Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give an Old Dresser New Life

I love DIY projects and one of my favourite things to do is to take old furniture and refinish it so it looks new again.  Your local thrift store or Craigslist is a great place to find old dressers, side tables, coffee tables etc.  Many items in my home were once old ugly pieces of furniture that nobody wanted and after a little paint and sometimes  new knobs they suddenly came back to life.  Here are some before and after pictures of a dresser I refinished.  
painting furniture
This dresser was buried under a bunch of stuff at my local thrift store.  It was only $40. 
I lightly sanded the dresser, just manually with a foam sanding pad.  This way the paint will adhere better.  I then primed it, also to ensure the paint will adhere better to the dresser.

Thrift store dresser being primed
I always take the cupboards out and paint them so that you can't see the original wood when you open the cupboard doors.  I don't paint inside the cupboards but you could if you wanted!
Still priming away!
I usually give at least two coats of paint.  Letting it dry completely after each coat.  For this dresser I gave it a coat of primer then three coats of paint.  The white paint isn't as forgiving as other colours so that's why I needed so many coats. 
shabby chic

refurbished dresser
The dresser works perfectly in the bedroom!
Knobs and Handles:  I left on the original handles and knobs and just painted over them.  Sometimes it is just easier to leave the original ones on, especially if they are the kind that are glued to the dresser.  Ripping the glued ones off could ruin the dresser or leave you with a bunch of patching work.  However, if they are just screwed in it is super easy to replace the old knobs with new ones from the hardware store.

What about Spray Paint?  I used to only use spray paint to paint my furniture, however I felt that the coverage was sometimes blotchy and it would easily crack if I sprayed it too close.  Furthermore, in winter I couldn't paint my furniture outside in the rain, so I needed to paint it inside.  Spray painting inside is never a good idea, you will have little specs of paint everywhere!  So after trial and error, for me regular paint and brush is what works best!

Try it!  I think you will be pleasantly surprised how great your old furniture will look:)


  1. Hi Tasha,
    You'd never believe that was the same piece of furniture!!! I wouldn't have thought of painting over the ugly handles as they look great and new handles get quite expensive if you need quite a few. Thanks for the great post.

  2. Really impressive post. Very interesting and inspiring!!


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