Painting an Old Dresser

I have been looking for a white dresser with black handles for a long time. There’s one at IKEA that I’ve wanted for a long time, but I couldn’t justify paying $300.00+ for a dresser. I decided that I might as well check out Kijiji/FB marketplace to see what I could find.

I found this dresser on FB Marketplace and although it wasn’t white, I knew I could make it work. I was specifically looking for a dresser that was bigger lengthwise than a tall dresser, it had to have feet so I could get under (yenno because dog hair) and at a decent price. Every other dresser I was seeing was still $100.00+ so I thought for $40.00 I couldn’t really go wrong.

I did a TON of research on how to paint an old dresser. Here is what I found in my research:

  • You DEFINITELY need to sand any item that you are wanting to paint. There are a lot of posts out there that tell you that you don’t need to as long as you wash and prime, etc., but honestly if you want your piece to last, it’s best to put in the work to sand.
  • You want to wash your piece first with something to get off the old grime.
  • You need to use a good primer (especially if it’s a dark wood that you are painting).
  • It takes a while to finish and you have to be patient!

Here is what I used for my project. ** I am not a professional in an way, just like to do this stuff for fun and here is what worked for me! **

  • TSP + cloth for cleaning the piece
  • 200 grit for rough sanding
  • Tack cloth for in-between coats
  • Small foam roller
  • Paint brush
  • Paint tray + liner
  • Primer (I used Valspar stain blocking primer/sealer, 925 mL)
  • Paint (I used Sico furniture and cabinet paint with melamine finish, pure white, 925 mL)
  • Black spray paint (I used Rust-Oleum 2X ultra cover paint + primer, Satin, Canyon black)
  • Drop cloth
Before sanding the piece
After sanding the knobs.

For sanding, you don’t need to go bare just as long as you get all of the gloss off. Sanding is the worst part but it makes a huge difference in the long run. Make sure to clean with a really good cleaner (I love using TSP, just make sure your mixture isn’t too strong to affect the dresser) after to get all of the dust off.

Here is my coat of primer. It’s going to look really patchy and that’s okay. The point of primer is to make a nice surface for the paint to stick to. You want to make sure that the coat is very thin and evenly spread. I let this coat dry for about 24 hours just to make sure that everything was set. I made sure to use tack cloth between every layer of primer/paint to get any hair/dust off before the next layer.

I spray painted my knobs black and I did 3 coats of the paint. I made sure to leave plenty of time between coats to make sure the paint had dried. I didn’t put the knobs back on the dresser until they were only a little bit tacky. They will probably be tacky for a few days so I suggest letting them cure for at least a week before using the dresser.

I did two coats of paint and then did a final touch up in spots that needed it. I let my piece dry for 8 hours in between coats. I used a mini roller brush as much as I could (it makes the layers look a lot more smooth and cohesive). For the sides of the dresser, I first went in with a brush to get the corners and then went over it with a roller as much as I could to blend it out.

Here’s the finished result!

I think it actually turned out way better than I imagined! My total price for the project was around $70.00ish, which is such a good price for a dresser that looks like this. The paint costed me $30 but I only used half a can. The primer was $15 and I only used maybe 1/4 of the can. The spray paint was $9 which I also didn’t use very much. I definitely have enough paint/primer for a couple small projects or another big one! The foam roller was $8 and I already had a paint brush and paint tray + liner.

I am super proud of this project and it makes me so excited to do more like this! I also can’t wait to style it, maybe place some plants on it and add a nice circle mirror and some shelfs above!!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this πŸ™‚


Carli πŸ™‚

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3 thoughts on “Painting an Old Dresser

  1. Such an informative article! One thing I would like to share that we should keep our project dust-free by using a tack cloth, tack cloth removes small dust particles from the surface. It makes our work easier. Your blog is very well written. Thank you for sharing! Keep posting!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much!! I appreciate it πŸ™‚


      1. Welcome, Carli! keep posting and sharing!

        Liked by 1 person

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