TSP – Tell Share Post – TSP

This week, I officially found something to paint. I bought a dresser on an online garage sale from a young family who said they needed something bigger and that it was freshly sanitized. My family helped me pick it up in a little neighboring town. Once we got home we placed it in the garage where there is more room to work on it. 

The dresser came painted white on the wood, giving the dresser a distressed look. It needed a good clean and there’s no harm in cleaning and disinfecting things extra during this time with the pandemic. I needed to wait until there was a nice day outside where I could open the garage door and let the warm breeze in to let it dry. 

Prior to cleaning I had to find which cleaner would be best to use. I saw this video called “Cleaning Furniture With TSP Antique Restoration” so I checked out the cleaning supplies in our house and found some. TSP stands for Trisodium Phosphate. After watching the video, I decided to try to find more information about the cleaner so I read this short article that discusses what you should know before using TSP cleaner. Some things I learned were: TSP is used as a cleaning agent, builder, lubricant, food additive, stain remover, and degreaser and it is harmful to humans and can irritate the eyes and cause damage to the skin. 

What shocked me the most from reading was that Trisodium Phosphate is a popular nutritional supplement that may help  people exercise better. I was flabbergasted; TSP is dangerous to touch yet people can use TSP as a supplement. 

Once I started cleaning, I realized that the cleaning was going to take me longer than I had hoped for. It took TWO hours! I had to first wash it with the TSP mixed with water, let it dry (which didn’t take long on a warm day) then washed it with clean water and repeated this twice. See the picture below of a sneak peak of the dresser I purchased and the dirty water after cleaning the dresser! Stay tuned to see what the dresser looks like after it has been cleaned! 

Do you think the paint came off? Do you enjoy cleaning, painting or find it satisfying to see the progress you or others have created? Comment a picture of something you would love to paint on a canvas or a furniture piece as I would love to see your ideas! 🙂

Sooo Dirty!!
Sooo Dirty!!


  1. Tracey Beaven

    I am interested in your project. This will be a great skill to learn. I have refinished a few pieces of furniture before and like you I am always surprised at how long some of the steps take. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  2. Julia Breitkreuz

    Hey Carmel! I’m so excited to see the progress you make on this dresser. I do find it really satisfying to watch this kind of stuff haha! Last fall I restored a small dresser I bought off of Varage Sale, and it was a really fun project. The hardest part was covering up some of the large scratches it had in it, and finding new handles for it.

  3. Raylin Janzen

    That’s so strange that people use TSP as a supplement! I wonder if they are aware it’s harmful? Anyways, this is such a cool project! I can’t wait to see how it looks when you’re done. Do you have a colour scheme in mind yet?

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