Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dresser Makeover

I've had a dresser sitting on my back porch for the last few months. I was itching to paint it, but wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, and to be honest, I'm not very experienced with furniture refinishing. (You can see my last experiment here.)

And I didn't have a lot of money to spend on it.

And the person who gave it to me dropped it out of the back of his truck when he drove it over, and broke a few of the drawers. Seriously. What is it with men who don't think they need to tie things down?

My late husband lost an antique piano out of the back of his truck once. He looked in the rear view mirror and saw it sliding, upside down, behind him on the freeway. This was 23 years ago. Some things just don't get forgotten.

With that said, I think it turned out well, and it was EASY.

2 cans Rust-oleum Ultra Cover Flat Black Primer spray paint
2 cans Rust-oleum Satin Black spray paint
220 grit sandpaper
Sanding sponge
Howard - Citrus Shield Premium Paste Wax (Walnut)
2 junk rags (one for application and one to remove)
Jute cording from Hobby Lobby
Newspapers or drop cloth to protect the ground

Here's the mess of a dresser. I started taking out drawers before I remembered to grab the camera, and I was too lazy to put them back in for a picture. When I get started on a project, I really dislike having to back up and undo what I've done. I'm always a little afraid I'll put it all off and decide to start again another day.

Lots of broken drawer pulls on this beast, and after pricing hardware, I decided I needed to come up with a different option.

 I gave the whole thing a light sanding with a directional sander and a little foam sanding block, then hit it with black primer spray paint.
Once it was well covered, I painted again with two coats of Rust-Oleum black satin spray paint. Then I roughed up the edges with a small piece of sand paper. I also lightly sanded the front of the dresser. This step made me nervous, because it left little scratch marks in the finish. It worked out, though, by the time I was done.

This is where it got fun. I found a font I liked, and blew up the numbers to the size I wanted, and printed it on some old scratch paper. Then I used the side of a piece of chalk to cover the back side of the image I wanted to transfer.

Then I positioned the image where I wanted it, and traced it with a pencil.

Then I painted in the number with a white acrylic paint from the craft store. It took two coats and looked pretty splotchy, but I didn't worry about it since I was going to sand it anyway.

Once it was dry, I sanded lightly, again going with the grain of wood. I wiped off the chalk and paint dust with a damp rag.

Once everything was painted, I waxed it with Howard Citrus Shield Premium Paste Wax. This was important, as it reduced the milky looking sanding marks all over the piece, lightly stained the exposed wood to a rich brown, and gave the whole piece a glowing, rich look.

I had plans for a heavier rope drawer pull, but couldn't find what I wanted. I ended up using this twine instead, and like it. Tied a knot, threaded it through the holes, and tied the other end. Cheap. Done. Kind of old fashioned.

A couple of months ago, I visited Quiltique in Las Vegas, and fell in love with a gorgeous quilt on the wall. It was beautifully done, and I spent forever trying to find fabrics that somewhat matched the ones used. One of the fabrics had a solid background with a white alphabet on it. It was a little old fashioned looking, and it pretty much was the inspiration for this dresser.

On a side note, after I finished the dresser and posted pictures on Facebook (and confessed to the quilt envy inspiration), I found out that a friend of mine MADE that display quilt. I had to laugh. I drove 500 miles, visited several quilt shops that I've never been to before, saw dozens of gorgeous quilts on display, and hers was the one that caught my eye.

Tami's quilt...
Tami's quilt...


  1. Very creative idea for recycling an old dresser.

  2. Thanks Guys very useful, I will be starting a blog!