Vintage pieces are beautiful, but old world furniture that looks as though it’s made of hundred year old reclaimed wood takes my breath away. You can almost hear it telling the family stories. Today, I’m sharing this vintage stained chest and the changes I’ve made to it to make it feel as though it’s a hundred year old chest that’s been made from reclaimed woods.
Here’s how the chest looked in its original vintage glory. It was beautiful as is, but of course I needed to add my own style.
The first thing I did was sanded it down…well, mostly. I knew I wanted a more rustic, uneven coloring – a finish that looks like it’s been worn away naturally in areas or sun-bleached just in the few areas where the light hit the wood for years and years.
To make this peice look as though it was more of an old world piece that had been used for a hundred years, I sanded it fully in some areas (the top and edges), partially in some areas (the drawer fronts and sides), and not at all in other areas (the recessed cabinet fronts).
The results after washing the entire piece in a dark expresso stain, are perfect color variations – from light to dark – in the wood. And a furniture piece that now looks like it was made from reclaimed wood.
The stain used was actually a Varathane Expresso stain with a few drops of pure black stain added. Then I wiped on a few coats of Minwax satin wipe-on polyurethane.
What I love about the wipe-on oil-based poly is that if you wipe on just 2-3 coats, the result is a more matte hand-rubbed appearance than the thicker brush-on poly. Of course if you wipe on 5 to 9 coats, as I do with tabletops, you’ll get a more silkier satin finish with the same product; but the 2 to 3 coats results in the matte hand-rubbed finish.
As much as I loved the brass hardware, I opted to only leave two of the loop rings on this chest and purchased new brass knobs for the drawers to also give the chest a new look. It was important that I keep at least two of the original rings. They are amazing pieces of hardware and even have “Italy” engraved on the back sides of them. Don’t worry, I have plans to use the other rings on future furniture makeovers.
To clean the brass without any harsh chemicals, I simply placed the hardware in a plastic container, lined it with aluminum foil and covered the brass with a solution made of vinegar, salt, and baking soda. Let the brass soak for 1 hour then wipe each piece with an SOS pad. You’ll see the old dark residue buildup wash right off and you’re left with an antiqued brass.
The chest legs also have brass caps.
This chest isn’t just perfect for clothes, I can see this as a linen closet or as extra storage in an entryway. It’s a sharp butler of sorts, keeping changing or organization needs satisfied and anticipated!
This old world expresso chest is now available in Entri Ways’ online Shop.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products I use myself.
Amber Ferguson says
Wow what a great transformation! Pinning!
Vicki Blazejowski says
Thank you so much Amber
Christina Makri says
It is one of the most beautiful chests I’ve ever see!!! Thank you for sharing at Sweet Inspiration Link Party 🙂
Vicki Blazejowski says
Thank you so much Christina. I sat and thought on this for a few months before finally figuring out how I wanted to refinish it. Then one day I finally saw a vision for it.