34 Comments

  1. Let me be perfectly honest! Your blog is incredibly interesting and informative. The hours you spend getting everything down perfectly just blows my mind! And that’s after exhausting hours doing the project. All I can say is THANKS!!

    1. Wow thank you so much! I definitely love hearing that!

      1. This is an amazing tutorial! So much attention to detail and loved your comparisons. You are my favorite blogger and look forward to your daily stories on IG, too! It is so ironic because I don’t ever do DIY projects or crafts!
        Love how your dresser turned out! I’m also a fan of your leather pulls! I can’t wait to see your desk transformation!

        1. Thanks Debbie, that is the nicest compliment!

  2. Can this be done with MDF? If not, what are your ideas for updating MDF furniture? Thank you for your informative blog.

  3. That dresser is so beautiful. You did an amazing job. It looks like an Anthropologie dresser! I love how you gave tips and explained what went wrong so that others don’t take the same steps and regret it. Great tutorial.

    1. Thank you! I was ready to pull my hair out when things went wrong and I don’t want that to happen to others 😉

  4. cindy allen says:

    This sounds like A LOT of work but the dresser looks fantastic. I love the leather drawer pulls, as well.

    1. Thanks Cindy! It is a ton of work

  5. Looks great, Julia! I have a couple of pieces I’d consider trying this on, but lots of work!!!

    1. Thanks Jen, yes it is a ton of work for sure

  6. Wow, that looks like a ton of work! I have stripped dressers before and not my favourite thing to do. But your end result is amazing! I also love your painting above it, is that from Germany?

    1. Thank you Autumn, it’s definitely not my favorite thing to do either. And yes the painting is from Germany. It used to belong to my grandmother. My great-grandparents were friends with the painter. His name was Willy Hermann (1985-1963)

  7. I would never have thought to strip and bleach that style of dresser. Great idea and it looks so fantastic!

  8. Your hard work paid off. That is absolutely stunning!

  9. Ashleigh Hall says:

    Julia, What a beautiful job you did on this dresser! Thank you so much for the very detailed post on what to do and what NOT to do! It truly is a gorgeous piece and BRAVO on a job so well done!

    1. Thank you so much Ashleigh

  10. I love the way your dresser turned out, and I also love the leather handles you made for it! I love the color of the bleached wood. I can’t wait to see how your desk turns out!

    1. Thanks Heidi, I’m waiting for products to arrive so I can finish the desk. That waiting drives me crazy 😉

  11. Cassie Bustamante says:

    this piece is SO incredible! I love the new look and love the hardware!

  12. Wow, what an absolute stunning transformation! Makes me want to try it out although I’m not sure I have the patience or talent for it! And like some others have said, it is so nice of you to have such complete detailed written instructions of what you did and tried.

  13. Alessandra says:

    Hi
    I love the look of the dresser now! Congratulations on one amazing job.
    I wonder how long did the whole process take?
    I am always afraid of the commitment it would be to even start dong something like this.
    Which part of the process was the most tiring?
    I have some cabinets on the walls in my house – things that people used to do 50+ years ago.
    Everything is wood, but it has this brown-redish tone and such a glossy layer of varnish painted on top of the wood.
    I have been thinking of stripping this varnish off, and I would love to get a bleached look like yours, but I am just afraid of how much work it could be.
    I had a woodworker look at it once and he said it would be easier to just make new cabinet doors throughout.
    (between you and me, I think he was just lazy and thought his profits would be higher by making it from scratch).
    I do not want to through away real wood – it is such a waist.

    1. Hi Alessandra and thank you! It is definitely a lot of work but totally doable. You should check out my friend Jaime’s post on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/CAa8U1HpwvY/?igshid=krc75cjqi58n she is currently working on transforming her old cabinets in her laundry room. I can’t wait to see her blog post. But she is using a different product and I love the finish. She sealed them with rubiomonocoatusa in cotton white. I couldn’t use that same product because I had used a chemical stripper. I talked to the company and was told that for their product, you have to sand the finish off which was too late for me already. Her cabinets now have a bleached look and I love the door she shows in her post.
      I agree your contractor/woodworker was probably not interested in stripping the cabinets for you. Good luck!

  14. aussiebushgirl says:

    What a great job you did on that dresser! I’m waiting with baited breath for your feedback and tips on restoring your bureau (secretary’s desk). I have started to sand my one back, but haven’t progressed beyond that. I’m not sure what wood it is but it looks like an oak veneer. Do you have any tips on sanding back veneer?? At the moment I’m sitting on the fence about finishing, as I’m leaning toward the raw timber look. Looking forward to following your journey. Cheers heather x

    1. Hi Heather, I’m dying to finish my dresser. It’s been sitting here in its raw state and I’m waiting for a lime wax I ordered on Amazon and that is stuck somewhere a town over at UPS since Friday. I’m so annoyed. I will try the wax on the side of the drawers first. Mine has some cherry wood that keeps staying red no matter how much I bleach and I’m trying to take that down a notch. Hope it hets here soon.

      1. aussiebushgirl says:

        Hi Julia. That’s frustratingly near, yet so far. Please do share the deets of your bureau’s restoration journey when you finally get there. I imagine that, it being made from a red wood, it’s bound to present a few challenges to bring it down a notch, but I can’t think of anyone better equipped to sort out that particular blip, but you! Good luck, my friend. 😀

  15. barbara t whitaker says:

    OMG…I’m so happy you decided to remove the paint. My husband & I worked thru the 1970’s stripping all of our “cheap” wood garage sale finds that the prior generation had painted. Its all full circle and wood furniture (re imagined) will take the place of the IKEA crap.

    1. Yes, all that paint needs to come off again for sure. My daughter still wants the Ikea crap for her room and I’m fine with that LOL. She will probably end up ruining it again anyways like she did with the one she has right now. Thanks Barabara.

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