MCM Waterfall Dresser

By Alice and Jerry Goble, Owner and Furniture Artists at Bentwoods Studio in Arvada, CO.

This spectacular Mid-Century Modern piece was found at a local antique store. 4 of the 8 original Bakelite drawer pulls were in great condition and we were able to order 4 similar replacements pulls to compliment the originals. The dresser definitely needed some TLC but we were up for the challenge. 

Step 1: The dresser had issues with both the structural integrity and drawer slides so some repairs came first. Thank God for my husband. Step 2: We made the assumption that this dresser was made using beautiful hard-woods so we stripped the old tired and scratched finish using CitriStrip, lots of patience, rags, mineral spirits and time… A thorough sanding beginning with rougher grit and working our way to  #220 grit to prepare the piece for staining was accomplished. The result was impressive, revealing wood that was beautifully grained and wonderfully crafted. Step 3: Now, to have some fun with my favorite GF product, dye stain. (picture me rubbing my hands together with glee….) I used Amber Dye Stain on the beautiful side trim as well as the drawer trim. The waterfall top as well as the ornate bottom and chunky, awesome MCM feet were stained using GF Pewter Dye Stain. The drawer fronts and the dresser sides were stained with GF Blue Dye Stain. As a nod to the ‘waterfall’ design, I used a one-to-one mix of GF Klein Blue and Coastal Blue to hand paint a ‘suggestion’ of a waterfall on the drawer fronts. This element is subtle but I loved the effect. Step 4: The dresser was protected in GF High Performance Satin top coat. Love this modern result. 


Project Category

Upcycling Merit CategoriesWater Based Stains

Products Used

  • Citristrip
  • GF Dye Stain Amber
  • GF Dye Stain Blue
  • GF Dye Stain Pewter
  • GF Klein Blue Milk Paint
  • GF Coastal Blue Milk Paint
  • GF High Performance Satin Top Coat
  • Citri-Strip, sandpaper, mineral spirits, rags, paper towels, patience, excitement and love

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