Commission painted pine dresser

Breathing new life into a very tired Victorian pine dresser

One of the commissions that we took on at the end of the summer ended up staying with us for quite a few months. Our client was having a lot of work done to her cottage, including a new kitchen which was being painted so she commissioned us to restore and paint a Victorian pine dresser to match the new units. The dresser had belonged to her mother and although not a valuable antique, it held a lot of sentimental value and she wanted to incorporate it into the new kitchen. We had photos of the piece from its former life but it had been stored in a garage for 10 years and was sadly neglected, suffering from damp, mildew and quite extensive woodworm. On consultation with the client, it was decided to carry out repairs, treat the woodworm, modify the drawers to create partitions and add a cutlery drawer. We would also replace the drawer handles, door knobs and cup hooks to match the new kitchen units. We knew it would be a tough task as it was almost beyond restoration and many would have condemned it but it we knew how precious it was to our client so we took a deep breath and rose to the challenge. This is how it looked before we started…


It took three months to dry out before we could start any preparation. Once it was dry enough, we dismantled it to begin the repairs, modify the drawers and treat the woodworm and mildew. The top of the dresser and the shelves were stripped of years of layers of old wax, sanded back to remove old stains and scratches, and finished with a durable heat and water resistant varnish. The rest of the dresser was thoroughly cleaned and painted with several coats of primer and topcoat to match the client’s new kitchen, then finished with carnauba wax and buffed to a soft sheen. The cupboard interiors were also painted with the shelving stripped back and a wax finish applied. New handles, door knobs and cup hooks completed its new look. We were delighted with the end result and with a week to go before Christmas it finally went back home to a very happy client!