before & after: mid-century credenza makeunder

I’ll be honest; when I see pieces painted over in this fashion, I usually want to run the other way. Just the thought of trying to tackle a project like this credenza from Meagan Luhrs and her husband, Ryan Thompson, makes me break out in a preemptive sweat. I am amazed at their results and would expect to pay no less than top dollar for such clean, mid-century lines and beautiful wood. Clearly, elbow grease and perseverance can pay off— if you have the skill to spot a piece with good bones. Amazing job, guys! — Kate

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

Time: Probably 20 to 25 hours from start to finish. That sounds like a lot of time, but the dresser was in really rough shape and needed some serious TLC.

Cost: $85. The dresser was $35 on Craigslist and we spent about $50 on supplies — Citristrip, paint scrapers, white enamel paint, sandpaper and Danish oil.

Basic Steps: I was pregnant at the time, so my husband did all of the hard work! He started by stripping the white paint with Citristrip and scrubbing the dresser with soap and water. Then he sanded — being very careful on the veneered drawers — filled the damaged corners with wood filler, sanded all surfaces, primed the dresser frame with oil-based Kilz, painted the dresser frame with white enamel paint and oiled the drawer fronts with Danish oil.

Look for creative solutions to give a piece of furniture new life; for us, this was going with a two-tone finish. Since we were unable to save the dresser frame — the corners were too damaged — we decided to repaint it white. We originally thought we’d have to repaint the drawers too, but the veneer was really beautiful, and we were able to restore them. The contrast of the white frame and wood drawers turned out to be a really nice design element. — Meagan Luhrs and Ryan Thompson

  1. Bridget says:

    This is the most impressive “before and after” I think I’ve ever seen. WOW!

  2. Michelle Martel says:

    Just breathtaking !!! So beautiful. Great job :)

  3. Heloisa Vila says:

    Looks great – what technique was used for the drawers? The pulls do look like a different color. What color of Danish oil did you use? Thanks!

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