The handles had verdigris in spots along with the general filth found on an old dresser. I read online to try using one part baking soda with 4 parts water and that did not work. After trying that for a couple days and seeing no progress, I just put all the handles in a tub of vinegar. It smelled nasty, but it did the trick:
After I scrubbed them up, rinsed and dried, I spray painted them with Oil Rubbed Bronze.
Here are the steps I followed to refinish the dresser (I've included links where I found information for my project):
1. Remove all hardware and drawers and SCRUB IT CLEAN.
2. Sand all surfaces. I got a hand sander for around $30 at Lowe's and used regular sandpaper to get into any grooves the sander wouldn't reach.
3. Wipe it down.
4. Prime it. I used Bulls Eye 1-2-3 in the blue can and applied it with a foam roller. Easy peasy. I let it dry for 7 days. You have to wait it out. Do not pass go.
5. Then I spray painted it with Rustoleum Painters Touch in Heirloom White. While I loved the color and the finish, it was really, *really* hard to get an even coat. And by that, I of course mean the coat still isn't even, but whatev. Good enough. Next time, I'll use regular paint and a foam roller for pieces this big. I'll save the spray paint for smaller pieces.
6. I took a sanding block and distressed the edges. You will need at least 3 sanding blocks for a piece of furniture this size.
7. Wipe it down again.
8. Rubbed on Ralph Lauren Smoke Glaze with a cheesecloth and then rubbed it back off until it was aged to my satisfaction. You will get your hands dirty, but when the glaze dries, it peels right off your skin like Elmer's glue.
9. Wait an hour-ish for the glaze to dry.
10. Put the handles back on, make your hubs help you move the dresser into prime pic-taking position, put the drawers back on, squee! and take pics of your finished product.
Here's a close-up of some of the distressing (click to make bigger):
All in all, this project was under $150 and now I have a new dresser that I love! Now, to find some pretty wallpaper to line the drawers. :)
I'm linking up: