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Thread: What to do with dresser interior?

  1. #1

    Default What to do with dresser interior?

    Don't think this is a finishing question per se and felt it was best here....

    Making a large mission style dresser and was wondering how far to go in finishing the interior of the unit.
    Would you apply the stain and varnish to all the web-frames, drawer supports etc?
    Leave unfinished?
    Just apply the stain so everything inside and out is 1 color?
    Thanks in advance for any and all replies.

  2. Thread Continues Below...

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: What to do with dresser interior?


    If this was a dresser I was building, I would finish only as much of the interior as would be seen during normal use. If it won't be seen, why waste the time and material to finish it? If the piece has been built with wood movement in mind, then the lack of finish on the interior should not cause any warping or splitting. Some will disagree with thisbut that is my $.02 worth.


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Real Name

    Default Re: What to do with dresser interior?

    I put at least one (often 2 or more) layers of finish on all sides. If you don't the wood will be loosing moisture at different rates at the surfaces.
    I won't bother sanding/smoothing the interior surfaces though.

  5. #4

    Default Re: What to do with dresser interior?

    I used to think that but now I'm not so sure.....

    Been discussed before also in this old thread...
    Last edited by Bri in Mtl; 11-01-2011 at 06:04 AM.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Burin Peninsula, Newfoundland

    Default Re: What to do with dresser interior?

    I have left mine bare. No issues yet. Read in many places about not using any finish inside furniture such as this, including the drawers, recommending to leave interior surfaces bare for fear of the finish odor effecting the contents. With that, I have never seen any purchased dressers finished on the interior either. To take it a step further, I am sure I read to line drawers with bare cedar, if you want, to further help reduce odors. There should be other posts on this forum to comment on that.
    A mouse dreams dreams that would terrify the cat.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Toronto (if not Australia)
    Real Name

    Default Re: What to do with dresser interior?

    I'd also take into account what type of finish you're planning to use.

    Old school finishes - shellac, oils, etc. - are water permeable to a degree and allow the timber to breathe. Many modern finishes - particularly PolyU's - are not. So while a piece may be designed to cater for timber movement, etc., a modern finish may cause greater stresses than an old school finish.

    As a consequence I tend to finish both sides of any panels larger than a frame... while leaving basic frame structures unfinished purely for the sake of economy.

    (Come to that, I also seal the inside of my drawers. But I use pure Tung Oil and by the time it has gassed off and the piece is ready for sale most scent is gone. Never tried using unfinished Cedar instead, as that's not readily available in Oz. )
    (Warning: opinons are being offered by a bloke who thinks whacking the daylights out of recalcitrant blanks with a hammer is a valid finishing technique.)

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