Refinished Oak Chest, The General

I don’t normally name my furniture but the name “the General” (not really a name I know) just came to me as I was waxing this beautiful vintage oak chest. I was so very lucky to have found the chest in the condition it was in… only cosmetic issues. All of the escutcheon plates and handles were still attached, the drawers were in fabulous condition and there were no gouges or missing anything… pretty rare for a piece with this kind of age to it!



I opted to sand the finish off of the top (versus stripping) it was cold and I prefer to sand a finish away if possible… having said that it did take me quite a long time to remove the old finish from the top as oak is a VERY hard wood species! I used 100-150-220 grit sandpaper in that order to remove the old finish.

Here he is all gussied up! The finish on the handles is what I discovered under all of the years of dirt and grime. I soaked the handles overnight in a solution of ammonia and water and brushed them with a soft brush… super easy! I had planned on painting them but I really like how the finish looks with the new paint scheme! Can you see the stars..?

Vintage Painted Oak Chest

I The stained the top “Kona” and I applied a coat of Briwax Dark Wax to the oak top once the stain had dried, about 24 hours.

Vintage Painted Oak Chest

The drawers and cabinet are painted in a base coat of Old Ochre and a top coat of Coco Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I didn’t use any sandpaper to distress the chest, just warm water and a scrub sponge, super easy!

Vintage Painted Oak Chest

I applied a coat of clear Briwax to the painted areas… that wax smells but it is so much easier to work with than some of the other popular waxes, I really do love it!

Vintage Painted Oak Chest

I actually was able to stage the chest in our library and I love how it looks in there… but I cannot keep it as there are other pieces that belong in this space that I am not ready to give up!

Vintage Painted Oak Chest

So the “General” will be for sale, but maybe I will enjoy looking at him in this spot for a few days first!

Thanks for stopping by!

Until next time…

My Signature

Linking up to these parties!

Between Naps on the Porch, Coastal Charm, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, The Ivy Cottage, A Stroll Thru Life, The Dedicated House, Elizabeth & Co., Savvy Southern Style, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, PJH Designs, Miss Mustard Seed, French Country Cottage, My Romantic Home, Chic on a Shoestring

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About Susan @ Uniquely Yours or Mine

Hey there! You want to know more about me? Well here's a little bit... I'm the lucky wife of a Super Awesome Husband (SAH) and a mother of 3 wonderful girls. We moved to Louisville, KY in 2013 from Richmond, VA where I was refinishing, repairing and painting furniture as a serious "hobby". Since moving I have been spending most of my time designing and updating our new-to-us home, but I do enjoy getting out and exploring my new town as much as possible!

Posted on February 3, 2013, in Furniture refinishing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. Great tip on the ammonia and water to shine up old pulls. Does that always work? They look great.


    • Alyson, the ammonia with a small amount of warm water will strip of any finish that is on the metal… paint, protective coatings, everything! The solution will take the piece back to its base metal finish… I have been doing this for at least 20 years and have never had any issues.


  2. Wow! It is absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the tip on the ammonia–I will definitely try it.


  3. Your piece turned out absolutely gorgeous – nice colors with the wood top! And thank you for the tip about the ammonia and water!

    Best, Geri


  4. Just beautiful.


  5. Great job Susan, love the color. I’m sure it won’t be around long.


  6. I might be way off here, but I wonder if that piece once had caster feet. It just looks like it needs them. I am going to use the ammonia treatment on some hardware i have in the shop. Thanks for the tip. You have done a great job on the finish…I hope it sells right away and finds a new home. It would live with me but I’m not in your neighborhood!


  7. This is really unique and beautiful. I love the Coco over the Old Ochre! Did you use a wash of Coco? Fantastic choice of paint & wax.


  8. I love that chest, and the paint and wax were perfect for it! Thanks for sharing.


  9. Love it!! You did a great job. Feel free to link this up at The Honeysuckle Bus Stop for {MoonShine Monday}!



  10. That’s just so beautiful! I love it. I’m a new follower from the Elizabeth & Co link party. Megan


  11. Love that finish, and those stars on the hardware…super cool! The General definitely fits this piece!


  12. Marty@A Stroll Thru Life

    Wow, I love it, such a great piece and the finish is perfect. Looks fabulous in your furniture arrangement. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, marty


  13. That looks so incredibly fantastic! Great choice leaving the handles as they are 🙂


  14. Looks great! Love the white and gold combo.


  15. Susan, That is absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing this at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Hope to see your prettiness again on Monday. Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


  16. Susan you did a beautiful job on this piece. I love the top and the hardware! Thanks so much for linking up at Transformed Tuesday. xoxo Peggy~PJH Designs


  17. Susan, wanted to let you know you will be one of the features tomorrow at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. See you tomorrow at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse


  18. I love this, what a beautiful item, anyone would be proud to own it!


  1. Pingback: Make it Pretty Monday – Week 36

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