You can buy inexpensive oops paints to paint furniture. If the color needs tweaking mix two oops paints together to make a custom paint color. You can mix all kinds of paints and paint sheens together to make new colors. Doesn't have to be oops paints. It just happens that my paint project today includes two oops paints.
I have all the details on the painted dresser for you including a video tutorial. The video tutorial shows how I highlighted the pretty details on the vintage dresser using dark pink paint. Adhesive vinyl drawer liner with a cool design is just one of the special features of the dresser.
I bought the dresser at auction for close to $70, including all fees. As you can see it had been painted before and the paint did not hold up well. There are areas of discoloration and plain old filth. The missing drawer pulls weren't really missing, they were in the drawers. That's fine because I didn't intend to use the original pulls. I did have a time selecting the right drawer pulls for the new look. More about that later.
Today is Furniture Fixer Upper Tour Day and I know you guys look forward to this tour as much as I do. I bet my fellow painters have outdone themselves again.
Before starting any paint project, there is always prep, repairs, and cleaning to be done. These dresser drawers had odds and ends stuck to the inside of the drawer.
And the dresser was really dusty and dirty with lots of lint and trash inside the body.
The very bottom drawer was made of cedar and that drawer was in perfect condition except for a bit of dust. No drawer liner needed herre.
There was an issue with one of the drawer fronts pulling away from the side pieces. When I pull the drawers out to prep for painting this is the first area I check. Making sure the drawers are in good condition is a must.
You don't want the drawers falling apart. They are the main functioning parts of the furniture. I used my Ryobi Brad Nailer to nail the front to the sides. I made sure to nail through the drawer front into the dovetailed projections. This drawer will not be falling apart anytime soon.
I really had a hard time deciding on the furniture makeover color. The dresser was kind of girly and frufru but could also be considered "elegant". So should I paint it a girly color or go for something dark and dramatic? I went to my paint shelves and looked through everything there and none of the colors were speaking to me. I pulled out the gallon of PPG oops paint with a flat sheen and the color looked a little pale and ho-hum.
I guess I should explain the term "oops paint" in case you don't know what I'm talking about. When you have paint mixed at your local hardware or home improvement store, things can go wrong. Maybe the tech gets the color mix wrong or maybe the person didn't like the color they picked out after it was all mixed up.
The paint the customer doesn't buy goes into the "oops" bin and is marked way down, sometimes as low as $5-$10 for a gallon. I shop the oops paint every time I shop my local home improvement store. You never know what amazing colors might be on the shelf.
And as in this case if the color isn't perfect, maybe you can mix it with another paint you have on hand or even use it to put a base coat of paint on pieces. I've done that before. I never let paint go to waste. That's why I didn't rush to the store and buy paint for this project. Use what you have!
Next I pulled out a gallon of oops ColorPlace Paint in a deep pink. You can tell the paint has been on my shelf for a while. I had to stir and stir to get it mixed up again. I took just a smidge of the dark pink paint, maybe half a cup and added it to the lighter-colored oops paint. That made the color just right.
I wanted to mention that these two paints are latex paint. I use latex paints a lot in my furniture makeover and you can find my reasons here..11 Reasons Why You Should Paint Furniture With Latex Paint
First I applied a coat of white Glidden paint to the dresser. The original paint looked like it might be oil-based and since I was using latex paint for the new look, I thought it best to use a primer. In the furniture photo above, the lower drawer has a coat of primer and the upper drawer has primer and a coat of pale pink paint.
Once the dresser was painted with the pale pink color, I had to decide my next move. The pale pink was....pale....and the dresser details were too pretty not to highlight in some way. That's when I decided to use the darker pink color in the detailed areas.
I poured a bit of dark pink paint onto a paper plate, then dabbed a white lint-free rag into the paint. Next, I wiped the paint into the details.....then I used a damp rag to remove some of the dark pink paint. It's hard to describe and pictures don't tell the story well but the video does! Be sure and watch the video.
I used a paint brush on some of the harder to get to areas of the dresser. But the process was the same. After brushing the paint on, I wiped it back with a damp cloth. I should mention at this point or maybe before would have been better. Let the paint on the dresser dry really well before using the detailing technique. Usually over night is good but it may take a day or two longer. If the paint isn't cured, using a damp rag to remove the dark pink paint may also remove the base coat of paint.
Above, you see a close-up look at the dark detail work in progress. Depending on the look you are going for the detailed areas can retain a lot of the darker paint or just a little. It's totally up to you.
There is not perfect way to do this process. If you want to give it a try I would suggest practicing on a piece of molding or something else that has a bit of detail to it. Or you can do like me and just go for it. If you mess it up just paint over.
You can see how pretty the curvy leg looks after wiping on the paint and wiping it back with the damp cloth. Watch the video below to see me doing this detailing technique on the dresser.....
How To Highlight Furn>iture Details With Paint
Now it's time to decide on drawer pulls because I still have no idea what I want.
I went through my drawer knob stash (yes, the blue cabinet is full of knobs and pulls, new and old) and didn't come up with anything cool.
I went to work painting a few wood knobs. In the photo above you see on the top left knobs spray painted red, then on the right knobs spray painted pink. I was just going to dry brush pink onto the red knobs but the knobs were a little small looking on the dresser. Then I spray painted the large wood knobs pink and they didn't look good at all. Wrong design.
The photo on the bottom left shows a light pink glass knob on the top dresser drawer and it looks great. The problem is that it's the only one in my stash. At one time I ordered a set of glass knobs for another furniture makeover and I searched Amazon until I found the pink knobs you see in the photo in the lower left corner. They were just what the dresser needed.
Moving on to other ways to make the dresser a standout. A while ago I ran across several pretty adhesive wallpaper designs and I ordered them. Never know when they will come in handy. The rolls were very inexpensive and now I have a use for one of them.
The colors in this roll of vinyl paper matched the pink dresser. I have more rolls of paper in various colors. One of them is turquoise and green and I have a plan for that roll to go on the front of a furniture piece. We'll see how that goes. Anyway, I measured the drawers and cut the adhesive vinyl to size.
The paper lined drawers look so much better than the stained drawer bottoms. I cleaned the drawers of course but they were still stained, thus the decorator paper.
I had no idea where I was going with this project when I started and I have to say I worked through it pretty well. I'm tickled pink with the result (pun intended).
The feminine lines of the dresser called for a girly color. I really wasn't feeling a turquoise color for this one.
You can see where I brushed or rubbed dark pink paint around the drawer edges in this photo. Don't you think those knobs are just perfect? Let me know.
You can tell that the dark details are not uniform in color, size, depth, or whatever. You don't want it to be plus you're talking an impossible job as far as my work goes. Perfectly imperfect is always the best look. Have you ever mixed your own paint colors for furniture, walls, or anything?
Leave a note if you have time, and then take the Furniture Fixer Upper Tour! Just click the text links below the "before makeovers" photo collage below....
Becky's Secretary Makeover - Confessions of a Serial DIYer
DIY Farmhouse Sofa Table - Girl In The Garage
Floral Romance Dresser Redo - Salvaged Inspirations
Mix The Perfect Furniture Color - Petticoat Junktion (you are here)
As always thanks for being here, Kathy
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