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Mid Century Modern Furniture With A Coastal Style Paint Makeover

It’s Furniture Fixer Upper Tour Day and I did a coastal style paint makeover on an old dresser that sure needed a new look. I had been using the dresser to store paints, stencils and other supplies. Now I have new storage for that stuff and it was time for the dresser to move on.



furniture fixer upper dresser project

It took me a while to figure out a plan for the makeover. I wasn’t in love with the style, and I almost took it to my booth in its original state just to get rid of it. But I didn’t and there is a side story to the drawers that is kind of funny.

I bought the dresser at the Nashville Flea Market many years ago. I don’t remember the price. See what I mean about the style? It’s kind of mid-century modern but not in a good way. I couldn’t decide what to do about the metal insets on the top drawers. I finally decided just to paint over them.

drawers on mid century modern dresser

Just looking at the dresser you would think there were 6 drawers. No, the top drawers on the right side are long and have the crazy raised fronts on the left side of the drawers. I’ll get to what I learned about the drawers after I was finished with the paint job.


The bottom drawers had a single wood trim piece screwed to the bottom of the drawer front….well I decided to remove those.

how to fill screw holes with wood filler

The larger drawer had 4 screws and the shorter one had three screws. I filled the holes with wood putty and after the putty was dry I sanded it flush with the drawer fronts.

mdf furniture coming apartThe piece is made of MDF which is fake wood. That limits the type of makeover. I can’t distress that stuff. As you can see it just flakes. So I decided on a beach coastal style paint finish, blue with a bit of white paint layering. I made a video showing how I layered the white over the blue paint.

can of Glidden oops paint color blue (2)

The paint I chose is one I’ve had on hand for a long time and I’ve used it on several projects. I thought the blue was a bit dark for my theme and I added some white semi-gloss wall paint to the mix.

how to paint furniture

The photo above shows the drawer fronts with one coat of paint. The paint covered really well. I brushed on a second coat just to cover any spots I might have missed.


using a layering block to faux distress paint (4)

This is where I used a layering block to layer white paint over the blue paint . You guys have seen me use this technique unless you are new around here. If you are welcome. I made a video of the process and you can see it below….

How to use a layering block video tutorial.

How to give furniture a coastal beach style paint makeover

I’m tickled with the paint finish. It looks beach style or coastal to me. How about you? You can find the layering block on my Amazon page here.

how to paint furniture with a coastal look

I wanted to replace the hardware but with the metal pieces sticking out I couldn’t use any other drawer pulls without a lot of modifications. I finally just decided to spray paint the knobs white. They looked a bit stark so painted over the white spray paint using the blue paint..

Coastal beach style furniture makeover

The pulls blended in too much then so I dry brushed off-white paint over the blue. Kind of two tone looking now. I get a little crazy sometimes trying to figure out what looks best when doing a makeover. Don’t be afraid to change the plan or experiment until you get the perfect look. Now do you want to know the crazy thing I found out about the drawers?

furniture with weird drawers

I took the drawers out to wax the runners for a smoother glide. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared that tip. Wax the wood runners or you can use a bar of soap on the runners and the drawers will slide in and out a lot easier. Anyway, I removed the drawers to do this and when I had them out something dawned on me. I had been looking at this weird dresser for the longest time and just realized the drawers were in the wrong slots. I moved the bottom row to the top and ta-dah….much better. I took one photo that isn’t the best after I moved the drawers. Don’t you think the dresser looks much better now. I guess when we bought it the drawers were in the wrong slots. Who knew.

Well, what do you think of the paint finish and the dresser style. Leave a note if you have time. Ready to take the Furniture Fixer Upper Tour? Just click the links below the ‘”before” paint makeovers photo collage…

Furniture projects before makeover photos

Coastal Inspired Dresser Makeover – Confessions of a Serial DIY’er
Tea Rose Dresser – Salvaged Inspirations
Refinish an Antique Parlor Table – Girl In The Garage
Coastal Style Furniture Makeover – Petticoat Junktion (you are here)

Coastal style painted furniture

As always, thanks for being here, Kathy

Kathy Owen founder of Petticoat Junktion
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Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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  1. Thanks Susan. I guess in the back of my mind I knew the drawers were in the wrong place but never took the time to wonder WHY the piece looked weird to me. I’m a little nuts sometime. I will sell this piece.

  2. Hey Kathy! The first thought I had when I saw the before pic was “Aren’t the drawers reversed?” Usually (but not always) on older dressers the smaller drawers are on top. Even when the smaller drawers are fake small drawers. I guess to keep smaller items like socks and underwear. I worked on a mid century chest that had similar gold colored rods as accents and I was able to pry them off. Also not mid century a good way!
    Love the refresh in blue! Are you keeping it or is it off to your booth?

  3. How funny, I can totally see how the drawers should be now after you shared that last photo! LOL. Love this dresser in turquoise my friend!

  4. I think the dresser looks so much better now! Definitely coastal, and the blue is so pretty.

  5. In all my years of redoing furniture, I have never seen one like this! Putting the drawers in the correct order definitely helped. You took a weird old dresser and made it into something that looks nice. Great job!

  6. Hi Kathy. Yes, the drawers look so much better in their new position. The piece looks less weird.

  7. Nice! I am liking the blue. It looks better and brighter. Just want the hardware a different color.

  8. lol.. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked on drawers in the wrong order and figured it out AFTER the makeover! Beautiful coastal makeover my friend. Pinned!