Painted Dresser

Happy Halloween!

I should probably be posting something Halloweenie today…but I just couldn’t wait to share the nursery dresser with all of you!  So that’s what you get.  Hope all of you have a spooktacular Halloween!


When I started thinking about the nursery, I knew we’d need some sort of dresser and I was determined to find an older one that I could give a little TLC.    Not only to save some money, but because I’m weird and like doing that sort of thing.  So I literally started scouring Craigslist when I was about 10 weeks pregnant.   It took a lot longer than I thought to find something that I liked, or one that the seller wasn’t being completely insane about their asking price. 

I finally found a dresser that was solid wood, good construction and in need of a little lovin’.  The price was a bit more than I wanted to spend on something I was going to have to put work into…but I ended up liking it so much that the $100 seemed worth it.  Especially given how long it took me to find this one!  If I remember correctly (which it’s quite possible I don’t…pregnancy brain is REAL) I was about 18 or 20 weeks along when I finally found it.  


It’s not often you find furniture these days with any character.  I love the curved legs and detail on the top two drawers.   It was perfect. 

Not to mention that it’s solid wood (another rarity it seems) and had good construction.  Like dove-tailed joints:



My plan is to use this dresser as the changing table for the first few years.   I personally don’t see any reason to buy a “changing table” when you can simply put a changing pad on top of a dresser and then remove it when you’re done.   Right?  Right!

The process I used for refinishing this piece was pretty straightforward; I relied on one of Kate’s tutorials over at Centsational Girl.  This girl can work some magic with a paintbrush!  Check out her Project Gallery if you have some time!  You’re sure to be inspired. 

Based on Kate’s suggestions, here was my arsenal:


I started with about 20 minutes of light sanding.  Since I planned on painting (and not staining) sanding isn’t of upmost importance.  But it’s still good to give it a once-over and clean up any dings or remove varnishes.


Next comes the wood filler.  This stuff is great for filling in any significant scratches, blemishes or old hardware holes.



Next up?  Primer.  Easy schmeasy.   I’m going to be honest, I kinda forgot to take many pictures at this point.    Please refer to pregnancy brain comment above.   So if you’re looking for a full tutorial, I highly recommend Kate’s link I included above.  She’s the real expert here anyways.

After one coat of primer, four coats of paint (yes, you read that right.  FOUR coats), and two coats of  semi-gloss top coat we were in business.   I just had to wait for the current furniture to sell so I could move it up to the nursery – which as you know happened last weekend. 

That was my queue to put the finishing touches on the dresser:  drawer liners and new hardware.

Here she is in her happy new home!






The drawer-liners are simply a roll of gift wrap (found a Michaels) cut to fit and then secured with double-sided tape.    I found the yellow knobs at Anthropology (I couldn’t stomach buying enough for the whole dresser at $8 a pop!) so the silver pulls are from Home Depot. 

I love the crisp white and how it really shows off the character of the dresser.    Once we bring in the white crib I think the room will really start to look a bit more cohesive.  And of course once I start adding more pops of that yellow (er, saffron) color around it will make those knobs seem a little more intentional.

I’m sure some of you are wondering about cost.  I mean, the goal of DIY-ing something on your own is typically to save some mula, right?   Well, to be honest, I’ve been a little scared to add it all up.    Since I didn’t have any of the supplies onhand I had to buy everything (like paint, primer, floetrol, etc.).  And then there’s the hardware, etc. 

My best guess is that I came in right under $200.  Which I suppose isn’t bad considering that (1) that’s still cheaper than some of the already-finished dressers I was originally looking at, (2) it’s a one of a kind piece, (3)  it’s solid wood unlike most of the veneer-finished dressers today and (4) it was made with love.  Can you really go wrong there?

I didn’t think so. 

I’m just thankful I did all of this work before showing too much because I’m not sure I could maneuver around as well these days!   Oh, and don’t worry pops – I was wearing a mask the whole time and bought the no-VOC paint.  Safety first.

So there you have it.  Again, I apologize for the lack of photos during painting….but that’s pretty self-explanatory anyways.  

There’s still lots to accomplish on the nursery to-do list but it’s nice to see progress being made.  I actually took on the Pinterest Challenge this weekend and made a mobile…so stay tuned for that reveal on Wednesday!

Oh, and aren’t ya’ll proud of me for not painting it black?!



  1. Looks awesome! I want to come see this “work in progress”. And yes, I was surprised you didn’t paint it black…are you or are you not the black angel of death?

  2. Beautiful! I am inspired. I love the unique piece you found, and with all the love you put into it, I’m sure you’ll have that dresser for many years to come. Baby T might not appreciate it at first, but I sure do!

  3. I love how you took an old piece of furniture and turned it into something new. I love the details on the dresser, how wonderful for Baby T to have something truly her own. :)

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