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DH made a set of built-in drawers on either side of our closet (drawers are visible, they aren't IN the closet).

Now it is my job to sand, stain and finish them.

Questions:

1) my last sanding was at 100 grit - it feels pretty good, do I need to go any finer before staining??

2) do I need to stain or finish the sides/back of the drawer or can I leave them as bare wood? They won't be visible unless you open the drawer, so is it worth the time to stain/finish (or would it be tacky)?

Thanks!

Jennifer
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1) my last sanding was at 100 grit - it feels pretty good, do I need to go any finer before staining??

I probably wouldn't sand anymore. If it feels smooth, and with the same degree of smoothness all over the drawers, then go ahead and finish.

2) do I need to stain or finish the sides/back of the drawer or can I leave them as bare wood? They won't be visible unless you open the drawer, so is it worth the time to stain/finish (or would it be tacky)?

Umm, aren't you going to open the drawers? In my opinion, it would probably look tacky (sorry!). It only take a few extra minutes, and will save you the peace of mind, not to mention the potential embarassment if a friend is there while the drawers are open. :-) Have you considered using the new stain/poly combination products? It would save you a step.

Kris

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I think you should only do it if it bothers you.

I mean, really, who but your very best friends sees your bedroom, and are your very best friends going to care if your drawers are stained?
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I was going to say stain 'em! But then I thought about my drawers. I have two sets that are different and neither of them are. I didn't even remember and don't notice, so I'm with frissy and say forgitaboutit! ;)

Zee
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Hehehe, good points! I just remembered that my nightstand is painted about three different colors because I never got around to painting the back and underside of the drawer. You're right that it's easy to get used to these things once they happen. I just thought since she was doing this from bare wood (and especially since her DH went through all the trouble to make them) that she could just go ahead and finish them all over while she's at it.

Kris
(who is maybe too much of a perfectionist)
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I just thought since she was doing this from bare wood (and especially since her DH went through all the trouble to make them) that she could just go ahead and finish them all over while she's at it.

I guess it depends on how much time you have, Jen. Or how much time you want to invest in it. Also, the unfinished sides may compliment the stain color, so maybe it will look well unfinished anyway. :)

Zee
trying to justify her unfinished sides of drawers ;)
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I just did a similar thing with a couple of dressers. I didn't paint anything I didn't have to paint. I'm lazy. So sue me. It looks just fine.
Kristi
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are your very best friends going to care if your drawers are stained?

Stained drawers... heh heh... heh heh...

carnescarnes
fan of butthead
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LOL! I wondered if anyone would say anything....
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I just did a similar thing with a couple of dressers. I didn't paint anything I didn't have to paint. I'm lazy. So sue me. It looks just fine.

I have an antique dresser with the original finish on it. Obviously, they didn't waste time back then slapping lacquer on anything that wasn't visible, including the back, and it looks just fine.

Uhura :o)
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I have several old (they range from 75 - 100 years old) chests of drawers, a buffet and cabinet. None of these have the any finish on the drawers except for the front. My parent's bedroom set (new in the '50's) also has unfinished drawers. I wasn't aware that anyone would want to finish the inside of drawers.

Keep in mind if you paint the outside sides of the drawers, they won't slide as nicely and the extra layers of paint may make the drawers stick, especially in humid weather.

Cosmos
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Keep in mind if you paint the outside sides of the drawers, they won't slide as nicely and the extra layers of paint may make the drawers stick, especially in humid weather.

We have bottom-mount, full-extension slides for our drawers, so that isn't a problem, but I know what you mean (we had an old apartment with kitchen drawers that were direct wood-to-wood contact - were a pain to open and close when the humidity was high!)

Jennifer
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Thanks for the input!

I think that I will just stain the fronts (I'm anal-retentive, but I am getting tired of all the work that gutting/rehabbing is requiring!).

Now to the other question: is there any question of preservation of the wood that it must be poly'ed (vs. bare wood) for long-term durabilty (expansion, contraction, moisture...)? Or is that just not an issue with drawers?

Jennifer
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My sister (the refinishing/redecorating goddess) told me that I should to make the finish last longer...I declined since I had a time crunch.
FWIW,
Kristi
the lazy goddess
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My sister (the refinishing/redecorating goddess) told me that I should to make the finish last longer...

Oh, no - I am definitely putting poly over the fronts (the stained parts), but I am wondering about whether I should (need to) poly the unfinished sides.

Jennifer
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Jennifer,

I just took a look at some of the drawers around here. It looks like they just finished the drawer fronts (and back side of the front panel) and back the drawer about an inch or two so that if the drawer was not closed tight it would not look unfinished.

Dan
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(we had an old apartment with kitchen drawers that were direct wood-to-wood contact - were a pain to open and close when the humidity was high!)

Jennifer


Paraffin. Buy a block of paraffin. Rub it on the drawer everywhere you have direct wood-to-wood contact.

Karen
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