“Bleach wood” and paint! The best of both worlds with this modern two-tone look!
Hello friends! Hope you all had an amazing weekend! We were busy, busy with our daughter and her hubby. They just closed on their first home on Friday and we helped them move in. So excited for them!! And we have lots of fun plans for their new house too. Maybe I’ll share some of it here.
Well, if you remember, I told y’all I was working on two large furniture pieces, a dresser for our son and another one … an antique cabinet.
I finished up the dresser yesterday and will be finishing up the antique cabinet this week. If you want a sneak peek of it, hop over to my Facebook page…it’s the blue one I’m showing with pretty napkins (that I’ll be doing something fun with for it)
Since this dresser I’m sharing today is for our son, it’s a bit masculine. No fluff. lol
But I did share a fun look for it…2-tone. And with a neat bleach wood look done with stain instead of bleach. It was super easy to do but did require sanding of course. As do all bleach projects. But what it didn’t require was bleach! Win, because who wants to mess with that??
I’ve done several “bleached wood, bleaching wood”, etc., projects without it. And some with, well, bleaching products, not actual bleach.
You can check them out here:
- How To Get The Bleached Look Without Bleach
- How To Make Orange Wood Look Bleached (without harsh chemicals)
- Bleaching Wood For A New Look
- How To Get A Pickled Wood Look (adding this one in because it’s a similar look)
- Easy DIY Light Wood Look
Bleach Wood With Stain
Here it is “before” when I found it at the ReStore…
We see these types of dressers all the time, don’t we? I know I do.
However, this one was very well made. Heavy, solid wood, sturdy, and in amazing condition.
A little dated though, right? That’s okay, I had a plan for it.
MATERIALS SOURCE LIST
- Sander (I have 2 other sanders and this sander is my oldest but I almost always reach for it over the others!)
- Pre Stain Wood Conditioner
- White Stain & Finishing Oil
- Driftwood Stain & Finishing Oil
- Wood Filler
- Chocolate Mineral Paint
- Cappuccino Stain & Finishing Oil
- Microfiber Roller
- Bronze Cup Pulls
- Bronze Handles
- Wood Feet
- Brackets (for feet)
I sanded the drawer fronts with my sander. Then used a folded piece by hand to get in the groove, as shown below.
It started to sprinkle as I was finishing up. We moved them inside quickly. (but not quick enough as you’ll see further below)
My husband popped off this decorative (dated) piece while I snapped the shot.
I wanted it to be more masculine and less dated-looking so those had to go.
I used wood filler and filled that area.
For the rest of the dresser, I gave it a good cleaning then a light scuff sand.
ADD NEW BASE TRIM
My husband made a new bottom piece for the dresser with a 1 x 6. He cut the edge with his router below to make that decorative edge.
You can see how we attached it by removing the bottom trim pieces and then placing this over the front as you see.
Plus see how we attached the new feet.
My son wanted it “brown”. I considered doing a gel stain or something similar but then remembered I have different wood with the new base. Plus those decorative pieces we popped off of each side. So I went with brown paint. Fusion has an amazing brown called “Chocolate”. Now, I have never used it before because brown is just not a color I’m that interested in painting my furniture. But I might have to reconsider that!
The Chocolate paint color is luscious. And even MORE luscious when you layer Cappuccino Stain & Finishing Oil over top. Wow. It’s a stunning look.
But back to painting. I applied it all over with the brush, then rolled it with my microfiber roller.
Since it’s water-based, I let it sit for several days before applying the Stain & Finishing Oil.
I simply applied it all over, and wiped it back “off”. (not completely off, just the excess like you do with stain)
You can see below where I’ve applied it and where I haven’t.
It just adds this layer of depth that I love. Gives it a beautiful richness.
“Bleach Wood” with Stain
For the drawers, I planned to use the White Stain & Finishing Oil first. Then see how I liked that. I had thought it might be too “white-ish” for this dark-colored dresser and I was right. But I wanted to whiten the orange-y/pink hues in the wood which it worked very well for. I didn’t really think I needed to use pre-stain wood conditioner but…
The top drawer is unstained. (see the yellow-y look of it??) The bottom drawer has the white stain on it. (see how it gave it a “bleached” look?? WIN!)
However, can you see the spots in the one I stained?? It was very noticeable in person but hard to see in the photos.
BOO!! The rain left spots that showed up when I applied the stain.
Yuck. See them??
So, back to the drawing board. Well, back to the sander anyway!! Haha!!
My husband offered to resand the fronts for me. He’s a keeper.
So, once that was done, I used the pre-stain wood conditioner and re-applied the white stain. (applying then wiping back)
Since I felt it was just a little too bleached-looking for the brown dresser, I decided to add Driftwood over top of that.
I did let it sit for 24 hours before doing that though so the white stain was good and set first.
I wiped it on, then wiped most of it back off. I only wanted to give it a hint of hue.
What I ended up with was the perfectly bleached wood look that was not stark white. Softer, if that makes sense.
And perfect for the Chocolate-colored dresser.
Love how they turned out!! What I didn’t love was…
…the feet! They looked like they were wearing too big of a dresser dress! lol
So we added more wood for them to screw into underneath so they’d show more.
By the way, I stained the feet the same way I stained the drawers.
So much better!
But the other thing I didn’t like and my husband was in agreement with, was the wood “bar” between the drawers.
I SO wish I had sanded that and made it look like the drawers. Darn.
That’s how it goes sometimes though. You don’t know until you see it.
So I did what any crazy furniture painter does. I taped my beautifully finished dresser to prepare it for ruin. haha
No, I mean for paint remover.
The paint came off well but did remove some of the underneath paint. Shoot.
But then I sanded (by hand, whew!) and realized it was pointless to try to not mess up the surrounding area.
That’s okay, I just stained the wood like I did the drawers and then repainted/stained the surrounding area.
Added these beautiful (and perfectly matching finish…win!) handles and done!
Doesn’t it look a million times better with the centerpiece bleached like the drawers??
And now the feet with the right size dress??? lol (scroll back up and look again)
Wouldn’t that bleach wood look be great on a piece without the paint?
I’m going to have to give it a go on something soon.
I went with 2 different types of handles to give it some interest.
I love the hint of bronze-y gold these have.
And isn’t this pale, blonde, “bleached” wood divine? I love it.
I didn’t do a thing to the inside of the drawers. They were perfect. All of them, just amazing shape.
So glad I took the time (and effort) to go ahead and sand/stain that centerpiece.
Much more modern looking now.
Very happy with it and so is our son. Happy to finally have it finished as is he! ;)
If you like the bleached wood look but haven’t tried it yet, this is an easy way to get the look.
More posts in the “back to basics” series:
- How To Create Faux Verdigris (and video)
- How To Create Faux Patina (and video)
- How To Dry Brush
- 26 Different Types of Chalk Style Paint
- Pros and Cons of Chalk Paint For Furniture
- 5 Top Ways To Seal Chalk Paint
- How To Chalk Paint Furniture & More!
- How To Transfer Images
- How To Import Images Into Silhouette
- How To Restain Wood Without Stripping
- How To Use Gel Stain
- How To Bleach Wood
PIN it to save it!
If you like this makeover, you will probably love this one that we did something similar to!
See it here!
Have a great week! I’ll be back next time with this. Just wait till you see what I did!
UPDATE!! Go check it out now here!