Refurbished Chiffonier Part One

The first home I grew up in was a haunted 19th century Victorian house in Stanmore, Sydney, Australia. With original cobble stones and a diary stable turned granny flat, my parents bought their first home in Sydney in the 1970's for less than 50K. My parents including my tio and abuelita restored this neglected house back to it's grand, impressive state. I have fond memories playing hide and seek, murder in the dark and the Colombian asados (BBQ) my tio did so well, I can still taste the beef ribs. In this house my dad collected antiques and refurbished old furniture to suit the home's interior and so my fascination of musky smelling, velvet wallpaper and antique/retro furniture began (my home is more retro with modern wooden furniture than antique, no wallpaper yet.)

Fast forward to 2008, my husband's grandmother gave us her antique nursing chair (low seated and upholstered, though mine needs an uplift)  and chiffonniere or chiffonier (French designed smaller size sideboard/dressing table with legs). It was originally given as a wedding present to his great-grandmother in the 1920's then passed down to his mother. The problem with the bulky sized furniture is it is no match for a small size homes though ideal for storing of your bits and bobs. I was too attached to sell and yet it was taking over our courtyard, until I spoke to my mother-to-be friend P.

P wanted to find a chest of draws for her baby's nursery when I thought of this lonely chiffonier. After sending her photos and the measurements, she happily accept it with conditions to suit her modern nursery interior.

Conditions accepted. Time for work..

beforepic via adore re mi.At my husband's factory. Advantages: more space, open air and easy access to tools. Disadvantages: work inside when raining while the boys are sanding their work because sand dust and paint don't mix. Doing it from your home? Best place to do it is in the open like garden or garage when you are sanding. When undercover or in the shade, paint doesn't dry out too fast. Just remember to wear a mask when sanding.

The mirror is detachable and we kept it separate. This will be sold separately, untouched, in its original form.


sideview via adore re mi.Side-view of the chiffonier as its original condition.


watermarks via adore re mi.Close up of the watermarks embedded into the wood. I sanded back with sandpaper grit 120 then 180 (finer). Make sure you wipe the dust off before you prime.

chiffonniere via adore re mi.This product saved me from having to sand the lacquer off. To key in the Penetrol (paint conditioner and primer) I lightly sanded back once with sandpaper grit 180 throughout the furniture piece. I painted it straight on, you can also mix it into the paint. More info on Penetrol here.

inside chiffonier via adore re mi.What the inside of the chiffonier looks like.

Preparation before painting: removed doors, old nails and door handles . Also filled in any gap and holes with a timber filler. I am deciding whether to cover the shelves with contact, paper or paint. You will find out in Part Two.

Next week's post Project: Refurbished Chiffonier Part Two. What primer and top coat paint did I use with more hints and tips on painting with a quality finish. You will see the final result of the chiffonier then.

Please note: I am not affiliated nor endorsing any of the products mentioned in this series of posts based on the chiffonier. Personal choice for quantity finish. 



One Response to "Refurbished Chiffonier Part One"

  • […] In part one you got to meet the grand lady, the chiffonier- a sideboard/dresser. In part two, she will be under a transformation with a little nip & tuck, just a little.  You will see the final result, painted and accessoried with more tips to make your job better (if you are interested in refurbishing.) Would like to check out part one, click here. […]

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