My kids have never had a true dresser. When they were toddlers and preschool age, we did not feel the need to invest in a costly dresser they would inevitably destroy. We kept their nursery dresser until the tracks were bent, all the knobs were gone, various art work and stickers had applied and the drawer bottoms were warped. We parted ways with that dresser when we moved and I gave my kids plastic drawers in hopes it would force me to find a better solution….and it worked.
6 months and new house later I was OVER the plastic drawers. They were driving me crazy and my kids could never get them closed. I took my 9 year old to thrift shopping for a new to us dresser. He was beyond thrilled. ”A used dresser. Thanks Mom” were the words that came out of his precious little mouth at the local thrift/antique/junk store.
Budget kid… Budget.
We found an old dresser with no knobs that fit our budget perfectly…30.00.
Transformation to begin in 3….2….1…..
If you have decided to paint your new to you dresser, the first thing to do is sand it. Use an electric sander. It saves tons of time. It took me about 20 minutes to remove any sealant left. This is after the dresser is completely sanded.
2. What is your plan?
Are you going to paint stripes, stencils, or a one color? Always be prepared. I allowed my children to choose their colors (Green and Orange) but I had final say in the design and the hues. I choose racing stripes. The large stripe is 8″ from outside edge to outside edge. The smaller stripe on the left is 4″ from outside edge to outside edge. There is a 2″ space between the two.
Large stripe – 8″
Small stripe – 4″
Gap – 2″
I measure it all the way down. I doubled and tripled checked the spacing to make sure that it would line up after painting. I also recommend labeling the drawers. This dresser is old and I knew if I rearranged the drawers after painting it may not look smooth.
Are there any areas that need to be smoothed out or patched with wood putty? This is the time to do that. You can find wood putty/filler at home depot, wal-mart, lowes etc… We got the industrial size for a whopping 8.00.
See the corner? (This is the before shot) I had to smooth out the corner and fill in all the cracks with wood putty. Obviously there is a chunk missing but I did what I could.
You don’t have to primer but remember that may affect the hue of your colors. I chose a Valspar paint and primer combo because I’m lazy and I didn’t want to primer the dresser before hand. Just be warned, without primer the wood is going to suck up that first coat.
Before you begin painting look at the grain of the wood. In case you don’t know what that means (I didn’t until recently), it is the direction of the wood. Are the lines going vertically or horizontal? Always paint with the grain. I did with the green but I was so focused with straight lines in the orange I failed to remember. Fortunately, I don’t think you can tell too much.
Also – remove your drawers. It will allow you to get the side and not be concerned about the drawers sticking or dripping etc.
My drawers are labelled inside with painters tape so I wasn’t concerned about their positioning in the garage.
6. Dry time
ALLOW the coats to dry! Don’t rush it. Also don’t paint in on a warm day in direct sunlight….just thought I would throw that one in.
I started with the green. I did all the coats of green first and then moved on to the stripes. The dry time was the longest part of this whole process.
The dry time directly relates to my stripes. I had to allow the green to completely dry because I had to remove the original painters tape and move it to the green. I “taped” my green off so that the orange would not bleed. I ensured that the tape had no bubbles and was really on there before the orange.
There was very little bleeding.
8. Touch ups and Sealant
After all the coats are complete go through and find the areas that need a quick touch up. I had a few places where the orange and seeped over or the last coat of green wasn’t quite right. DRY. Now seal. I bought an 8oz can of semi-gloss sealant. Nothing too shiny but not too flat. And…DRY
By this time your dresser should be complete! Great job! Do you love it? I hope so!
I was pretty pleased with our final result. The only problem I had was a lingering smell in the dresser and drawers. That was solved with baking soda and dryer sheets left in the dresser while it dried in the sun room. Now it is smells like a summer day…
My boys LOVE it. It fits all their clothes with room to spare. It adds a little personality to their furniture and it’s fun. I realize it still needs dresser knobs but I haven’t been able to find any that we all agree on. So for now we have all agreed to deal with the holes. (I’m thinking a dull silver)
The total cost for this project was approximately 50.00. The dresser was 30.00, two quart cans of Valspar paint & primer, Wood putty, 2 paintbrushes (Blue Hawk), and sealant.
It’s original, budget friendly, and my kids love it. We are satisfied!
Oh, those plastic drawers have a new home in the closet. Full of toys…