My New/Old Dresser

Posted on September 19th, 2013 in Uncategorized

Jon and I recently helped out a friend with his garage sale. I noticed they had a tall, solid wood dresser and they were asking $10 for it. The stain wasn’t my taste, but it seemed solid and the right size. We brought it home and I started researching online how I could transform it. I’ve haven’t done much in the way of furniture painting or refinishing- other than the odd bedside table or putting together Ikea stuff.

Here’s what my $10.00 dresser started out as:


I’ve had a set of two dressers for over 20 years that I purchased with my ex-husband when we were first married. Long ago, I gave away the bookcase headboard section, but I’ve never gotten around to replacing the dressers. They are cheaply made, veneer-covered pressed board pieces. They were functional (but ugly) Here’s the old 1990 special:


I decided to give it away via Craigslist. What a disappointment. I had several immediate replies to my posting, so I offered it to the first responder. She said she could come right away to pick it up. I took out the drawers and set it out ready for them to pick up. She brought her dad and kids. They walked up and grabbed it. I mentioned something about it being easier to move with the drawers out. She glanced at me and they walked away with it– not a word. Not even a simple Thank You. Wow, raised by wolves? I can only assume. *shrug* My ad on craiglist had mentioned I would soon be offering the matching low dresser and would let the taker know when it was ready to go. You can be sure I’ll be giving it to someone else. (hopefully someone with basic manners)

I found some YouTube videos about painting furniture using Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint. It’s not chalkboard paint. It’s just called chalk paint because of the chalky, matte finish it provides. Other great things about this paint: You don’t have to prep the piece…AT ALL. NO sanding, NO stripping. The downside: it’s only available at select small home decorating shops. I found one locally, but they were out of stock on the clear wax finishing coat. I bought a tin of paint in Cream so I could get started.

I just vacuumed out the dust and wiped the dresser down with a damp cloth. I actually sanded a few bits lightly that felt rough, then I gave it two coats of the paint. Some of the colours cover in one coat, but I wanted the stain really well covered, so I did a second coat. It is amazing how far the paint goes. Two coats only used about 1/3 of the quart-sized can.


I really liked this colour, but I realized that it wasn’t going to fit in with our bedroom that well, since the walls are painted yellow. Not sure why I didn’t think of that before I chose the colour! I found another shop that carries the paint and picked up a can of Versailles, which is a soft green. I brushed it on lightly to try for a mottled, layered look. It took a while, going back and forth brushing on both colours here and there to get it the way I wanted it. At this point I really wasn’t sure if I wanted to distress the edges, but in the end it seemed like it needed something more, so I did a bit of sanding  to make it look worn and older. The lighting in the garage is terrible, so these photos don’t show the true colours.













Then I went over the whole thing with the clear wax on a brush, polishing off the excess with a cloth. I decided to paint the insides and the outer sides of the drawers- just one coat in Versailles, and I laid down a pretty wrapping paper inside the drawers. (just a roll of wrapping paper from Target)  I found some pretty knobs on Etsy  and was planning to paint them, but decided they were perfect as-is.

The finished project! I’m so happy with how it turned out.  What do you think?









One Response to “My New/Old Dresser”

  1. Nice job Helen! I’m thinking of trying to find a piece of furniture to ‘shabby up’…$10 – what a deal!