This dresser is maple. I have stripped and refinished furniture before and although the result is beautiful, it is absolutely overwhelming work. I decided to paint this a pretty pale yellow and use it in the master bedroom.
I used a coarse sandpaper and sanded the whole dresser by hand just to get the surface clean and even. As I mentioned, I did not strip this. It did take three coats of paint because 1.) The paint was such a light color and 2.) because I chose not to start with stripped, sanded and prepped wood.
I love the result. This is very shabby chic, vintage, rustic and it has so much character. I kept the original hardware and spray painted it a dark chocolate brown. I can't wait to finish the rest of the furniture and share the before and afters with you.