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Refinishing My Dark Red Cherry Bedroom Furniture

Panhandlegal1Panhandlegal1 14 replies3 threads Junior Member
I've been considering having my cherry bedroom furniture refinished. It's Drexel Heritage or Pennsylvania House, very traditional and formal. I believe it to be good, solid wood furniture. I'd either like to have the natural wood-- plain, lighter cherry--or a painted (or 'washed') look in a light color like a very light gray or almond (perhaps leaving the natural wood on the dresser top.) I've grown tired of the formality of the dark red cherry look. My tastes have evolved into more of a transitional look with mid-century modern twists. Suppose the more formal look in my bedroom has become heavy and 'tired' looking for me. I'm not interested in a country or farmhouse look, just something lighter and more refreshing. I've become attached to the furniture pieces over the 30 years it's been in my bedroom, so getting rid of it altogether and starting over with new furniture doesn't appeal to me. Guess I'm just feeling the need for a refresher!

I've found a woman who has a very successful furniture refinishing business in my area and her work is beautiful. Have seen several of her pieces and know others who've been very happy with her work.

Has anybody here has been down this road? Were you happy with the change? Any after-the-fact words of wisdom? Does the idea sound crazy? Pulling the trigger on such a project gives me pause, primarily because there will be no going back. Your feedback is welcome!
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Replies to: Refinishing My Dark Red Cherry Bedroom Furniture

  • 1214mom1214mom 5135 replies193 threads Senior Member
    I haven’t done anything like that with furniture, but I like your idea, as long as it’s cost effective. I have “orangy” cherry furniture in my bedroom, but I think it would be called shaker or mission style. I like the style, but I’ve thought I would like it to be lighter. Not enough to pay for it though.
    I stressed about whether or not I should paint a large brick wall in my house. I did it, (well, paid to have it done), and I love it. I debated about the “washed” look, but decided against it after walking around the neighborhood looking at brick houses that were painted both ways. I realized I didn’t like the washed look at all.
    Maybe try looking at Houzz and see if they have anything like what you’re thinking of, or ask the lady if she has before and after pics of projects she’s done.
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  • abasketabasket 21035 replies908 threads Senior Member
    I would find a spot somehow on one of the pieces where you can test out the method you hope to use. Whether you are talking just sanding it and hoping for a lighter cherry underneath a possible stain or if you are talking about painting it. Or lighter washing it or whatever.

    Like maybe a leg of the dresser on the back side or something.

    Cherry is...cherry - so often dark - it may be hard to get away from that without painting. Remember too that a sanded wood will usually still get darker once you put a varnish or oil on it to finish it.

    Not discouraging - just sharing likely facts to be prepared for!!
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  • thumper1thumper1 77984 replies3490 threads Senior Member
    We have a business in town. The gal takes older wood furniture and paints it. Her merchandise is really nice! I wouldn’t think twice about hiring someone like that. The painted look is nice.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9382 replies83 threads Senior Member
    LOL - I've been down the "next road". Hired a furniture refinisher to strip away the 1970s yellow/brown "antiquing" (paint) from my grandparents furniture. The dresser was still original, lovely. Now I have matching dresser.... but it did take over a year, since she had grandchild/babysitting and a lot of other work.
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18916 replies333 threads Senior Member
    @Panhandlegal1 : Just wondering what you decided to do.
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  • MassmommMassmomm 4196 replies85 threads Senior Member
    I think there is nothing more eco-friendly than adapting what you already own to your new preferences.
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  • Panhandlegal1Panhandlegal1 14 replies3 threads Junior Member
    @VeryHappy, I'm in the process of unloading drawers, etc, getting ready for pickup early next week. Decided to leave the dresser top a cherry tone ( lighter than the current darker tone) and paint the body a medium gray with brass hardware. Fingers crossed that I like it or, at least, I learn to like it! @Massmomm , I like the eco-friendly concept. I try to 'go green' whenever possible. I've had this furniture more than 30 years, so maybe I'm due for a new look!
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  • katliamomkatliamom 13839 replies170 threads Student Voice
    edited May 1
    Decided to leave the dresser top a cherry tone ( lighter than the current darker tone) and paint the body a medium gray with brass hardware.

    I did something similar to a small cherry dresser. It was really fun, and I love the results. You will too. And if not -- there's lots more paint at Home Depot to change it.

    edited May 1
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  • 1214mom1214mom 5135 replies193 threads Senior Member
    Sounds nice. I hope you like it!
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