Dresser Rehab

A fantastic friend found this dresser on the side of the road and thought of me! Is it strange that I feel very honored and fortunate to have friends who would take the time and effort load a roadside freebie just for me? Oh wait, let me preface that by saying that those particular friends are also DIY’ers with amazing taste and equally amazing homes — (please don’t start dropping roadkill furniture on my front lawn) *worried half-grin*. 

The Before
The before was definitely outdated, but had such nice lines! My friend thought I would be able to freshen it up with a coat of paint and new hardware… boy was she right. However it wasn’t me or the friend who gave it to me that finally did the deed, it was yet another DIY junkie friend of mine, on the blog we call her Aunty ‘L’. That poor dresser waited 4 years for someone to put it in rehab…what can I say, I just had so many other pieces of furniture that needed intervention first. Needless to say, I was grateful for help!
We opted to remove the upper shelf and just work with the dresser base. As always, I have salvaged what I could for other projects I have in mind, the wood will be put to good use!

Simple Steps & Elbow Grease
The steps sound simple enough, but let me tell you…we were exhausted by days end.
‘L’ started by giving it a light sanding while I filled the drawer holes with wood filler. I let the filler dry and also gave it a light sanding. ‘L’ then used a spray paint primer on the entire dresser and we left it to dry overnight. 
The next day ‘L’ carefully painted it (several times over) using thinned coats of “Bleached Linen” Behr brand paint. Paint thinner and the right brushes work wonders to prevent painters streaks, and a couple coats of wipe-on polyurethane preserves the gorgeous new finish! 
Besides covering the smudges and golden grooves, the paint also brightened up the dresser from the slightly yellowy white it sported before. 

Anthropologie Please!

I have often drooled over many Anthropologie goods. Well, guess what incredible surprise ‘L’ had for me?!! Yep, Anthro knobs!! The hardware before is certainly princessy enough to please little girls, but a bit too traditionally elegant for my personal taste. I will definitely donate the old knobs to the Habitat for Humanity Resale Store nearby, they will suit someone out there.  

These new pretty knobs have my little girl’s heart all a’twitter, and I get something much more to my taste! We call that a win-win. 
I drilled new holes directly between the old ones, used a hack saw to cut these knobs to length, and we watched the knobs transform the dresser into something splendid and new! 

This now practical and pretty dresser adds the perfect touch to my little girls bedroom! Has your interest been piqued? See the whole weekend bedroom makeover process here, and see how to I made the pin & magnetic board to go above the dresser here. I promise I’ll share the entire updated bedroom soon, in the meantime you can get a sneak peak over at my house tour page! *wink*


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Sometimes all a piece of furniture needs is refreshing, other times it requires an entire overhaul. See what a major overhaul looks like here!

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15 Comments on Dresser Rehab

  1. Vanessa
    October 7, 2014 at 9:25 pm (7 years ago)

    This is my fave piece. I love the knobs.

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 7, 2014 at 10:52 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you!

  2. Rebecca
    October 3, 2013 at 9:40 am (8 years ago)

    Do you prefer polyurethane over polycrylic?

    • Ursula Carmona
      October 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm (8 years ago)

      No, I don’t have a preference either direction. It really depends on the project and what I happen to get on sale. Polycrylic is probably better over paint, and less likely to leave that yellowish tint, but the type of rub-on polyurethane we used on the dresser has a silver finish rather than yellow, so it didn’t bother us to use it.

  3. Monica S
    August 31, 2013 at 12:53 pm (8 years ago)

    I’ve got this blue, 3 drawer dresser I’d LOVE to repaint, but I’m not sure if I can…its smooth, almost laminate. Is it possible to re-paint something like that?

    • Ursula Carmona
      August 31, 2013 at 8:12 pm (8 years ago)

      If you start with something like the KILZ spray paint primer, you can! Don’t forget to seal your paint job with a polyurethane in spray form. 😉 Good luck!

  4. preeti
    August 27, 2013 at 2:04 am (8 years ago)

    That really looks beautiful. I have rehabbed a house with the help of Wise University .
    I will upload some pics of my rehabbed homes in the next comment 🙂

  5. Krista thehappyhousie
    August 10, 2013 at 12:56 am (8 years ago)

    Wow – what a beautifully refinished piece. I LOVE the adorable handles too!

  6. RoinLA
    August 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm (8 years ago)

    So pretty!

    I have to say I don’t understand the Anthropologie knobs. I too had to hacksaw mine shorter to fit on the dressers I freshened up for my new granddaughter.

  7. whatrahnisreading
    July 21, 2013 at 9:54 pm (8 years ago)

    Thank you for this!I am about to paint an old laminate book shelf and dresser and was worried about brush strokes. I appreciate this and love your blog!

  8. Gretchen Forgione
    July 12, 2013 at 1:54 am (8 years ago)

    Your dresser project has inspired me to refinish a few pieces given to me and i appreciate the tip for thinning the paint. I will be trying it with my next project. The redone dresser looks great. Thanks

    • Ursula Carmona
      July 12, 2013 at 8:07 am (8 years ago)

      Thank you Gretchen! Of course, I can’t take all the credit… maybe you should look into getting a friend to help out with all your second-hand furniture as well. Lol! Just makes it more fun! 😀

  9. Jacqueline
    July 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm (8 years ago)

    What kinda of ratio was the paint thinner to paint? And how much overall did you use?

    • Ursula Carmona
      July 11, 2013 at 7:39 am (8 years ago)

      A product called Floetrol which helps minimize the brush strokes in latex paint was used… simply follow the directions on the bottle! Thanks for reading!

  10. adivamoment
    July 3, 2013 at 2:05 am (8 years ago)

    These furniture rehabs take sooo much time! I just finished by desk and it took me the better part of a week. (It rained alot, so that slowed me down!)
    The dresser looks great!


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