Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser…Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed!

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I frequent my local thrift stores weekly.
“Treasure Hunting”….fun-ness!
About once a month I’ll drive over to the other side of the water….and hit the thrift stores there. (it’s a little drive)

A little paint and a little stain...BEAUTY!!! Mahogany Dresser #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture

So, clearly I make a day of it and hit *most* of the thrift stores over there.
There’s a lot.
I should really be saying “we” since I couldn’t do this without my awesome hubby.
Who happens to have a truck to haul all the great stuff back.
We really have a good ole time. It’s kinda like “date night”—>except it’s daytime. ;)

So on this particular visit, to the other side of the water, I found this great Mahogany Dresser.
Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed - #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
Isn’t it pretty?
Of course it didn’t look like this when we found it.

It had long since seen any love and was completely scratched and beat up.
But with beauty just beaming from beyond.

Poor thing…. but how can you beat it for $35?
That is just a steal. Like I’ve said, it’s amazing what you can find at thrift stores!
A little work and you have a gorgeous, like new (better) piece of furniture to be re-loved.

Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed - Artsy Chicks Rule
Diamond in the rough.
I had originally thought I would paint it. I love paint.

I do love wood finishes though. I really do… I just really love paint and color.
BUT….I just couldn’t do it. Well for the most part anyway.
Such gorgeous wood so I decided to only paint part of it.
Surprise, I know!!

And just in case y’all didn’t know… I HATE sanding.
I’m actually not sure anyone likes sanding, right?
I know I’m right on that one.

But I got to it anyway….
Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
The one (and only) great thing about sanding is seeing that gorgeous wood on this mahogany dresser come to life underneath.
Isn’t that just great? Look at the wood.

Fresh and like new.
Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed - #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
And why yes, I am sanding on my screened porch but that is due for a re-do too.
And my hubby was so great to clean up the mess after.
He’s a keeper.

After wiping it down really well I applied the Minwax Pre Stain Conditioner to the areas I was planning to stain.
Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed - #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
Then comes the stain…. English Chestnut
Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed - #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed - #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
Look at the richness of the wood and that’s before poly.

The base of the dresser was sanded lightly then primed with Sherwin Williams Adhesion Primer.
I used a color I mixed over top of that which was also Sherwin Williams.
Basically a creamy, off white.
Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed - #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
For the finish I used several coats of MinWax Wipe On Poly in Satin.
I distressed the paint slightly to bring out the details and added a bit of glaze.
I put a coat of Minwax Polycrylic (also in Satin) over the painted finish.

Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed - #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
The hardware got a coat of Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint and a bit of dry brushing with the same paint used on the base.
Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
I also painted the mirror surround.
It had great detail that was brought out when I distressed it.

I would have loved to have taken better pictures but I was in a hurry to get this one to the shop.
A few of these pictures are from my phone so they’re not the greatest!

Mahogany Thrift Store Dresser...Old & Worn to Vibrant & Renewed - #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
This was one of my more labor intensive projects, with the sanding and all, but it was worth it.

Mahogany Dresser Makeover #mahoganydresser #mahoganyfurniture #paintedfurniture
I still love my paint!
But the beauty of this mahogany dresser wood just shines and I’m so glad I allowed it to!

Be sure to check in later to see how I updated this little thrift store find (withOUT sanding!)!

UPDATE!!! You can see it now, here!


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  1. I’m so hoping to find something like this to redo for our large big screen TV taking the top drawers out to make room for the dvd plus other boxes. Yours looks great, thanks for the inspiration and making me think I can so something like this soon.

    1. That’s a great idea! You could even take out some of the drawers and slide some baskets in instead. So glad I could be some inspiration to you. :)
      Check out your local thrift stores…I’m sure you can find an old dresser to restore!

    1. Thanks Kerry! I usually like quicker (easier!) gratifying projects without all that work but sometimes I’ll do it! ;)
      And yes, he really does say that. I’ve added to it… (I might even paint you twice!) since I often paint things, once, twice or more.

  2. I recently purchased a double pedestal table made of solid mahogany in a thrift shop as well for only $10 , I painted the pedestals and sides of the table in a taupe tan paint, then glazed walnut over the crevices ,now I need to stain the top , and I chose minwax dark walnut for the color. I’m afraid to do this next step because I’m not sure what kind of stain to use. Should I use oil base or water base? After looking at your finished set ( which came out gorgeous by the way. Makes me want to get your expert advice on how to complete my project using the proper materials. I would love your advice.

    1. Hi Suzanne,

      Did you sand down to the bare wood on top? You would need to do that to use the stain you bought. Oil based is what I would suggest, yes. Be sure to use the wood conditioner beforehand too.
      Then finish with several coats of oil based polyurethane. (drying and lightly sanding in between for a beautiful, strong finish)
      It sounds beautiful! And don’t be afraid …just get to it! It’s only wood. If all fails, you can sand and start again. Not that you’d want to but eases the nerves a bit to keep that in mind. ;)
      You can see how I redid my dining table (sounds similar to yours) in this post here …
      Good luck!

  3. A lot of work/effort to get that “era-popular” thick finish off.. I’ve done it myself (same furniture). I would have loved to see the outcome if it had not been painted (2-tone). I’m finding that 2-tone pieces are NOT selling here.. people just aren’t interested.. and it’s a shame because it’s solid wood (which is impossible to find in furniture stores these days, to include big names: Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, Crate & Barrel, etc etc). Leaving the wood grain – and doing the entire thing in natural wood – would have been fun to see (and then it leaves wiggle room to be painted later if it doesn’t work). I think the 2-tone painting that’s selling well is just very minor touches of paint with more wood grain than paint. Looks lovely – I know you worked hard on that. :)

    1. Hey Kaycee! Yes, you are so so right about that!! They really don’t. This is an oldie I did about 10 years ago. And even then it took a while to sell. I did another 2 tone recently but that was for my son’s room. I think painted or all natural/stained sells best, just like you mentioned! :) Natural wood is big right now! xo

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