‘Lusting’ for a New Bureau

Melanie Dresser

For a few winters and many more shop nights, TotalBoat Call Center and Tech Help Manager, Melanie Curley, slaved over her formerly unsightly bureau. It originally was many old layers of peeling paint, proof of another’s efforts to breathe life into the nicely made bureau. And Melanie could see through those layers of paint to sweet looking chestnut base that had, luckily, been preserved for years under the layers of paint.

Shop night at JD is all about grabbing your own projects and bringing them to life using TotalBoat products as a method of training, learning, testing and having some fun after work with co workers. When Melanie brought in the dresser, there were many witnesses who understood the work that would have to go into refinishing the furniture piece, but Melanie was undeterred and forged ahead with a full makeover.

Some 65 shop nights and about 11 quarts of varnish later, (but who’s counting…. or at least who’s counting accurately), Melanie is the winner. The bureau is a piece of artwork to be revered in her home, loaded with her crafting goods and probably a whole drawer of kitty treats and toys.

She started applying coats of Gleam Spar varnish, sanding between the coats mostly because a week would pass between applications. She built coats with a few varnishes, testing each new one as they hit the shelves of JD. She used foam brushes, badger brushes, rollers, friends, sandpaper, blocks and Festools – this was testing at its finest.

Finally, after admiring the glossy bureau, she changed her mind. An avid fan of Pinterest, Melanie decided to try burnishing the bureau using the Lust Matte Marine Varnish that we launched in the middle of her restoration. We all watched in awe as she rubbed steel wool over her still wetly varnished dresser, and the results were impressive.

Melanie took some heat from the tough crowd at JD and shop night for visiting her half baked dresser weekly and taking her time. But she had time, she had different helpers pitching in, she definitely had plenty of feedback and suggestions on her methods, and in the end, she came out victorious. 489,145 hours later (not really…) she was left with a beautiful chestnut dresser in mint shape with a beautiful coat of matte varnish. (which is impressive when you don’t want a shiny, mirror finish)

So there, to all the doubters & hecklers! And way to go, Melanie!

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