Before and After: Dinged Up Dresser

There have been whispers that some of you aren’t Danish oil converts yet. You will be after seeing this.

Dresser BeforeI bought this cute dresser from REDO at the same time Austin and I bought a million chairs. It sat in our garage forever and my husband would grumble about how we couldn’t get both cars in. So a couple weeks ago I set out to finish this dude.

Drawer FrontHe was so abused at some point (not by the good folks at REDO). I’m not sure what happened, but there were scratches everywhere. And at some point he had been abandoned in standing water. That’s not haze in the above picture, that’s the water line.

Materials to CleanHere are the materials I used in step one. It’s pretty self explanatory. I used hot water, a half capful of Murphy Oil Soap and a rag to scrub off the grime and a towel to quickly wipe up the water. The dresser was pretty filthy so this was a necessary step. There’s not a good process picture for this one since the dresser looked pretty much the same.

Materials Step 2Enter step two. Watco’s Danish Oil in medium walnut finish and a lint-free cloth. Are we getting paid for all this product placement? Ha! No. It’s just amazing the transformation. Simply pour some on the cloth and rub it in to the surface of the wood. Wait thirty minutes, add another coat, then wipe off all remaining oil. Wait at least 72 hours for the oil to completely dry. In our humid nasty weather I’ve waited even longer to be safe.

I started on the top because it was bugging me the most.

Dresser TopNot going to lie, that big white spot is still there and will forever be there. I can’t get rid of it no matter what I try. Along with that tiny weird black mark. But the scratches? Gone.

Top After

I apologize. This was taken in my garage because I completely forgot to nab a side by side comparison. See why we can’t get both cars in the garage?!

And another view for you.

Dresser Top HalfYes, that’s the left side treated with danish oil and the right side not treated.

Drawer FrontOn to the drawer fronts. They looked so, so sad.

Dresser Half Finished

Here’s the left half treated, the right half untreated. It’s amazing isn’t it?

Drawer Fronts CloseupThe left half finished, the right half unfinished.

Sides Half FinishedMy favorite shot is this one though. There were scratches like on the right clear across the entire side of the dresser. The left half is finished, right half unfinished. I even called my husband over to have him see this change and he was impressed. Probably impressed I was one step closer to putting his car in the garage.

Danish oil has changed my life. Well, at least saved me from stripping some pieces of furniture. To warn you, I did try it on a dresser from the forties and unfortunately I should have checked in a discreet location. The oil seeped underneath the finish and turned the scratch a slightly darker color and the space around it a much darker color. So always check before you dive straight in to drawer fronts.

Next week I’ll have this guy moved in to his native setting and out of the garage. We’re waiting for the paint to dry on our basement floor. I just couldn’t wait to show you!

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  1. Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I wish I had done this on my last find, a Stanley 9-drawer dresser. Instead I sanded and stained and wipe-on-polyed and it was a nightmare. I shall try the Danish Oil next time.

    Sanding is for the birds, man.

    • Angela
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      I agree Deb! There’s been so many projects I stripped, sanded and stained and curse myself for not knowing this not as drastic fix.

  2. Lisa Friedrichsen
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Have you tried laying a cloth over the white spots and applying a hot iron? I had a similar mark on a pristine Lane coffe table after someone set a hot plate on it. I know it sounds crazy but it worked and the table looks new again.

    • Angela
      Posted August 14, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Hi Lisa! I haven’t tried that yet but read that might work. I tried several of the other “fixes” with no avail. I’m not sure what made the mark in the first place so I’m hesitant to try anything too drastic. I did use a hair dryer but that made it slightly worse! I’m too much of a wimp to try an iron especially when the dryer didn’t work 🙂 Maybe I’ll work up the nerve.

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