Sanding and Staining FAIL

Experience is such a great teacher. If nothing else, I'm learning perseverance with this current "FAIL" project. 

I picked up this old, worn, dated dresser at a curb alert. After going Dave Ramsey crazy and selling our bedroom set we really needed something to hold clothes. The plastic drawers we have just aren't big enough to hold my husbands larger clothes.

While its in use currently, I HATE looking at it. Totally ugly. U-G-L-Y, UGLY!

So this was Attempt 1. Sand the top and apply a coat of dark stain. The first attempt fell short. In these two pics you can still see the original what-ever-it-is that covers the top.

Dug out the sander, again, and attacked it with more vengeance for Attempt 2

Re-sanded and ready for stain....or so I thought....

And.....................................another fail. Here you can see the remainder of the original topping that just won't come off! Its smooth to the touch but scratchy to the eyeballs.

I'm done sanding. Mostly I'm done cleaning up after the sanding. Anyone else out there hate that dust cloud? (And my sander has the collection bag on the back of it, too.) Breaking out the paint now. The big reveal to come soon....soonish....eventually. When I gain some confidence again in this project. :) 

UPDATE: you can view the completed project here.


  1. I hate all the dust too! So happy I switched from latex paint to chalk paint! No more sanding for me!! Excited to see what you do with it.

    And I think it's really cool that you sold your furniture! I know it is tuff to do at the time, but when your debt free it is soooooo worth it? :) xoxo

  2. I applaud you for showing the fail! And I'm looking forward to the reveal when it's all painted! I just love furniture makeovers!
    Selene @ Restoration Beauty

  3. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  4. Been there, done that! Paint is a great project rescuer!

  5. Prefer paint too. But what you really need is to strip then sand. There are some eco-friendly strippers that will do the job. I recently did a very old cabinet-it took a awhile but it comes off. Use a wire brush to remove the finish then coarse steel wool with soap and water if it is a water soluable stripper. Your surface should come off pretty easily because you have already removed half of it.

  6. I too have sanded and sanded and sanded!! With all of the paint selections now, you can find one with a primer already in it and that will help you out-or you could do a white-wash and glaze and use the worn and uneven look to your advantage!


  7. I have never had luck with staining! It is such a pain! I can't wait to see the finished product. Thanks so much for sharing your fail with us at A Bouquet of Talent. We all have those major fails!!

  8. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who has difficulties with projects. Thanks for sharing your project and good luck!

  9. Yep, I think I'm going to go with paint to rescue this project...or more, rescue my sanity! lol Thanks for all the love and support!

  10. I find staining frustrating too! Can't wait to see the success!

  11. ..and there I was thinking that investing in a sanding machine will transform all my ugly furniture into glossy modern looking pieces! I will definately keep your experiance in mind before attempting anything similar.

  12. Sanding and staining is tough and messy! Maybe you could do a stencil on top or stripes or something so you can still see the good parts?


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