and then sand again.
It's looking good though!
 
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Old 07-09-13, 02:14 PM
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OMG, I forgot my main question. I would like it to be a light/natural color, but have no idea what kind of wood it is made from--I know it is not pine. I will run a drawer down to Home Depot tomorrow to see what they recommend. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance...
 
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Old 07-09-13, 04:30 PM
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I think that might be chestnut.
 
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Old 07-10-13, 05:17 AM
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I would just use a clear finish over the natural color. A stain will not make it any lighter or more natural. After you finish sanding, wipe a section with paint thinner, that will show you what the wood will look like under finish.
 
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Old 07-10-13, 05:25 AM
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My first thought would have been oak as that was very common back then, but I don't think the grain looks oak. Don't think I would know chestnut if I saw it, so I'll defer to droo's guess. Either way, looking very nice considering your limited equipment. My best advice would be not to rush it; a little extra attention to preparing it prior to finishing will pay big dividends. Keep us posted on progress.
 
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Old 07-10-13, 05:37 AM
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I'm inclined to agree with droo I used to go to a church that had chestnut bead board and your wood favors what I remember on the church walls/ceiling.

I'd also recommend no stain, just a poly finish. An oil base poly will will deepen the colors naturally in the wood [my preference] a water based poly won't change the coloring much - just give it a sheen.
 
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Old 07-10-13, 06:24 AM
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Thanks soooo much. I am going to grab my paint thinner!
 
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Old 07-10-13, 11:16 AM
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Chestnut and oak look very much alike. I thought oak at first, but I know chestnut was used quite a bit many years ago for this type of thing. It isn't used anymore because it is no longer available. When I see chestnut, it looks like oak and at the same time it doesn't look like oak.
 
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