I mentioned a few months ago that I was going to start a new hobby of refurbishing furniture. Well, thanks to moving and some very cold weather, I just now got around to actually painting the dresser I bought over two months ago.
When we first moved into our new rental home, I told John I wanted to buy all of the furniture that we needed off of Craigslist and repaint it to our liking. We have all our “necessary” furniture – beds, a couch, a dining table…well, that’s about it, haha. We have no desire to spend a bunch of money on stuff that just sits there, but at the same time we want our house to look homey and be cozy and inviting. Since our dresser project went well, we’ve been looking for more furniture items to buy on Craigslist and repaint.
How to refurbish a dresser
This was our first one and I think it turned out pretty well. The dresser wasn’t solid wood – it was actually particle board with a veneer covering. The top part of it had water damage, so we had to sand the entire veneer covering off in order for it to have a smooth finish. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend sanding all the way down to the particle board, as that made the finish a little different from the rest of our dresser.
Here’s the before:
Step 1: Remove the hardware
Take off the dresser knobs with a drill and set aside.
Step 2: Sand
Unless there is damage to the dresser, keep the sanding to a minimum. I didn’t even sand most of the drawers, I just cleaned them and made sure they felt smooth.
Step 3: Paint with an oil-based primer
I read online that in order to get the paint to stick, you use an oil-based primer paired with regular paint. We used spray paint for the primer (oil-based) and it worked great! I spray painted the dresser along with the knobs. Let dry for a few hours.
Step 4: Paint
I’ve heard a handheld spray gun is the way to go, but seeing as this was our first one I didn’t want to spend $80 on something I may only use once. So, we painted the dresser using a brush and a mini roller. It took probably 45 minutes to do the first coat. We let that coat dry for a few hours and painted a second coat on top. For the knobs, we bought a can of off-white spray paint for $4 and sprayed those. We let everything dry overnight and assembled the dresser back together the next day.
The whole project took about two hours, not counting dry time. Other than a few arguments with the husband (he thought he was in charge since he paints professionally, I thought I was in charge since this was my idea…), we had a lot of fun and are excited to continue furnishing our house this way.
The total cost
We bought the dresser and a bookshelf (which we still need to paint) for $15 total. John had primer and we bought paint off of the “mess up” rack at Home Depot. We got a gallon of Behr paint that’s regularly $30 for $9. We also bought a mini roller for $5, spray paint for $4 and sand paper for $6. The entire project cost us $39!! Not bad for a beautiful dresser!!
I should also note that I was going for the “shabby chic” look. Before reassembling the dresser, I lightly sanded the edges to reveal some of the white primer underneath. It wasn’t working quite how I imagined but I like the clean look of this dresser. I’m hoping to give my next piece more of an “antique-y” feel but will need to do a bit of research instead of winging it.
What do you think?? Have you ever repainted furniture?!