Dresser Makeover – Before and After

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How to prep your furniture before painting with chalk paint. 

This is the tale of a dresser that waited and waited to become the beautiful piece of furniture she was meant to be…

Years ago my husband and I had bought a really large solid wood dresser at Goodwill that we figured we would makeover. We paid $35 for it, brought it home, and it sat in our garage. Then we moved out of state and it got packed up in the moving truck and was relocated to our new home. We used the dresser as a TV stand but never made it over. We then moved out of state again and the dresser sat collecting dust for several years. Until one day I had the genius idea of moving it into my current dining room and adding tall legs to it. However, I still never re-did it, and it just sat there for over a year looking like it needed love. It was just one of those projects that I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do nor was sure I could figure out the right color for it.

I have to admit, my hubby and I are 1. super (beyond ridiculous) about finding the exact perfect paint color…to the point that you just say “screw it, leave it the way it is!” 2. I’m really not the biggest fan of painted wood…if the piece is in good shape and not needing paint to hide the imperfections. Which this dresser was actually in fantastic shape! So, it just took forever to finally bite the bullet and just do something with it!..and now that it’s over, I’m so happy I did! (even besides the fact that I loved the color of the original stain, it just didn’t match my dining room)

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Here she is before…

I had already added the 9″ legs which I had bought from Lowes.

Dresser makeover - before and after

I had just finally had enough of her looking ugly so I picked up a jar of Dixie Belle chalk paint at my local antique store. It was the only jar they had in the color I wanted, driftwood. This paint is actually hard to find, so it’s best to purchase it from Amazon. This is the same paint that I had used to paint my gorgeous stencil topped table!

Products I Used

Wooden Furniture Legs 9″

Dixie Belle Driftwood chalk paint (main dresser)

Dixie Belle Dropcloth chalk paint (dresser legs)

Dixie Belle White Lightning Cleaner

A Rounded Tip Paint Brushdixie belle white lightening cleaner and dixie belle driftwood chalk paint

Prep Work Before Painting Furniture

I cleaned my piece first with the white lightning cleaner by:

  1. dissolving of two heaping tablespoons of cleaner in hot water.
  2. I then soaked a rag and rang it out and then wiped it all over my dresser, repeating the process several times.
  3. Once the dresser was good and clean (your water will turn really dark, it’s amazing), you then need to wipe down your entire piece with a clean wet rag to remove any excess white lightning cleaner. *If you anciently leave some of the cleaner on your wood, the paint will not stick.
  4. Remove all hardware and make sure to clean with white lightning where the hardware was

How to Paint with Chalk Paint

Once the dresser was completely cleaned and dry, it was time for the fun part!

  1. I grabbed an empty plastic container that I filled with about 3/4″ of water.
  2. I used my favorite brush and dipped it in the water, just getting the tips wet.
  3. I then dipped the slightly wet bristles into the jar of paint and got to work. Chalk paint works best when applied with a wet brush. This is called the wet method. Before I knew this, and painted dry, the paint did not go very far and it was very thick and a bit difficult to spread out.

I really love the way it turned out! I cleaned up my with an organic degreaser and then “painted” them with Rub ‘n Buff Antique Gold to match my lamp that I had makeover previously. 

Dresser makeover - before and after Dresser makeover - before and after Dresser makeover - before and after Dresser makeover - before and after Dresser makeover - before and after

Other Decor In The Room

Candlesticks:  before and after tutorial

Lamp:  before and after tutorial

Tray: I bought at a thrift store and painted in Dixie Belle Drop Cloth

dixie belle paint drop cloth

Large Together Sign: I made, sorry no tutorial

Bruce Party of 5 Sign: another one I made with no tutorial but you can purchase them from me by commenting or messaging me on Facebook

Pitcher Vase & Lavender Flowers: from Michaels

Rug: Lowes

I would love for you to share this dresser makeover before & after on Pinterest!

Dresser makeover - before and after

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4 Comments

  1. Looks fantastic! Thank you for the information.

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