From Frumpy to Fabulous: Updating Your Old Dresser

Lead Image
What You'll Need
An old dresser
Liquid soap
Wood putty
Drop cloth
Latex primer
Latex paint
Paint brush
Paint roller
Paint tray

You can turn a frumpy old dresser into a fabulous piece of furniture by simply adding a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware. Either choose an old piece from home, or visit your local flea markets and garage sales to find a dresser that could use an update. In most cases you should be able to complete a dresser makeover project over a weekend.

Step 1 - Clean the Dresser's Surface

Before you begin, put on some old clothes to prevent the chance of ruining a good outfit with paint or glue. Move the dresser you want to repaint into a room that provides lots of ventilation. Lay out your drop cloth on the floor and place your dresser on it. Remove the drawers from your dresser and place them on the drop cloth so that the fronts are facing upward. Use your screwdriver to remove all of the hardware. Fill your bucket with warm water. Add two or three squirts of liquid detergent to the warm water and stir until it is bubbly. Use your sponge and soapy water to wash the dresser. Immerse your sponge into the water and then squeeze out any excess liquid. Wipe down all the parts of your dresser. Allow enough time for your dresser to dry completely before you do any sanding work.

Step 2 - Fill Dents and Holes

Read the directions on the wood putty tube. Use your wood putty to fill any deep scratches or holes in your dresser. Allow time for the putty to dry thoroughly.

Step 3 - Sand Down the Surface

Use your sandpaper to smooth the surfaces of your dresser. Begin with a piece of coarse paper and follow that with a fine sandpaper. Be sure to follow the grain of the wood of your dresser as you are sanding.

Step 4 - Apply a Primer

Use your sponge to wipe away any sanding residue left on the surface or inside the drawers of your dresser. Apply your primer to surfaces of your dresser with your paintbrush. Use large strokes to apply the primer. Allow the primer enough time to dry thoroughly before applying a second coat.

Step 5 - Apply Paint

You can apply a coat or two of the same color paint to the whole dresser, but for a unique look consider applying two different colors of paint. You can use one color for the top and drawer fronts, and another color for the structure.

Step 6- Attach Drawer Pulls

Reattach your new drawer pulls. Place the drawers inside the appropriate spaces of your dresser, and admire your new piece of furniture!