Hope Chest Remodel

Hope Chest Remodel

Hope Chest Remodel

Below you will find the complete tutorial with supply list of how I refinished this beautiful oak Hope Chest



Palm Sander

Hand sander

Sandpaper –220 grit and 1500 grit

Loew Cornell 841 20-Piece Foam Brush Set, 2-Inch Multi-Colored (I prefer to get these in bulk from Walmart)

Dark Walnut Minwax Stain

Minwax polyurethane

Annie Sloan Old White Chalk Paint and brush

Annie Sloan Clear Wax and brush


A client brought me this solid oak hope chest in “hope” that I could spruce her back to life again. She was in really good shape besides a little nick in the side of her molding and some wear and tear on top.



If I plan to stain part of the furniture, I always stain first before painting. I sand, stain and seal it and that way if I accidentally drip some paint onto the stained surface, I can just wipe it off no problem. I took my palm sander and with 80 grit sandpaper, sanded off the existing stain. Then I went back over it with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the surface. you don’t want to use a powerful sander like this one on the edges of furniture where it’s rounded because the sander is too powerful and will dig into the wood, changing the shape. On rounded corners like this, just sand it by hand.



After sanding, I wiped off all the sawdust and started staining with Dark Walnut Minwax Stain. I prefer to use disposable foam brushes to stain and that way I can toss them in the trash when I’m done. Always follow the instructions on your stain can. I brushed on a very thin coat of stain, allowed it to sit for 10 minutes and then wiped off all the excess. That’s an important step. Don’t let stain dry on your surface or it will become a sticky disaster! I allowed the allotted drying time and then applied one more coat for a total of two coats of stain to get the darkness I was looking for. Once it was dry I used another foam brush and applied 3 coats of polyurethane for a durable finish.


There was a gash in the side of the molding so I used my wood patch to create a molding over the top where the wood was jagged and damaged. I allowed that to completely dry and then took some 220 grit sandpaper and lightly sanded that area so that it was completely flush with the rest of the molding. If you don’t sand it well enough and you paint over it, it’s going to look like you painted over a band-aid so make sure it’s as flush as possible.

flipping furniture

My client couldn’t have chosen a better color combination. Dark Walnut stain with Annie Sloan Old White looks amazing! It’s neutral but still has a richness about it. Very classy. I painted one coat and let it dry.

refinishing furniture

I wanted a very smooth surface for this hope chest so between coats of paint I sanded with a 220 grit sandpaper. If you want to touch the surface and have it feel as smooth as glass, you must sand between coats of paint!


The seams along the corners of the chest were opening up from old age so before I applied the last coat of paint I used some caulking along those edges to seal them back up. Allow the caulk to completely dry. If you don’t and you start to paint over it, it will be a gooey, sticky mess.


Once the last coat of paint had dried (it took 3 coats total), I roughed it up just a little with sandpaper to give it a distressed look. I don’t always distress but I do prefer to distress when it’s a light color such as this. You can be so careful but at some point you’re probably going to run into it with a vacuum or something and if you happen to leave a mark, it will blend in with the distressing. After all the distressing was finished, I waxed it with Annie Sloan Clear Wax. When the wax dried I took a very fine grit sandpaper (1500) and my hand sander and sanded over the painted surface. This sandpaper is so fine that it won’t strip off any of the wax you just applied but it will shine it up and help create that glass smooth texture. Done!

hopechestmakeover IMG_6068

flipping furniture

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