Wednesday, June 20, 2012


As promised, here is the rest of our $60 cragislist dresser makeover! This project was inspired by Melody at My Passion For Decor. Check out her version here.

Here is the sad, scuffed, dated dresser before:

 And here is the same dresser (ALMOST completed):

(My post on how we painted the hardware can be found here.)

How my wonderfully amazing husband gave this dresser a second life:

Chemical gloves (available at Sherwin Williams or paint section of Lowe's)
Chemical Stripper (Jasco brand is what he recommends)
2 Chip brushes
Scraper (He recommends metal)
Laquer Thinner
Steel Wool
Sand paper 220grit
Water based wood stain (We used a combination of Rich Brown & Vandike Brown)
Plastic sheet
Painters tape
TSP cleaner
Gloves (chemical gloves are not necessary at this point)
Wet sand paper 220 grit
Oil- based primer
Caulk/ Putty / Spackle
Sealer (water base) in gloss
Paint- 1 Qt. latex


*While working with wooden surfaces, ALWAYS go with the grain!*
  • Prep the top of the dresser.
    • WHILE WEARING CHEMICAL GLOVES, apply chemical stripper to top with the chip brush.
    • Let stripper sit for 10 minutes, then apply 2nd coat of stripper.
    • With scraper, gently but firmly scrape off residue. Should be bonded with top coat & come off like butter. Be careful not to gouge furniture!
    • Pour laquer thinner into bucket (keep wearing chemical gloves!) & use steel wool to remove excess stripper & give the surface a deep cleaning.
    • Sand the top of the dresser to create a super slick surface & for extra cleaning.
  • Stain the top of the dresser.
    • Add water to the stain to thin it out a bit (err on the side of too thin, you can always add more layers!)
    • Apply the thinned stain with a brush & wipe with a rag. (This spreads the stain into tiny cracks & removes excess.
    • When the entire surface is stained, use a clean rag to give a final rub down & remove streaks.
    • Apply 4 coats, allowing the stain to fully dry between each coat. 
    • Cover the top of the dresser with plastic & carefully tape down the edges to prevent damage.
  • Prep the body of the dresser. 
    • Remove all drawers & hardware.
    • Fill a bucket with about 2 gallons of water. Add 6 ounces of TSP.
    • While wearing gloves, dip wet sand paper into solution & clean/scuff surface. (Don't worry about removing all paint/stain...the goal is a good surface for the paint to bond with.)
    • Dip sponge in clean water & remove scuff residue. (As the wood dries, residue will seem to reappear. A little leftover is fine, you will not be able to remove it all.)
  • Paint the body of the dresser.
    • Apply one coat of primer & allow it to dry.
    • Fill in any dark lines or holes with caulk & allow to dry for an hour+.
    • Use dry sand paper to smooth out the surface to be painted & use vacuum/rag to remove dust.
    • Apply 2 coats of latex paint.
  • Seal the entire dresser.
    • Remove plastic & tape from the top of the dresser.
    • Apply sealer, working in small sections to keep working edges wet.

This transformation was well worth the effort! We are still working on finishing a solution for our media in the top left drawer. Check back for an update for how we will hide it.

1 comment:

  1. Haley! Love it! It turned out really nice. I'm sure your family will enjoy it for years to come. Great job on the step by step instructions too.



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