Let the wood shine through
A questionable trend in furniture finishing is covering antiques with paint. Instead of restoring the wood’s natural beauty, it is hidden when it would be far better, to see that wood restored to its vintage glory.
Today’s DIYers are also taking their projects a step further by applying multiple stains that give a once-plain piece added interest and dimension. After being stripped of layers of paint, the maple chest of drawers shown here got a two-tone treatment starting with Minwax® Wood Finish™ Colonial Maple on the base and drawers. It was then accented on the top and in the leaf-motif drawer-front carvings with Wood Finish™ Ebony. Finally, the bureau was topcoated with Minwax® Fast-Drying Polyurethane in a semi-gloss sheen. Placed in a hallway, it becomes a handsome and useful storage piece.
Another idea for the same chest puts its good looks in the kitchen under a bigger maple top that turns it into a small island. Minwax® Helmsman® Spar Urethane Semi-Gloss protects the maple from the rigors of kitchen work, while also transforming a practical piece into a focal point.
To make sense for kitchen activity, the chest needs a bigger top made of durable wood. A good rule of thumb is to limit the overhangs on all sides so the piece remains stable. Add brackets to anchor the top. If you want a ready-made top you can find maple butcher block through a kitchen cabinet or countertop store.