Did you say Furniture?

I am well into stripping the paint from my old wood dresser now. I have wondered if this is something I would enjoy doing as a side hobby so I looked into people who do! I found this fabulous podcast by The Zibra Blog where he interviewed Fallon Yates. Fallon gave her top five secret places to find/ buy old furniture for refinishing projects. I already had my dresser on hand, hiding in a dark corner of my basement so I am sure there are many people out there in a similar circumstance! These pieces of furniture are often advertised on Facebook Marketplace, auctions, yard sales, second hand/ thrift stores, or random people just give them away. I have also been looking at refinishing artists for tips and things that have worked for them. Jeanne’s work used a lot of color such as pink and blues, which surprised me. I feel excited to get to the stage of covering my dresser in color but I am still stripping off the old, ugly green paint!

My dresser project, tipped on its end for ease of stripping old paint

I have not decided if I want to paint or stain this dresser when I am done. I looked at the many online pictures and many seem to be painted. This must be the fad right now, however, I just stripped paint off and it is really hard work. I worry that the paint colour will go out of style and then I am right back to where I started! Look at this example I found online:


I think stain would be nice but then as I was watching a YouTube video, she suggested using something called “Tung Oil”. Now I really feel overwhelmed with options! And today I just discovered there is something called “chalk paint”! YIKES! Too many options. So let’s delve into what each one is!

Tung Oil has been around for thousands of years, originating in China. Because of its versatility, it can be applied to concrete, wood, stone, brick, or even metal surfaces. It requires anywhere from 3-5 coats and takes time to dry but is still popular because it is environmentally friendly and easy to use. I like that! How do you think it would look?

Left side of the dresser, tilted on its end

Stain. What is stain and how is it different from Tung oil? Well, wood stain is meant to enhance the colour of the wood enabling the natural wood grain to be visible. Stain is technically tinted, therefore the process is similar to painting. Therefore, stain actually changes the colour of the wood, unlike Tung oil. I am not sure what to think of this. Do I like the colour of the dresser? Here is a close up picture:

Chalk paint is meant to allow for more freedom and creativity so that painters can change their mind part way through. Chalk paint does not require a priming coat and is used to create a time-worn, vintage finish which is very popular right now.

I am content saying I am not interested in chalk paint and that I am leaning towards Tung oil. I think that is the look I am wanting! Within the next week I will get to go shopping for new hardware! This is starting to take shape! It has been a massive effort to remove the old green paint. I was not expecting it to be as difficult and time consuming as it has been but it has been very rewarding. I like that I can see immediate results each time I work on it!

8 thoughts on “Did you say Furniture?

  1. Jana, this is starting to look sooo good! I personally have never used tung oil but I think the colour of wood you have here is gorgeous and I think it would look beautiful restored to its natural beauty! I have used stain, and personally I am not the biggest fan, depending on the direction you sanded and any scuffs or markings that aren’t fully sanded will show up under the stain which is never the desired result. I also used chalk paint. I don’t mind it personally because it does not require many coats. One tip I have for painting furniture if you go that route is to use a melamine finish. It leaves a super durable finish that is easy to clean and hard to scuff, chip or rub off. Anyways sorry for the novel! I am sure any final product you decide to use will turn out gorgeous! Can’t wait to see it complete! Good luck with all your hard work, its really paying off!


    1. Hey Julie, thanks so very much for your feedback, I really appreciate it. I had not considered the melamine finish. I have not heard of it. I like that! I am going to look into it!


  2. This is an exciting project! I enjoyed reading your reflections on the different options and products you could try to use. Good luck with your decisions on the next steps! I hope it all goes smoothly!


  3. I really enjoyed reading your blog and I really appreciate the research and the summary you have provided us for each paint/stain option! I think whichever you choose will be awesome! I can’t wait to see the finished project!


  4. Hey Jana, I really enjoyed reading this post! I love DIY’s and interior design, so I can’t wait to see the finished project. I found this blog really informative, I have never heard of tung oil before and I think that would be super cool to use or maybe you could find a grey tone stain to keep it more modern. I look forward to seeing what you choose!


  5. Hi Jana, reading your blog on trying to decide what direction to use while painting your dresser is inspiring. Yes it’s true there is so many options and it feels good at the end to see the results. The work you put into fixing up your dresser is going to rewarding at the end because you did it! 🙂 Proud of you!


  6. Jana, great post! I love the photo by photo transformation of the dresser and all the comments about what you are doing to it and what you don’t want to do to it. You are very honest in your post about how difficult this process is and I think that is so important when posting about DIY projects. Looking forward to seeing the continuing progress!


  7. Hi Jana! This is really awesome that you’re reusing your old furniture for your projects! I love that you also put in what the options you have are and provide a brief explanation to each. I’m sure that this dresser will look good once it’s done with whatever you decide to use! I’m really excited to see the final project and your thoughts on it. I will use these to get some of my own old furniture revamped, so thank you a lot for this!


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