This is a quick and easy upcycle of two old dressers doomed for the dumpster that I knew I could save. The white one was my niece's dresser she had for years but the drawers were very broken, and the large wooden dresser was a curbside pickup by yours truly. Both of my nieces share a bedroom and are OBSESSED with dress up (like their auntie :)) so I knew I could make their room extra girly and magical by fixing up a dress-up closet for them, and finishing an oversized dresser for them to share.
What you will need:
- Old dressers
- Sandpaper (I used 120 Grit) and/or electric sander
- Rustoleum "Bright Coat" metallic finish in silver
Above are the before pictures of the large dresser exactly how it was picked up. Luckily there was a long vanity dresser that matched that was also sitting curbside at the time so I was able to snag more matching handles to complete the dresser. The long one was too broken to be worth my time to work on unfortunately. With all the knicks and worn wood I knew sanding was probably going to be the biggest and most meticulous part of this job so I got started right away.
Here are my best steps to follow when considering an easy refinish of a dresser:
1. I always take the pieces right outside of the studio and lay it over some saw horses to first wash down, check for mold (esp. on curbside pickups because you really never know), bleach clean them, and let them thoroughly dry in the sun before sanding.
2. I used 120 Grit sandpaper on this one because of the many divots and scratches all over the piece. I went over each side of the dresser about 3-4 times before I was satisfied with the smoothness of each surface. After using a cheese cloth to collect all sanded remnants I put on the white primer coat and let dry.
3. While that dried, I took all the hardware pieces, handles and screws, inside to wash then back outside to paint. I used Rust-Oleum Bright Coat Metallic Finish Silver for the handles to contrast against the teal blue dresser. I did about 3 coats of this and then finished with a clear sealant after it was all dried.
4. Before you begin painting on the dresser, make sure you have laid the drop sheet underneath and I always advise using whatever you may have around your house to lift the dresser off the floor so you have smooth finishes on the bottom. Trust me it makes a huge difference when keeping smooth paint roller strokes, especially around the feet of the dresser.
5. Pull out the drawers and paint those separate from the body of the dresser. Pour the Valspar Chalk Paint in your paint tray and begin by painting the sides of the body of the dresser and working your way to the front and the top for last. For intricate sections, like the very top of the front of the dresser, I used a smaller paint brush to make sure every inch was smooth and covered with teal paint. Over the entirety of the body of the dresser I did 3 coats of paint total. I didn't care for seeing the wooden shading behind the chalk paint so I did enough coats to ensure a smooth teal look all over.
6. I rolled the paint on the drawer faces separately, and finished it in two coats. I then used old lace fabric, laid it over the drawer faces and secured it to the inside and bottom of the drawer with painter's tape. Very lightly I sprayed a baby pink Rustoleum spray paint over the lace to create the light lace look on the faces of the drawers. Although the lace design did not come out as evenly as I intended it was my first try and I think it happened because I used the same piece of lace for each drawer face. In hindsight I probably would have used different pieces so the paint didn't clog up the one piece I continuously used. The beauty of paint and wood, however, is that there's always the ability to sand and repaint, but I decided I liked the character of how the drawers turned out.
7. After everything is all dry, apply one thick coating of clear sealant to protect from scratches, water marks etc. Once everything is completely dry it's time to put your hardware back together, remove all painter's tape, and gawk at your beautiful new product!
For the little white wardrobe, I don't have any pictures of the process because it was so simple it really can be explain as simply as this:
1. Remove all drawers and hardware inside the dresser body (slats the drawers slide into), sand the inside and out and apply white primer.
2. I repainted in a very light pink Valspar Interior called Pink Whisper, let that dry and applied the clear sealant.
3. I found a cute hot pink shelf at my local GoodWill, took contact strips and adhered it to the side of the dresser for a fun little vanity area the girls could use.
4. Finally I took the cheap, small shower curtain rod, tightened it across the inside, and used the fun colorful packs of hangers from Wal-Mart to hang their outfits, and lined the bottom with their shoes. They absolutely love it!
My nieces were two very happy girls when they came home and found these in their room! They use the dress up closet everyday and it makes it so easy for them to play since they aren't hanging high up in their closets anymore. They use the side vanity for fun necklaces, bracelets etc., anything they can throw on to feel beautiful or fun in dress-up! I hope this inspired some one out there to create something rather than tossing that old piece of furniture they don't know what to do with. Most people don't understand what one coat of paint can really do. Try it! I promise you won't be disappointed! Thanks for reading! :)
(My niece, Chloe, who as you can tell by the leggings is quite the artist herself!)