I advocate for re-purposing and reusing whatever we can. I spend most of my time restoring and repurposing furniture which is a passion of mine. Most of the time it is repairing something broken, refinishing something old or uncovering something hidden by time and dirt. This time it was the challenge of maintaining the original beauty AND fixing the broken and used places.
This old dresser (and her matching vanity yet to come) were originally decorated with beautiful veneer. I didn't want to lose that if I could help it. Some of it was popping loose and in a few places the veneer was missing. The veneer on the top was absolutely hopeless.
I peeled all the veneer off the top by hand that would come off easily. Then I took a WET towel and my iron (the only thing I really use it for) set on cotton and began loosening the glue holding the veneer. I learned a few things. Move the iron slowly to build up heat and steam. It takes time for the glue to loosen so don't get in a hurry. Peel the veneer while everything is still warm because the glue will reset quickly.
I sanded the frame of the dresser, the top, the legs and re-stained them. I worked the drawers and the ends of the dresser with Tung Oil. I used steel wool to remove buildup and mess, repaired the broken veneer, re-glued and repaired the drawers and then applied hand rubbed layers of Tung Oil for the finish. It worked! I didn't lose the original beauty and everything looks new again. I let you know how the matching vanity works out.