Free Dresser Makeover

A couple months ago, my sister was helping a friend get organized and clean out her place. She had some old furniture she was giving away, and being the hoarder that I am, my sister immediately thought of me. She said there was a dresser she thought I could do something with…


Could I ever! I grabbed that puppy, thinking it would be perfect in my daughter’s room with a little TLC.

I posted this pic on my Facebook page, and it got mixed reviews. Most agreed it would rock with some paint, while others said leave it alone. Now, I’m all about appreciating a timeless piece – as much as I love painting furniture, I know when to say when. But this was not one of those cases. It was very banged up – lots of scratches all over it, the drawer pulls were all different shades of brass – it needed some work.

scratches Collage


See what I mean?

So I took the drawers out, removed the hardware, and took it outside to lightly sand.


I apologize for the crappy phone pics. Bad little blogger!

I wiped off the sanding dust, and got my paint ready. I had a sample leftover from my office desk makeover of Sherwin Williams Watery, and thought it’d be the perfect shade. I mixed in just a little spoonful of Plaster of Paris to the paint (probably a tablespoon per 6oz of paint? I don’t measure). I read looong ago in some blogs that adding that to paint makes it adhere without prep work, and it works, so I do it pretty much all the time when I paint furniture now!

So I got to paintin’…


While that was drying, I spray painted the drawer pulls with White Valspar Prime and Paint in One. Couple coats of that, and a coat of protective clear spray paint, and that part was done.

Once the drawers were dry, I grabbed some white paint and a small craft brush to do the fancy shmancy curved lines that were formerly gold.


Once it was completely dry, I put the pulls back on, and waxed it with Minwax (natural finish). Wax on, wax off. Nothing to it. This will protect it from my 6 year old who likes to go into her dresser about 872 times a day to change outfits. Hopefully. 😉

And she’s done!




What do you think?

dresser Collage

Can’t beat a brand new dresser for FREE! Thanks, Jane!



  2. I love it!!!!!!

  3. Looks amazing! Curious – what made you sand this one? I noticed another dresser makeover you did where you didn’t sand. I’m about to attempt a similar makeover and was trying to figure out whether I could skip the sanding part.

    • That’s a great question, Ann! There were so many rough edges and pieces chipping off, that I just went all over it with a piece of sandpaper. You’re right, I don’t usually do that.
      And thank you!

  4. Another masterpiece! I LOVE it! I WANT it! Your daughter is one lucky little girl, however I’m thinking in a few months we may see this in another room……living room/entry way/kitchen…. so many options for such a great piece! Great job!

  5. Great job! I picked up a lot of great tips on painting furniture in your post! Thank you.

  6. oh i love this one! sooo pretty! i need something just like it in my entry way!

  7. What a transformation, Liz! So pretty 🙂


  8. I love this! What color is that?

  9. I love it !!!

  10. Gosh, how beautiful! What a transformation!! I just love the colour. Is it a premixed colour or did you put it together yourself? I can just see this on my please-paint-me wardrobes.

  11. Hi Liz! I’m one of Allie and PJ’s friends and always love checking out your website! I just went to this place called Second Chance in Baltimore and picked up a couple pieces of furniture I am going to refinish, thanks to your inspiration on here. Question for you – what brand of satin paint do you use when you paint your furniture? Great job on all of your work! 🙂

  12. Ellen Dyar says:

    Do you use the Minwax finishing wax over your painted furniture?

  13. Hi Liz,
    I’ve scored three pieces of free fun furniture that need some TLC. I see that you’ve used the Plaster of Paris trick and I saw a picture of you using a sander (on your husbands night stand/dresser). Which do you think works better if my plan is to paint the furniture? P.S. One of my free finds is a perfect piece to create a coffee bar similar to the one you did awhile back. I’m very excited.
    Thank you!!!!

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