How to Transform Inexpensive Wooden Dressers with Minwax®

This post is sponsored by Minwax.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Can one ever have enough clothing storage?  When we moved here, we came without a dresser for my hubs and I.  We were able to take advantage of an extra room in our old house and create a walk-in closet for clothing storage, but in this home we aren’t as lucky.  We have one standard sized closet that isn’t working very well for us right now, sans clothing storage, I pulled the trigger on two inexpensive Ikea Tarva dressers, where I’d have the ability to customize them as I pleased using Minwax® Wood Finish Water-Based Solid Color Stain.

The Plan:

  1. Push the two dressers together to make one large dresser.  Cut the legs down so that the piece doesn’t appear too large and is the proper scale for our room.  Stain using Minwax® Wood Finish Water-Based Solid Color Stain in True Black

The Benefit:

To have enough clothing storage for the both of us without having to have two separate dressers.  Using the new Minwax® Wood Finish Water-Based Solid Color Stain in True Black will allow me to get the dark finish that I desire, without having to worry  about the extra prep of painting (sanding, priming, sanding again, and then worrying that it might chip), and it hides the knots, but still allows some of the beautiful wood grain to show through.


Course of Action:

  1. The hardest part:  Dresser Assembly

I’m getting wise enough to know that I have teens floating around, who are always looking for a buck, so I hired my daughter and her boyfriend to assemble the two Ikea pieces to save me some time.

2) Condition the Wood:

While I’ve always used Minwax Stain, using the Water-Base Pre-Stain wood conditioner is not something I had tried before.  Have you ever stained something and noticed blotches/streaks in certain areas where the stain doesn’t quite take as well?  Well this is how the Minwax Pre-Stain works, it helps the wood accept the stain better and more evenly.  

 To do this, you can use either a paint brush or a rag to apply to raw wood.  I chose a rag to apply on my dressers.  Once you’ve applied the pre-stain, allow it to penetrate for 5-15 minutes before staining.  Stain should be applied within two hours of applying the pre-stain.

3)  Stain your dressers

To stain the dressers I used the Purdy White Bristle brush.  I applied the stain in the direction of the grain.  The Minwax® Wood Finish Water-Based Solid Color Stain goes on thick, almost like paint, compared to traditional stain.

Once you apply a nice even coat, it’s important to wipe it off within two minutes of the application, and allow it to dry.  This product is so great because it dries within an hour.  If you’d like to hide the grain a little more than I did, you can repeat the process and apply a second coat.

I have to be honest, I’m sort of a tried and true girl, meaning I usually stick to what I know and like, so I’m really happy to be introduced to this product and can definitely see myself using it on several more projects in the future.

4.)  Finish

To finish off your piece, you can add a protective topcoat like Minwax Polycrylic. 

After finishing the stain, I used wood screws to screw the two dressers together in 4 places, 2 at the top and two at the bottom.  This is when I realized that the height of the dresser wasn’t quite right for our room.  So I decided to cut the legs down some using my jig saw.


Next, I had to decide what I wanted to do about the knobs.  I decided to install finger pulls, so I filled the pre-drilled holes with wood filler, and sanded them lightly once dry.

Once the holes were sanded, I got a little nervous that the stain might not cover well . . .

But I was incredibly pleased to see how the filled holes were barely even visible after wiping the stain off!

I am just amazed at how good this turned out!

It’s the perfect  mix of modern and rustic (insert heart eye emoji).



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