The Naked Oak Dresser

There comes a time in every designer’s journey when he/she must decide to paint or not to paint.

Lately, I’ve been more conflicted about this question than I have been in the past.

Don’t get me wrong I love myself a good piece of chippy painted… well… Anything!

Dressers, architectural salvage, doors, windows, pots, tables, cabinets.

Show me an item with chippy paint and I’ll most likely try to wrestle it from your grasp.


BUT! There is something about that raw wood.

Its warm, familiar, timeless, all-naturaaal.

I’ve been holding off showing ya’ll other areas of our home just because nothing is in a showing off state right now. We have plans to do different projects but we both have work and Lucketts pre is in full swing so those things will just have to wait. But, that being said I did want to show that what Kyle and I use for dressers, just ignore everything else around them.

(My dresser has the 2 1/2 pillars of design magazines stacked on it)


Both are raw wood pieces that I sanded down before we got married and kept.

So when I picked this dresser up at a West Virginia flea market I wasn’t sure if I wanted to paint it or not but after living with it for a few weeks I started to wonder what it would look like naked like our’s.

(Yes, that is a fishing bobber cooler.)


Sanding off the old finish wouldn’t hurt it and if I don’t like I could always paint it later.

Win! Win!

I removed all of the old hardware and took out all of the drawers before taking the electric sander to it.


The old stain came off fairly easy.

Needed to apply a little of elbow grease but not nearly as labor intensive as stripping off old paint so I was cool with it.


After all of the sanding was done I cleaned off the dust.

You can see how much lighter the natural oak color is vs. to when it had the old orange-y finish.


To button it up I put a thin layer of Minwax Water based protective polycrylic finish in matte so that it wasn’t a completely immodest piece furniture.



Doing this did darken the oak a little but still didn’t bring it close to the color it was before.

After mulling it over with a friend, I decided to use glass knobs and pulls that I had purchased from hobby lobby and amazon instead of re-installing the original hardware. Judging by how light the weight was of the old stuff, makes me second guess if it was truly the original.


I think the glassware helps to keep the dresser light and airy.

A stained, wooden piece of furniture can read more masculine in a room. I think adding glass hardware can give it a feminine touch and in this case, winks backs to those cute little key hole covers.

And there ya have it! The (almost) Naked Oak Dresser.




I really loved how it turned out. I feel like I made the right call with keeping this piece in it’s more natural state and If someone really, REALLY wanted to they could still paint it later on down the road but I hope whoever purchases it likes it for how it is.

I think the variations in the oak’s grain is much more pronounced with the protective Minwax finish vs to when it had the old stain.


The Naked Oak Dresser will be coming to the Lucketts Spring Market in May and that will be held at the Berryville, VA fairgrounds on the 18th, 19th and 20th.

And to all of the anti-paint, wood stained/natural finish furniture loving, purest… You’ve won this round but beware! My paint and I will be back.

– Amanda