This weekend, I worked on the vintage furniture set that I recently scored on craigslist. It’s a mid-century modern dresser and nightstand set by Bassett. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in great shape. It was well loved by a family who told me that it was one of the first things that they bought when they came to the United States in the 1950s. I hope to have to for just as long. I love buying vintage dressers because they are so well made! However, the finish usually needs some work. I knew that I didn’t want to paint it and cover the pretty wood. Luckily, refreshing vintage furniture is pretty easy.
This dresser had scratches all over it. This is the side of the tallboy dresser. I lightly sanded all of the scratches with a palm sander and fine sandpaper. I wasn’t trying to remove the finish, but just knock down the edges of the scratches.
I wiped it clean and then applied a coat of Danish oil on it. The scratches are still there, but much less visible. You let it sit for a bit, applying more if it soaks it up too much. Then you wipe as much of it off as you can.
This is the front, all finished after a coat of Howard Feed and Wax. When it’s dry, you apply the Howard Feed and Wax on it and let it sit for about 15 minutes, then buff it off. You can do 2 coats if it needs it. This makes it shiny and it smells nice.
On this one, I applied Danish oil on the left side and left the right side alone. It works almost like lotion on dry skin, moisturizing the wood. It really is like magic.
Here it is, all finished with wax. This one had deeper scratches and it became apparent that the handles are made of a different wood, but stained to match. The Danish oil did not make the same difference on this wood. Still, it looks much better.
The process for refreshing vintage furniture took a few hours for 4 pieces of furniture (nightstands not shown.) Refinishing them completely would have taken days. They’re not perfect, but that’s okay with me. They look so much better.