Do you have an old dresser hanging around your house? Well, it’s time for a dresser makeover that’s affordable and absolutely gorgeous. People will think you paid hundreds for it. So, let’s get started!
We all love a good DIY project, especially when you save money in the process. And a dresser makeover doesn’t have to be complicated. There’s plenty of ways to do it: with chalk, without sanding, sealant, stain, and the list goes on. But my affordable step-by-step project with only take a few days and leave you with a professional look that is durable and long-lasting. Here we go!
Gather your dresser makeover supplies
If you’re going to start a big project, you might as well do it right the first time. Don’t cut corners and you’ll end up with a beautiful piece of refinished furniture. So, start with the list of supplies:
- Old dresser (the uglier the better, haha)
- Gallon of paint and primer in one (color of your choice)
- Power sander (a must for DIY projects)
- Paint supplies (brushes, tray, roller)
- Minwax polyurethane (don’t buy generic brand, it will yellow with time)
- Wood stain (buy in the can or the cloths)
- Dresser knobs (more affordable on Amazon compared to Home Depot)
- Contact paper and Modge Podge hard coat (optional)
Hopefully, you already have some of these supplies on hand like I did. The only thing I had to buy was the wood stain, polyurethane and brushes. The dresser was even free. I left the hardware store spending an even $20!
Repair the dresser (if needed)
Our old dresser was in my boy’s room, so it was thrashed. My husband graciously repaired the drawers which were pulling apart. Just a couple of hits with the nail gun and it was ready to go.
Sand your dresser
Sanding is a must. If you skip this step, your paint won’t adhere to the furniture as well. It just won’t look professional. You want to start with a clean, beautiful surface. If you have mostly straight edges and a power sander, it won’t take too long. I recommend a medium grit sand paper such as #120 or #150 to avoid damaging the fine wood finish. Then, simply wipe away the excess dust.
Paint two coats
I like to use paint with primer in it already. Using a high-density mini roller, apply one coat and let it dry completely. Then apply another coat. If you’re really ambitious, apply a third coat. It sounds excessive, but it will make a huge difference. Plus, your high-density roller won’t leave any seams or link marks. It will look smooth as silk.
Apply two coats of polyurethane
You are going to be tempted to skip this step. Don’t! I made that mistake on another DIY project and the paint started to scrape off almost immediately. The polyurethane provides a strong, scratch-resistant cover. Wait 24 hours after each coat to allow it to completely dry and then lightly sand using a fine grit sandpaper in between each coat.
Stain and seal top of dresser
Now, get an old rag and wipe on wood stain of your choice. Make sure you spread on the stain in with the grain of the wood. Wait 5-15 minutes and wipe off the excess stain. I did three layers of wood stain. You can apply as many layers as you want. It just depends on the look you’re wanting. Then, apply three layers of polyurethane, sanding lightly between each layer. Don’t skip these steps!
Apply contact paper and glue to drawers
Contact paper isn’t required, but it adds a beautiful touch. You’ve already made your dresser makeover look so good. This will make it look even better. Measure the sides of your drawers, cut the contact paper to size and apply the contact paper. It is sticky on one side. Smooth out the bubbles and then apply two layers of Modge Podge. I like to use the hard coat which is meant for furniture.
You may want to apply the Modge Podge directly to the drawer before you apply the contact paper and then apply a layer directly on top of the Modge Podge.
I also applied the contact paper to the inside of each of the drawers. But you don’t have to.
Add new hardware
You’re almost done with your dresser makeover! Just put the knobs on the drawers. Hardware can be expensive. I bought mine at Home Depot but I wished I would have bought these cute crystal knobs on Amazon. They are cheaper and cuter.
Overall, I am SOOOOOO excited about how my dresser makeover turned out. I started this project on a Saturday and finished the following Wednesday. The important part about refinishing furniture is to not cut corners. Sometimes it’s easier to do one less coat of paint or sealant, but don’t do it! You’ll be so much happier with the end result.
What tips do you have for refinishing furniture? Leave your comments below.
Related link: How to refinish a rocking chair