I found a dresser that I loved at an estate sale, for $15. It required quite a bit of work, including repairing two big gashes at the top. I fell hard though, and figured I could handle it.
From the start, this dresser was trouble. To get it home, I had to cram it into my Golf. I didn't remember until after I paid for it that our trunk hasn't been opening, so it had to be wedged into the backseat.
After removing the hardware, the first thing I did was buy a roll of veneer (ugh...$25!) to redo the top of the dresser. I used contact cement to attach it, giving myself a terrible headache for the night, but I was okay with that, because I loved my dresser.
It looked good at first, but after a few hours, I noticed that the veneer was buckling. By the next day, I noticed that there were huge air bubbles everywhere. No amount of rolling and pushing and working at it could get it to go away. Finally, I realized that I would have to remove the veneer. I figured I could remove the veneer off the top of the dresser, but leave it on the curve, where it wasn't actually buckling. This was also the only part that actually needed to be repaired to begin with. I really should have only worried about that part from the start.
The next day, I began priming it. I used a stain blocking primer by CIL, so that I wouldn't have to stain the entire dresser. I have read about these stain blocking primers, and I have to say, I was super happy with the results. It made that part of refinishing the dresser much easier!
I used the color Tempest by Matha Stewart. I was looking for a color that had a nice, antique, powdered blue kind of feeling, and I am really happy with it. Here you can see it against the white stain, to get a feel for how different it is.
Once the curve was refinished with the wood filler, I was finally good to re-prime and repaint the top of the dresser. The curve isn't perfect. I didn't sand it as well as I could have, and I didn't take my time as much as I had been. All I cared about, though, was that it was done.
The last little detail I had to do was refinish the hardware using brass finisher. I just love these handles, and I was so happy with how nicely they cleaned up.
I am so, so happy with how it turned out. But if I can offer anyone any advice - stay away from veneer unless you really know what you're doing!