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Monday, July 1, 2019

How to Repair and Replace Old Hardware Holes

Learn the easiest way to repair and replace old hardware holes to completely update an old and dated piece of furniture. 

A few weeks ago, I stopped in Goodwill on my way home from an auction and stumbled upon the perfect mid-century modern Bassett dresser.  Okay, so maybe it wasn't perfect, but it was a Bassett dresser and the price was right, so I couldn't pass it up.  Unfortunately for me,  it was raining and I was driving the truck, but I'm never one to pass up a good deal.  I loaded it in the bed of the truck, wrapped it up, tied it down and hauled it home safely.   

Mid century modern gray painted Bassett Dresser
The dresser definitely needed some work, but I knew it could be transformed with little effort and by repairing and replacing the old hardware.

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- 120 Grit Sanding Pad
- Drill 
- Medium size drill bit
- Cardboard or foam board
- Pen 
- Scissors
- Ruler
- Putty Knife

MCM Bassett dresser before
This Bassett dresser was definitely one of those diamond in the rough pieces.  I probably would have walked right by it if I didn't have an open mind.   It was yellowed, there was a lot of veneer damage and the baby blue accents were definitely not doing the piece any favors. 

However, it did have everything I look for when buying a used piece of furniture.  It was solid wood, had dovetail drawers, was smoke-free and had loads of potential. 

damage to mid century modern bassett dresser
The chips in the veneer were super easy to repair with my favorite wood filler and a putty knife.  I just mixed the wood filler, spread it on with a putty knife, let it dry then sanded it with my Dewalt orbital sander.

Minwax wood filler for repairing old hardware holes
I also filled the existing hardware holes with wood filler, so I could replace the original knobs with more modern bar pulls.  I've tried many different wood fillers in the past and Minwax High Performance Wood Filler is by far my favorite.  It dries rock hard in less than 30 minutes and is the best for filling deep hardware holes.
Filling old dresser hardware holes with wood filler
There was also a loose Dovetail joint in one of the drawers that I easily fixed using these simple steps.
How to repair dovetail drawers
After repairs were made and the old hardware holes were filled I sanded the entire dresser with 120 grit then 400 grit sandpaper.
Sanding MCM dresser
I wiped the dresser clean with Simple Green, applied 3 coats of General Finishes Seagull Gray Milk Paint (sanding in between coats with 400 grit sandpaper) followed by General Finishes Finishing Wax in Satin.  

***TIP *** If you are painting over dark stained wood then follow these steps to avoid tannin bleed through. 


To make drilling and installing the new hardware a bit easier, I created a template by tracing one of the drawers onto cardboard.  Thankfully, all the drawers were the same size, which drastically helped cut down the amount of measuring and marking I needed to make.
Tracing drawer onto cardboard for template
I measured once and drilled holes through the cardboard into the first drawer then used the cardboard template and predrilled holes to mark the holes on the remaining drawers.
measuring and marking template for hardware holes

Drilling holes in template for new drawer hardware
The modern champagne bronze bar pulls and light gray paint completely transformed the entire look of the dresser and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
Light gray painted mid century modern dresser

Champagne bronze modern bar pulls

Dovetail drawers on mid century modern dresser

How to easily fill and replace old dresser hardware
Changing the style, location or type of furniture hardware is not only easy, but can completely change the look and feel of a piece of furniture.  
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Before and after mcm dresser makeover

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