The Birds Eye Maple Dresser

The Birds Eye Maple Dresser


This was a super fun piece to refinish. I found it on craigslist for sale, and just as I was about to respond I noticed it show up in the “free” section. As you might imagine, I high-tailed it over to Seattle to pick it up as soon as the owner responded. She was moving and just needed it out of her home that day. I’ve always had a love for natural wood patterns. Birds eye maple is one of my favorites. It has a depth of color and “pock-marks” which are a unique characteristic of the species. This particular piece had a lot of color variation and detail in the carvings – probably overwhelming by today’s standard. So I knew from the get-go that I would have to tame down the pattern, however my hope was let the natural beauty show through.


I began by stripping the top and drawer fronts using Citristrip. I wanted to preserve as much of the wood pattern as possible, without crossing the line into ‘old fashioned and overwhelming’. It took a few passes to get all of the old finish off and restore the veneer using a light stain and satin polyurethane. Then, I painted the frame in a black milk paint – Typewriter by Miss Mustard Seed – and distressed it with sandpaper to add contrast. I finished the milk paint using Maison Blanche Dark Wax. To complete the look, I painted the hardware in the same black milk paint and lined the drawers in a black and white houndstooth paper. Here is the finished piece…

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In the end, I absolutely loved how it turned out. Definitely a flair of dark drama mixed with a classic wood grain. Thanks for checking out this piece – as always, I love comments and want to hear what you think. Do you love a natural wood grain? Or is it outdated? Where do you strike the balance?





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4 thoughts on “The Birds Eye Maple Dresser

  1. You did a fabulous job on the dresser…….it looks beautiful. I wish I had the patience to do that.
    I love looking at what you have done!
    Keep up the good work

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