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Paint A Dresser White With Latex Paint

Makeover an old dresser with white latex paint and place the painted dresser in any room of the house. A small dresser in the bathroom is great for storage if you don’t have a linen closet and a large long dresser is the perfect piece for a large flat screen TV.

This is one of those furniture projects that has me smiling. The simple, sophisticated, painted dresser is a showstopper. I used a good primer and then white latex paint for the topcoat. The special addition to the makeover that took the dresser to another level were the ceramic rose knobs. I tried adding a girly swirly wood applique, but that was overkill.

How To Makeover An Old Dresser With White Paint

It was nice to get back to painting furniture after 6 weeks or so of downtime. If you guys read this post here, you know why I took off for a while. I was overwhelmed by the response to that post. Thank you everyone.

Furniture Fixer Uppers Logo

Today is the Furniture Fixer Upper Tour and as always there is a lot of furniture makeover inspiration. We are sad to see Marie of the Interior Frugalista leave the tour. She is concentrating on other things and painting less furniture. She is still blogging though so no worries.

How To Paint A Dresser White Using Latex Paint

simple sophisticated white dresser

Time to take you through the furniture makeover. I made a lot of changes and the piece is unrecognizable from the original.

small dresser to be painted

This chest of drawers was an auction buy. I was in Arkansas at the time of the auction but I was able to bid online and I was the winning bidder. Yeah! I bid on several pieces but was outbid on all but 2. I’ll share the other piece later.

1. Prepare The Dresser For Painting

oak leaf wood applique and furniture

The first step was to pop off that little wood oak leaf applique. It just wasn’t my style. I know I will get some flack for taking off this little detail and painting the wood.

sanding furniture smooth

Hubby (aka The Junktion Technical Specialist, or The JTS for short) filled the nail holes where the oak leaf was attached with wood putty, and I sanded everything smooth once the putty dried.

This process is not hard at all; anyone can do it. I don’t like that it slows down the whole painting process. A lot of time prepping the furniture takes much longer than painting the piece. That was the case with the dresser.

furniture drawer bottom needing repair

We moved on to the second problem. The bottom of one of the drawers was sagging and one of the blocks to hold the bottom in place had gone missing. Someone used duct tape to hold the bottom in place. Duct tape can work wonders but in this case, it didn’t seem to be working very well.

how to repair drawer bottom when it comes loose

I made a small replacement wedge (or block) and used a clamp to hold it in place. Then I used my Ryobi brad nailer to shoot a few nails into it.

how to repair furniture

The drawer bottom was really bowed so I added an extra block to help push the bottom back into place. The drawer is solid now.

2. Prime The Dresser

primer for furniture

Now, we can get on with the painting. I mentioned earlier that prep is the most difficult and time-consuming part of any furniture makeover. It’s True. I applied two coats of Glidden Gripper white primer. The primer gave the dresser a soft look and I thought about just using the primer as a topcoat but changed my mind.

Glidden no longer makes the Gripper Primer. There is a primer made by PPG called Seal Grip Gripper which I have not tried. 

3. Paint The Dresser With White Latex Paint

semi gloss white paint for furniture

I found a container of white semi-gloss paint from an earlier home improvement project and applied one coat of the paint. The sheen was too glossy and had obvious brush marks. Semi-gloss paint and gloss paint are the hardiest to work with as far as leaving brush marks. 

white trim paint from Behr

Not wanting to buy more paint, I decided I could use the white satin paint we bought when we painted the trim in the bedrooms. I applied one coat of satin paint. Now the dresser has 4 coats of paint (counting the primer).

4. Line The Drawers

use wrapping paper to line furniture drawers

To pretty up the inside of the drawers I found this colorful wrapping paper in my stash of stuff and it was perfect. I measured the drawer bottoms and cut three drawer liners.

furniture drawer lined with wrapping paper

There are several ways to apply the drawer liner. You can use glue dots, a piece of tape on the sides, or do what I did and use double-sided tape to hold it down. I don’t use anything that will make the paper permanent or hard to remove in case the buyer doesn’t like the paper or wants to replace it later.

how to paint furniture white

5. Install New Drawer Pulls

The only thing left to do is add some pretty knobs. I originally planned to spray paint the original wood knobs white. Since there were no other details to the dresser and it was basically a flat no-frills piece, the ceramic rose knobs were the perfect addition. I bought the knobs at Hobby Lobby a while ago when they were on sale. I always wait for the knobs to go on sale for 50% off.

painted white dresser is simple and sophisticated

Pretty huh…..white latex paint can work wonders on old furniture like this dresser. You could place this piece in any room of the house…..except maybe a guy’s room. It would be perfect in a nursery.

how to paint old furniture using white latex paint
how to paint old furniture using white latex paint

At one point, I thought about removing the curvy bottom and adding a more modern piece but that sounded like too much trouble.

As you can see, it’s not hard to make over old furniture. Repairs are the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process but often furniture doesn’t need repairing, just a good cleaning.

Furniture Obsession Simple Sophisticated White Dresser

How do you like the pair of poodles on the dresser top? They were an auction buy also.

simple sophisticated white furniture

So, what do you think? Too simple, or too fru-fru, or just right. Would you have this piece in your home, and if so, where would you use it?

How To Makeover An Old Dresser With White Paint
How To Makeover An Old Dresser With White Paint

Time to see what the other girls have for us today. Just click the text links below the “before makeovers” photo collage….

furniture fixer upper projects before makeover

Girl in the Garage
Confessions of a Serial DIYer
Just The Woods
Salvaged Inspirations

You guys stay safe and have a great weekend, Kathy

This article was originally published on Petticoat Junktion in 2020. It has been updated with new information and photos.

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. So pretty and elegant. I am glad you left the original curvy piece. Gives it character and a quaint charm. Well done.

  2. This little dresser is perfect. The knobs stand out and give it a little personality. I would use this in a girls bedroom or guest bedroom. I love the simplicity of it!

  3. The knobs give this plain dresser character! You did not mention sealing it. Do you not seal latex? Is it durable enough to withstand normal use? I’m edging away from chalk paint and if you don’t have to seal latex–no brainer! Thanks!

  4. Whoa, Kathy, I almost fell out of my chair – white! I wasn’t expecting that from you. LOL It’s such a pretty makeover and the lovely curves stand out. The knobs are perfect too and love how you got your signature bold color inside the drawers with that pretty paper. Miss you guys! xo

  5. You know I love this!! Give me a beautiful white makeover any day of the week!! The paper inside is such a beautiful pop of color and I’m glad you kept the curvy piece at the bottom. Glad to have you back!! XO

  6. Been thinking of you today and hope our comments have helped. We are all the same, some struggling more than others, like me, too. Your work is so inspiring. Be encouraged!

  7. I’m glad the leaf is gone. I’m happy the duck tape is gone… LOL. I’m thrilled you kept the curvy bottom. And the paper liner and the dogs are darling! I think I remembered everything… haha. Beautiful work Kathy! xo

  8. It turned out really beautiful. I love the curvy bottom and the rose knobs. BUT, the oak leaf? ? That was my favorite part of the whole thing. I thought it gave it character. If you really don’t like it, I’d love to have it, lol! I’d put it on something to pretty it up! ? ?? Thanks for sharing!

  9. Without the curvy bottom, it would be way too plain. One of my first redos was a mahogany dresser with that kind of bottom and the large curvy metal plaque style handles that came from my husband’s old frat house. I repainted it to match the blue of our room and put simple metal handles on it – 15 years and another house later it still looks great (the frat house has been gone for 35 years so the bureau is no spring chicken!)

    Hope you are feeling better.

  10. you and christy must’ve been in each others brains this month lol. Love the crisp new look and the fabric! Glad your feeling back to ‘normal’ xoxo

  11. We have a couple of chests where the drawers are sagging in the back (lol, sounds like my butt). I didn’t know what to do about it but now I’ll be uplifted! Thanks for sharing this. Pinned!

  12. It may have been a simpler project, but I really like that basic white with the frilly knobs. I’m glad you kept the bottom edge. Well done!

  13. Classic and beautiful Kathy! And I love the pretty liner and how you styled… my sister would LOVE that piece of milk glass! XOXO

  14. I love it!!!! This is a piece that could be used anywhere – dining room, living room, entryway, bedroom or if it’s big enough, bathroom. The simplicity is what makes it so versatile. Another winner?

  15. I love that little chest. It’s simplistically beautiful. Great job. I admire your husbands and your ability to fix things like that drawer.

  16. I love it too you do great work. Just wondering though why did you take the leaf off? I thought it was charming.

  17. I love it. I would put it in my entryway. I plan on making a small bench to go in there with a white door so it would be perfect.

  18. I love it. The knobs are beautiful and the curves give it charm! Furniture Makeovers are my favorite things to do!