DIY Dresser Makeover

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hey guys! If you remember my last post, I admitted to being hooked on browsing Craigslist for furniture and while I do strike out a lot, every once in awhile you strike gold! I've been looking for a dresser for-just-about-evvaaarrr!
(because forever just isn't long enough on it's own to emphasize the undertaking of this search)

And here it is, I give you... my new dresser! Looking ever so lovely and feminine. 
(Actually it's old, the original owners, a super sweet elderly couple, thought it was maybe from the 70s. but it's new to me :)

Now this chic white dresser didn't look like this when I got it, no no. It looked like this...

Here's a few pictures from the original Craigslist post. It was $150, which by mainland USA standards probably sounds expensive. But when compared with the average used furniture prices on Maui, it's super cheap for a dresser, let alone a large solid wood dresser... with a huge mirror to boot! 

How to score on Craigslist? 
(No we're not talking dirty here, you dirty bird you!)

I've been asked this several times, and I think it's a great topic that deserves it's own post, which I'll be doing in the near future but one major factors is... Speed.

For example, the night I found this dresser, I was browsing Craigslist, didn't see a darn thing. So I opened a second browser window to check my email or whatevs, then clicked back to my Craigslist window, refreshed the page and there it was! It was literally only posted for 2 minutes before I was on the phone talking with the owner and setting up a time to check it out the next day. 

(Oh and yes, it was kinda late,  9:15pm. But since they were clearly still up, having just posted it, I felt it was ok to call. As Michael says, "Fortune favors the bold!)

This is the video of my dresser makeover.

And for those of you who prefer the steps to be written, let's begin!

I started by removing the hardware.

Michael used his belt sander to prep the body of the dresser for priming. 

The veneer at the footing was lifting off, so we used a trowel to peel and remove the veneer around the footing. 

I used Zinsser Primer for this project.

I used a small foam roller for smooth surfaces and followed up in the details with my Purdy paint brush.

While the body of the dresser was drying, I got to work sanding the face of the drawers with 150 grit purple sandpaper. 
(I would have got pink or mint but... they didn't have.)

I also sanded the frame of the mirror.

After sanding, I use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water to wipe away dust and clean the surface before priming.

I masked off the mirror and primed the frame. 

If you're confident with a steady hand, it's better to "cut in" the paint onto the frame rather than masking off. What is cutting in? It's a method of applying your paint free-hand, with a quality angled brush, no masking off. Instead you work slowly and carefully, as if you're cutting a clean sharp line with your brush. It's a technique professionals use. I may give it a go next time.

Here's everybody crowded into my carport, standing around, primed and impatiently waiting for me to paint them. I did two coats of primer on the body of the dresser, mirror and just one coat on the drawers seemed to be enough for them.

For paint, I chose Behr Sea Salt and Behr Tide Pools. Both in Satin finish.

Behr Sea Salt is a natural beachy shade of white, it makes me think of sun-bleached coral or a pure white silica sand beach. 
(I'm looking at you Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday Islands, Australia!)

I used my small foam roller for smooth surfaces. I painted the body of the dresser and the face of the drawers in Behr Sea Salt.

As I painted, I would follow up with my Purdy paint brush in the details, corners and edges.

I did two coats of Behr Sea Salt.

I used my Purdy paint brush for the mirror frame.

Immediately after painting the frame, I removed the tape while the paint was still wet, to help avoid ripping any paint off the frame. Again, you could use the "cutting in" paint technique if you prefer.

I loved the hardware, so no need to swap it out on this project, but I did want to spray paint it. So I cleaned all the hardware with alcohol.

I used Rust-oleum Universal in Titanium Silver, it's a paint and primer in one.

I did one light coat, let it dry for about 15-20 minutes and then did a second light coat. 

 I wanted to see how they looked in a more shiny silver, so I reached for my Rust-oleum Bright Coat.

I did one light coat of Rust-oleum Bright Coat and I still wasn't entirely satisfied.

Then it hit me... that Ah Hah moment! Silver with white buffed into the detail! So I grabbed my Rust-oleum Painter's Touch in Gloss White.

One at a time, I gave each piece of hardware a quick light coat.
(Doesn't have to be perfect, cause we're just gonna smear the paint around anyway.)

Then I used a soft rag (aka piece of t-shirt) to wipe away the excess paint and buff the white into the details.
(Tip: This spray paint dries super fast, so you gotta work quick.)

Michael reattached the mirror (it screws into the back of the dresser) and we moved it into my filming room.
(Yep, this is where my vanity was, more about that in another post.)

Say hello to my latest paint obsession: Behr Tide Pools, a creamy shade of minty aquamarine. Soft and subdued, it blends beautifully with neutrals and looks amazing with both gold or silver hardware. So yummy, you'll almost want to eat it, but don't! 
(Seriously, not even a taste! Put the stir stick down and go treat yourself to a mint chocolate chip ice-cream after you finish painting instead.)

I wanted my drawers to be two-toned. Behr Sea Salt on the face of the drawers, so the dresser will appear completely white on the outside. But then when you open the drawers you get a refreshing pop of Behr Tide Pools inside as well as on the sides of the drawers.

I used my small foam roller.
(Yep, the one for smooth surfaces.)

And followed up with my Purdy paintbrush. I gave the drawers the morning to dry and then gave them all a second coat.

No matter how careful, I always find a way to get paint in my hair lol.
(What would the neighbors think if I wore a shower cap next time?)

Finally the drawers are dry and I can place them in their new little hobbit homes.

I attached the hardware and we're all done! Time to celebrate! 
(Whose got the mint chocolate chip ice-cream?)


Just to recap, here's the dresser before.

And here's the After

Behr Sea Salt is my new favorite white.

Behr Tide Pools adds a refreshing pop of color.

Just opening the drawers and seeing that minty goodness makes your day happier.

Really happy with how my hardware experimentation turned out.

It's kind of a weathered platinum look and I love it!

This was my inspiration for the choosing the color scheme of my dresser. I found this little tulip bowl  at Ross for $2.99, the day I got the dresser. It's handmade in Spain and I fell in love with the colors.

 With all the new drawers I have to play with now, I can see this kicking off a whole series on dresser organizing ideas. I know one drawer I'm going to build out for jewelry storage. Woohoo! Can't wait to start that DIY project.

Until next time, happy organizing and DIY'ing! Take care and I'll see you again soon!

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  1. What a very gorgeous dresser, the hardware looks too many . but overall, the colours you chose and the furniture itself are so beautiful. i love it and the mirror , love it too. You and hubby are so creative.

  2. I love the theme in your room, they all combined together very well. it something that i would choose too, u did a great work. fabolous and classy!

  3. Behr Sea Salt in the air, paint in your hair!
    Lol, and on your knee too! ;)
    The dresser is beautiful Christine!

    1. Haha exactly! Just like her shirt :)

      Wonderful job Christine!! And a very good price for that dresser, it's timeless!

  4. I'm amazed by your creations, everything you made untill now I loved it so much... Wish you so many posts like this. Greetings from Italy

  5. Lovely job and quite frankly - you can't find wood furniture for that price :-)


  6. I'm just about to try your hardware experiment on the hardware of the bedroom furniture we are repainting. Can't wait to see how it turns out. Your dresser look so beautiful :)

  7. I love everything about it. This is one of the most gorgeous dresser makeovers.

  8. I love everything about it. This is one of the most gorgeous dresser makeovers.