Creative Colorado living

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CRAIGSLIST FIND Mid Century Modern Stanley Furniture Triple Slotted Dresser Refinishing Tutorial

Here's what I was working on this weekend.  Refinishing my very first piece of furniture!!!  It's my first mid century piece and I was thrilled to score it on Craigslist for $125!  I've been looking for so long for the perfect dresser for my room (although I LOVE how it looks in my kitchen, my bedroom needs it for now).

It didn't start out so pretty....

Not horrible, but definitely scratches and the finish was peeling.  It came with a mirror that I will refinish and use soon if we move the dresser from it's current location.

I knew it was from Stanley furniture since it was printed in a drawer, so I searched the internet for info and found this.  It is a Vintage Stanley Triple Slotted Dresser from the 50's made from walnut and walnut veneers.  Professional refinishers fixed up a lot of Stanley mid-century pieces for the company's heritage collection and sold them starting at $4,000 (INSANE) in Vegas in 2014.  Here's what my dresser looks like when professionals get their hands on it:

WOW!  Since this was my first try and I'm not a professional, I was aiming for something between the before and this.  I think I got it!  I was so thankful to find this blog post from Red House West and I followed all her steps.  This is her refinished nightstand.

I'm so thankful I found it since you shouldn't use regular stain on mid century pieces...

Instead of jumping in with the Citristrip stripper, I sanded 3/4 of the top with my sander and it was intense but worked well, just difficult.  Then I got brave and used the stripper and it was amazing!

I needed a metal container for the stripper so I raided the recycling bin!  Started with a foam brush but the stripping gel ate it up so I switched to an old brush I can throw away.

Surface scratches sanded right out.

So it's really easy, just brush on the Citristrip gel and let sit at least 30 min.  Then scrape off.  I had to reapply to some stubborn spots but overall it got it done.  Really great!

Then I sanded and sanded and sanded.  Started with 60 in spots that needed a lot, then 110 and 220 I think.  I used our electric sander and it was great.  Had to be careful to not go too deep since top and drawers are walnut veneer.

Top looks great.  It's coming along.... Next step is applying Danish Oil to the bare wood.  I wanted light walnut color but my Lowe's only had Natural, Medium Walnut and Dark Walnut.  I picked Medium Walnut since I didn't' have the patience to wait...

I have never used Danish Oil before (just regular stain), but I am now hooked forever.  It's so easy and is an oil so it applies perfectly and no stress about making it even.  I cut up an old kitchen towel for rag.

A few dings and veneer gone on the side.  I just used my brown Sharpie and filled them in and it matches perfectly.  I'm not advanced enough to know how to fix veneer....

So smooth and perfect color on the top.

Last step (after it dried overnight) is to apply Howard Feed-N-Wax with a rag.  Again super easy.  Let sit for 20 min then wipe off.  Really shines it up!

Before I wiped it off.

Here it is.  I just love it.  My husband was VERY impressed since he hasn't seen me refinish anything before and was unsure...but now I have finally have impressed him!

I have a campaign dresser to refinish next.  I already have it stripped and sanded, but I'm just painting.  I've had it for 2 years and am finally on a roll!

Sis Boom Kelsey Dress & Top Pattern

I tested a new pattern from Sis Boom.  Kelsey is a great top/dress with a ruffle and crossover straps.  We hit downtown and had a fun photoshoot.

I love upcycling and used a dress I got from the thrift store in the black fabric.  The other two fabrics are Jennifer Paganelli from Sis Boom.  I had everything in my stash and love the mixture of colors.  My girl looks so pretty in blues....

Back has elastic and I added lace in the straps.

I've been looking for some fun backgrounds downtown and just adore this brick wall and the colors.

Then we found an AMAZING graffiti wall downtown and it's just gorgeous.  My daughter did this pose and it was so perfect.  

I did her hair for the first time in 3 french braids and pony tail.  Super quick and easy.  Will be a staple this summer.

Marlowe Top Pattern by Little Lizard King

Introducing the Marlowe Top & Dress Pattern by Little Lizard King.  It's one of my favorites so far!  SO SO quick and easy to sew up so I know my girl will have tons of these for summer.  You can get the pattern here on sale for $6.99 for a limited time.

I got to test this pattern and it was so much fun to sew up.  I found some bohemian style fabrics from my stash and used 3 different ones.  Batiks have always been a huge love of mine and I think I will need to buy some soon.....

I chose to make a top for my 8 year old.  Now that she's getting older, she still wears dresses but feels more comfortable playing in a top and leggings.  And we can't forget her signature cowboy boots or as we say, cowgirl boots.  We got our first pair last year at Target and I found them on sales a few months ago and bought the next two sizes so you'll be seeing them a lot.  They're the only shoes she likes these days and hey, the gray goes with everything!

We ventured downtown for this photo shoot and man was it fun!  I think she's bored of all the nature shots I normally do.  We just had to avoid some scary looking people in the alleys so it was interesting for sure, but I loved the buildings we found.  I have my eye on the most amazing graffiti wall for a shoot but I think it's a morning location or later than we were there (too sunny).

 This pattern is so quick to sew.  Crossover back allows easy on and off so no zippers or buttons which means time saved!  Front and back bodice goes into a V and has a gathered skirt.  I chose the top length but there's a dress and an incredible boho length too.

 I made a matching headband from all the scraps that is too cute.  I love my girl in blues to match her blue eyes and this definitely is my style all the way since I like to refer to myself as a hippie and ADORE the Bohemian and Moroccan style that has taken over my house. I plan to list some tops in my etsy shop from this pattern.  Just have to figure out fabric combos!

Little Lizard King Seashore Collection Pattern

I LOVE testing patterns for Cassie of Little Lizard King.  She's so sweet, fun, and her patterns are AMAZING and so well done.  This is her latest one - Seashore Collection.  I chose to test the Tunic and I love it.

These are Cassie's pics of the many options with the pattern (found here on LLK).  The pattern includes a tank top, tunic, dress, hi/low dress, maxi, ruffled maxi, shorts and pants romper.  She always gives a lot of options which is wonderful!

This pattern is made of knit, which I'm still a newbie to sewing with.  My daughter loves how soft and comfy it is.  The pattern was very easy to follow and a quick sew.  

There's directions to make an easy elastic casing for the waist.

The straps can be made of any sort of fun trim!  I had this rainbow flower trim in my stash (along with the main and lining knits I used) and I knew my daughter would adore all the color.  I was right!

This version was the first that was tested, and Cassie redid the pattern to have the underarm part higher and not so loose.  Also she raised the hem for the tunic.  I still love the first version too!!!

If you haven't tried any of Cassie's patterns, you should!  And all the other Little Lizard King patterns are great too.  Cassie's also a fellow contributor over at Pattern Revolution which is where I first "met" her.  It's a fun group of sewers from around the world!  So happy to be a part of it...

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