I had been on the hunt for a nice mid-century modern dresser to fix up for over a year when Kathleen found this gem on Craigslist back in March. Overall the dresser was in great shape aside from some damage to the finish. After stripping and sanding the entire dresser, I stained it with Minwax oil-based stain in Special Walnut. Then I used Minwax Wipe-On Poly in Clear Satin to finish the wood. I wanted the wood to be protected but I didn't want the look of a shiny varnish. I had never used wipe-on poly before and I was a little nervous but it ended up being extremely easy. I cut up an old t-shirt into rags and used them to apply the poly. It seemed to soak right into the wood and gave it a beautiful finish.
After the wood was finished we painted the cutouts on the drawers, rails between the drawers, and the knobs with brass liquid gilding. I bought these knobs but ended up liking the look of the original knobs more. Then I sealed the gilding with brush-on polyurethane.
I'm so happy with my new dresser! The darker stain and sassy gold detailing really brought it back to life. It took a few months but I'm excited to finally be able to use it.