Dresser DIY (A Guide to Re-Imagining Furniture)

Dresser DIY (A Guide to Re-Imagining Furniture)

All my social media platforms are probably already tired of this, but…

I painted this dresser!


Here is the before picture…(peep the flower stand in the corner, which I painted a while back!)


I wanted to do a post all about renovating furniture since it’s a longtime hobby of mine and I actually love it a lot.

I got into redoing furniture a couple of years ago. I think it’s a good idea to start out with smaller pieces and work your way up to larger ones. So maybe start with a small end table before taking on a large piece, like the one I just did. I started by painting smaller pieces of furniture. You can work on things you already have, or you can find items at thrift stores. Thrift stores, estate sales, and college campuses at the end of the term (ehemmm, the curbs!) are all great places to find cheap furniture.

It’s important to consider materials. If the wood is unfinished, you can stain it. I usually just use chalk paint because it automatically gives a shabby chic, distressed look. I think that looks a bit more interesting than a flat coat of white paint, but that’s just me. I really like the Rustoleum brand, which you can find at ACE hardware. It’s easy to use, and you can buy spray paint or a can.

Which brings me to my next point- spray paint or can paint? It depends on the piece. A brush gives you more control and helps you get into carvings or edges. Spray paint is better if you’re doing something all one color, like a small table. I’ve used it on mirrors a few times and don’t recommend it, because even if you cover the mirror with paper, you might still get some drip and it’s a pain to remove (but nail polish remover should do the job). If you want to get fancy, you can use a patina or a metallic finish around the high points of the piece to create visual interest.

The next important step is hardware. If you really want to transform a piece, especially if it’s antique, change the knobs and handles. I’m telling you, it makes a massive difference. Home Depot has a lot of options and is WAY CHEAPER than Pier 1, Anthropologie, or World Market. You can also buy in bulk from Amazon. Thrift stores might have some options, but again, they might be old-fashioned looking, and if you want to modernize a piece that’s not the way to go.

Now, where do you do this project, exactly? If you’re spray painting, do it outside. It’s already well-ventilated (don’t spray paint in a closed area unless you want to lose some brain cells) and if you find a patch of grass in your yard that you don’t care about getting paint on, you don’t have to set down tarps. Make sure it will be a sunny day- and make sure it’s not windy! If it’s windy the paint will all blow back in your face.

If you’re painting inside, move your furniture away from the wall and other things. Set down tarps all around it (even in the spots you don’t think you need it) and wear something you don’t care about getting paint on. Don’t use too large of a brush because it will drip everywhere. Keep a fan on, windows open, and keep your pets out. Paint section by section so you can start a second coat while you have all your supplies out.

It’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as perfect. Your piece might not look perfect in your eyes but will look great to everyone else. Don’t worry too much, this is supposed to be fun!

Take your time and don’t rush! 🙂

I hope this post was interesting and helpful! Reach out if you have any questions. 🙂 Thanks for reading!



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