Refinishing Our Entryway Credenza

It’s time for another furniture before and after!

You might remember this credenza I bought off of Craigslist a few months ago for our entryway.  It was exactly the size and style we were looking for, but it had definitely seen better days.

It might have been hard to tell from the photos, but here are a few close-ups of the 60+ years worth of damage this baby had suffered.

A big nick out of the top right corner…

The bottom edge looked like a teething puppy got ahold of it, and one of the feet was missing its little gold cap…

There was a large chip out of one drawer…

And the top had scratches and watermarks from years of use.

Overall this baby was looking a little shabby – and not in the chic sort of way.

So one weekend when it was still warm out, I pulled the credenza outside and started sanding.

If you’re really good you might have realized this is the project I was working on in this post.

I sanded doors and drawers and got 3/4 of the way done with the body of the piece by the time it got dark.

Then it was time to bring it inside.

Another afternoon of work later, and the rest of the piece was sanded (curvy legs done by hand) and the big chips were filled with wood filler.

The credenza hung out in our entryway like this over the holidays – partly due to the busy season and partly because I couldn’t decide how I wanted to finish it.

Sometimes I like to mix it up when refinishing furniture, but with wood as beautiful as this, I just couldn’t bring myself to paint it.  Mr. Heard really liked the idea of keeping it the color of natural wood or giving it a two-toned finish, but I kept going back to the classic mid-century medium stain.

This is where I lose half of my readers by saying I decided to go classic. 🙂

I bought some Minwax Dark Walnut stain and tried it out on one of the back legs.  Too dark and too gray.

Then I tried some Golden Pecan I already had on the other back leg.  Too light and too pink.

The solution?  Mix them together!  I mixed about 2 parts Golden Pecan and 1 part Dark Walnut to come up with the perfect color.

Here is the credenza (on cardboard in our living room) during the staining process.

It was at this point that I realized the wood filler I’d used wasn’t stainable. 🙁  I decided to mix up some brown paint (like I did with this nightstand project) to cover up the light areas.

Then it was time to polyurethane.  I used the Minwax Fast Drying variety.

After two coats with a foam brush and foam roller, the finish wasn’t as smooth as I hoped it would be.  So, I got out my hand sanding block and gave the whole piece a light once-over with high grit sandpaper.

Here is the body of the credenza after its final coat of poly.

And here is the finished piece!

The last coat of poly went on sooo smoothly.  The credenza feels wonderful to the touch.

Now for some close ups of the repairs.  The top right corner is nicked no more!

After some wood filler and gold spray paint (to substitute for the missing metal foot), you’d never know this bottom corner looked so rough.

The top looks a million times better without the scratches and watermarks.

Even the drawer pulls got a new shine (a la this post).

I knew this credenza would serve as the Heardmont post office and key station, so the top had to be protected and clutter-free.

I added the lamp for ambiance and the runner (a freebie from my MIL) to protect the wood.  This photo is probably the truest in terms of color.  Our entryway is a hard-to-photograph space!

Our entryway is quite long, so it was a perfect place to stash an extra dining room chair, which also serves as a cute place to put on shoes.

I went back and forth trying to decide if I’d chickened out when I decided not to paint this piece or add any new details.  In the end, I’m glad I didn’t mess with a classic.  It might have seemed like a lot of work to sand the whole credenza only to re-stain and poly it just as it was before, but I know we’ll have it forever and now it’ll be good for another 60 years, right? 🙂

I hope you enjoyed reading about this makeover!  Thanks for visiting.

Linking to:

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