Make an old dresser look like new | Made of Lovely

Make An Old Dresser Look Like New

I know how the thought of painting over wood can be like nails on the chalkboard, because why would someone want to cover the beautiful natural grain? However, sometimes the wood just isn’t salvageable. Such was the case with this old dresser.

The previous owners seemed to have neglected it, and I think it had been sitting outside for awhile. Allegedly it’s over 100 years old. I’m not sure about that detail, but I did know that this little dresser could use a little TLC so that it could look like new again!

This dresser had “good bones” in my opinion, so I knew that it was worth making over. I also already had most of the supplies on hand since it seems like lately I’ve been doing so many dresser makeovers, even though my dresser to a TV stand was such a project I thought to myself that I was NEVER doing another dresser makeover. As you can see, that’s worked out really well for me LOL.

Like always, let’s start with some before pictures so we can see what condition the dresser started in.

Obviously, it looks to be in pretty rough shape. Who knows how old that paint on the dresser is (I hope I don’t get some sort of weird lead poisoning from sanding it! lol) But aside from aesthetics, the dresser is mostly ok. The floor of one of the drawers is pretty loose so I’ll probably have to put new nails/screws into it at some point, but the knobs and everything else seems to be ok — which is great, because that means that this is a fully cosmetic update!

Supplies & Tools:

  • Electric Sander
  • Sandpaper sheets 150 & 220 grit
  • Safety Glasses & Mask (for sanding)
  • Screwdriver (to remove the knobs)
  • Piece of Cardboard
  • Spray Paint & Primer (to spray the knobs) – I used Rust-Oleum
  • Medium Sized Paint brush
  • Painting Tray
  • Painting tarp
  • Plastic bag (to put your paintbrush in between coats so it doesn’t get dry & hard)
  • Behr Paint & Prime – I used pure white in satin finish
  • Flow-Leveling Additive (to eliminate brush strokes) – I used XIM Latex extender
  • 2 Rags

Step 1 – Clean & Sand

I made sure I wiped the dresser clean so that there was no grime buildup before I started sanding. I started with the rougher grit to remove the old paint, then once that was cleaned off, I went in with a smoother grit sandpaper to make sure that the wood was really nice and smooth.

For some reason this dresser has a big stain on the top of it that I could not remove. I think it’s some sort of oil stain, which I’m predicting may eventually start to seep through the paint, but this is a quick-n-easy dresser makeover, so I’ll cross that bridge later.

Step 2 – Clean & Paint

After all of the sanding was complete, I used one of my rags to thoroughly clean off all the wood/paint dust from sanding. Then, I applied a coat of paint. I took my paint brush and covered the bristles with my plastic bag to keep it from getting hard (I do this every time I wait for a coat to dry). While I let that first coat of paint sit, I took all my knobs and placed them on my piece of cardboard. I used the spray paint primer to coat all the knobs. Since I was doing this in decently warm weather & no humidity the first coats for everything dried pretty quickly.

Once the dresser was dry to the touch, I mixed my paint and the additive. I painted on another coat.

While I left the dresser to dry again, I went back to my knobs and used my metallic gold spray paint to spray the knobs. This gave me time to go back and clean up my sanding mess and put those things away. By the time I was done with that, the dresser was ready for its final coat of paint.

Again, while the dresser paint dried, I spray painted the knobs with their final coat.

Step 3 – Put Back Together and Style

Once I had done all the coats of paint the dresser & the knobs needed, I left them to dry for 24hrs. Once they were complete I put the knobs back on, the drawers back in, and placed the dresser in its new spot.

This project was completed in about two days, and that’s mostly due to the 24 hour-wait-dry-time. But as you can see it was a really easy makeover! And I think that it turned out very lovely.

What do you think about the final result?

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