Currently I am refinishing a fifty plus year old dresser for my daughter. I have spent hours hand sanding the old paint varnish off, and removing splintering wood fragments from all surfaces. The wood is old. The dresser has not been used for nine years, and been in a storage building. The need of some minor repairs to the drawers is required. Most of the repairs are glueing the dovetail joints.
One of the drawers required repair of the dovetail joint, the corner where the front of the drawer and side connect. The joint had become loose, and the board forming the side a little warped. Using clamps, glue, and care I made the repairs.
I have some knowledge of furniture since I worked in a very exclusive furniture/cabinet shop. I had the privilege of working with different types of woods, some very exotic. I worked on pieces for very wealthy persons, such as Oprah. The owner of this shop was short with their employees, but they took a little time with me, explaining wood because I loved the wood.
Strange to many, I love sanding wood. The gradual exposure of the unique wood grain to each piece of wood is pure beauty. Different woods have their own characteristic color and grain formation. The wood grain is the way the tree forms tree rings during the growth of the tree.
Not every piece of old furniture can be refinished. Some pieces are wood boards with laminated wood paneling, very hard to refinish as it is easy to sand through the laminated wood paneling. This dresser was solid wood, no laminated wood paneling.
You can not refinish particle board. Most of modern furniture is made with particle board. Particle board simply described is sawdust and glue pressed together. Wood laminate is sometimes glued to the particle board to give the appearance of “all wood” furniture. Most of the furniture is particle board with wallpaper glued on.
If you do happen to find new real solid wood furniture, expect to pay a hefty price. Solid wood furniture will last generations, a good investment, unless you like to change the furniture in your home often.
This old dresser will be completed with new drawer slides to prevent the drawers from coming out of the dresser. I will add a few current safety measures as this dresser will be used for my grandchildren. Once completed, the dresser will serve them many years and future generations.
I am thankful I had the opportunity to learn some about working with wood in order to bless my grandchildren with a piece of furniture I grew up around. The old dresser used to belong to my adoptive parents.