Here's the before one more time: (you can see more photos here)
And the After:
The top surface turned out beautifully! I certainly put some time in sanding out all the cigarette burns, but it was worth it in the end!
I use the large cigar box on top of the dresser as my jewelry box. Brian brought it home for me one day and I love it!
The framed embroidery was a wedding gift from a friend and the little white dish was a gift from Anthropologie. (I love gifts!)
Glad I didn't waste any time sanding out the handles. Turns out, they almost perfectly match the stain I chose for the drawers. I just wiped a little stain into each of them just to fill cracks and even out any scratches. Good as new!
Hopefully I've inspired you to restore a piece of your own. It really is the least expensive way to fill your home with furniture. It just takes some elbow grease and patience. In the end, your home will be filled with one-of-a-kind pieces that you'll have a special "bond" with!