This dresser makeover is an easy DIY project that uses paint and decorative cabinet hardware to make an old chest of drawers look better than new. For even more visual appeal, we’ll be using a stencil to paint a colorful pattern on top of the dresser and on the drawer liners. Choose your colors and cabinet hardware to make your refinished dresser fit your own style.
Just follow our step-by-step instructions.
Materials for Dresser Makeover
- Vintage Key Pull in Champagne Bronze
- Cora Knob in Champagne Bronze
- Vintage Inspired Liberty Quatrefoil Drawer Liner
- Vintage Inspired Liberty Quatrefoil Stencil
- Plastic Tray for Mini Rollers
- Behr Ultra Pure White Satin Enamel Paint
- Behr Youthful Coral Satin Enamel Interior Paint
- Behr Stain Blocking Interior Primer and Sealer
- 80-Grit Sanding Block
- Wood Filler
- Delicate Surface Painters Tape
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- 3/32-in. Drill Bit
- Mini Foam Rollers
- Mini Roller Frame
- Angled Paint Brush
Before You Begin
If you don’t have a dresser already in need of a makeover selecting the piece you re-finish can be just as much fun as the project itself! We found our dresser at a local consignment shop, but you can use this same tutorial for unfinished dressers or furniture pieces!
Step 1: Prep the Dresser
The first step to prepping your dresser is to remove the drawers from the dresser. Then, use a Phillips screw driver to remove the hardware by loosening the screws on the inside front panels of the drawers.
Step 2: Sand the Surface
Use an 80-grit sanding block to rough up the surface of your dresser.
Move the sanding block across the surface of the unit and the faces of the drawers, while applying a medium pressure. Your intention here is not to remove all the paint or lacquer, but to provide a rough and even surface for your paint to adhere to.
Step 3: Prime the Dresser
Using a small foam roller, apply an even coat of primer to the dresser and the front faces of the drawers. Move in a forward sweeping motion and apply evenly.
Wait for your primer to dry before moving onto the next step.
Step 4: Paint
Use a paint brush to apply an even coat of paint to the unit and drawers. We used Behr Ultra Pure White for a clean and crisp look.
You can use a foam roller for the larger surfaces, but we prefer to use a slanted short-handled brush to get the paint even across the entire unit.
Since we used primer, just one coat of paint gave us an even layer of paint coverage across the entire unit.
Allow for the paint to fully dry before moving onto the next step.
Step 5: Stencil
The first step of stenciling is to tape off the edges of the area that you want to stencil. We taped off the top of the dresser using delicate painters tape since the dresser had just been repainted.
Set the stencil up on the corner edge of where you want the pattern to appear and tape the corners down. Now that your area is taped off, apply paint to your foam roller.
We used Behr Youthful Coral to add a bright and playful color pop.
When applying paint to the roller, be sure to use your plastic tray and the area allocated to roll the brush. Rolling the brush will help spread the paint evenly and lighten the layer. The most common mistake in stenciling is bleed, which happens when you have too much paint on the roller.
Lightly roll the paint over the stencil so that the paint is even. Apply light pressure when rolling and be careful not to paint over the edge of your stencil. This will help reduce bleed, and ensure that your stencil pattern is uniform.
Step 6: Remove the Stencil
Gently peel back the stencil from the far side, removing the tape and rolling the stencil towards you.
Dab the front and back of the stencil to remove any extra paint that may have bled through before re-taping to repeat the pattern. Line the stencil up to the area you have already painted so that the pattern repeats uniformly.
Repeat Steps 5 and 6 until the entire area you have selected is complete.
Step 7: Line the Drawers
Start by measuring the inside bottom area of the drawer that you will be lining. We chose a brilliant Vintage Inspired Quatrefoil Drawer Liner in Navy Blue to add character to the inside of our dresser drawers.
Unroll your drawer liner to the desired length, and mark the measurements on the bottom side of the liner that will peel back. Using scissors, cut the drawer liner to the right length.
Take your correctly sized piece of drawer liner and peel back the bottom side to reveal the adhesive on the top corners. Start by applying the corners at one end of the drawer, smoothing the liner down with the palm of your hand. As you work from your top corners, continue to peel back the adhesive towards you while sticking the drawer liner to the desired area.
Now that the drawer liner is in place, use the palm of your hand to smooth over the entire surface. Work from the center to the edges to get rid of any air bubbles. If there are remaining air bubbles, pierce them with a pin and continue to smooth.
Step 8: Add Hardware
Your decorative hardware should come with installation screws. Use a Phillips screw driver to install your hardware.
Decorative hardware acts like an accessory statement to your final piece. We chose Vintage Key Pull in Champagne Bronze and the Cora Knob in Champagne Bronze to compliment the coral color from our stencil and add a touch of class to the elegant white paint.
Step 9: Style and Enjoy!