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.
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.
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
Time to take you through the furniture makeover. I made a lot of changes and the piece is unrecognizable from the original.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How do you like the pair of poodles on the dresser top? They were an auction buy also.
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?
Time to see what the other girls have for us today. Just click the text links below the “before makeovers” photo collage….
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