Tag Archives: dresser

How to Paint a Dresser

Last week I shared the big reveal of our dresser/changing table.  (here)

Now, I would like to share the steps I used to paint it.  This dresser was originally like most you would find at a yard sale, antique store, or your grandmother’s house… exposed natural wood.  Thankfully, we were able to find one that had already been sanded and primed.  If not, I would have had to add these two steps to my “To Do” list as well.

I began by first removing all the drawers and hardware.  Since the hardware wasn’t removed during priming, I sanded this area down until it was smooth.

It didn’t matter that this area wasn’t primed since I planned on reusing the same hardware.   A smooth finish is helpful though, so there is no rough edges or bumps around the hardware once it is reinstalled.  After sanding I used a damp washcloth and to wipe down all the surfaces.

Next, I got to start adding color to the dresser.  This is my favorite step because the work is so rewarding (watching a white surface be completely changed by the stroke of the brush in your hand).  Even though the color we chose was Glidden Professional- Del Sol, we had it mixed at Lowes.  They are able to color match any manufacturer’s color.  Since I don’t really have the desire to get high from paint fumes or need to because I am prego, we used Olympic Premium Interior Latex Semi Gloss.   It is low odor and has zero VOC… it’s not harmful for me or the baby.

Mainly, I used a two inch roller to apply a thin coat of paint.  Rollers are good for beginner/play-it-safe people like me; they have a better chance of preventing drip marks and don’t show brush strokes.  I did have to use a brush for some of the corners on the body of the dresser though.  I applied three thin coats of paint allowing two hours between each for drying.  Using three coats instead of two allowed for a good, smooth coverage.  By the third coat, it wasn’t as rewarding since I was basically applying yellow on top of yellow.  But I knew it would pay off in the end and give me a beautiful finish.

After three coats, a little of the wood still shows through where the hardware fits, but it has a smooth overall finish and will not be noticeable once the hardware is reinstalled.

For protection, durability, and the sake of kids, I used Minwax Waterbased Polycrylic protective finish in Clear Gloss.  To me this was the icing on the cake.  The Clear Gloss gave the dresser the professional looking finish that I was looking for.  The directions suggested to use a professional brush and apply in one stroke.  I used my semi-professional brush (which worked fine) and applied an even coat.  It really doesn’t take much.  If the brush is loaded too much, it might cause dripping or uneven surfaces.  I was able to go over places where it was too thick at first with a second (or third) stroke without any problems.  I was scared to chance it with more than that though.  After allowing the first coat to dry, the directions recommended using a fine grit sand paper over all surfaces.  This was a little scary for me because I didn’t want to take any paint off in the process.  Unfortunately, it did happen to some of the edges.  I think probably because I might have missed them with the Clear Gloss, so it had nothing to sand but the paint.  Just be careful around hard edges.  Finally, I was able to apply the last coat.  Minwax recommends three, but I felt pretty safe using only two.  I might use three for flooring or a heavy duty surface (of course, furniture in children’s room is heavy duty).   If needed, I can always apply the third coat later.

Since the hardware will be one of the most used pieces of the dresser, I applied the protective finish to it as well.  Before applying the finish, all the edges of the hardware were sanded to remove any primer buildup.  Paint could have also been applied to the hardware, but I wanted to leave them white to contrast with the yellow.  I knew the protective finish would take away the matte finish of the primer, so I wasn’t really worried about adding a coat of white paint.

Michael Luke took the time to poke holes in a cardboard box for the hardware to sit on, so I could brush over them easily.  Toothpicks were placed in the hinge part of the handle, so the handle would stay upright and not stick.  Two coats of protective finish were applied to the hardware as well.

And here is the end result!

You can see the shine of the protective finish in this picture.  I also love how the white hardware stands out.  Does anybody else use any other steps or techniques that would be helpful for painting a piece of furniture?

This project ended up stretching out longer than I originally thought (about a week and a half).  Mainly, just because we have a crazy hectic schedule.  It was worth it in the end though, and I am more than pleased with the finished product.

P.S.- The insides of the drawers are not painted.  I would like to decoupage them in some way to add color and update the interior of the drawers.  I’m still working on that though and not even sure what color I should use.   Any suggestions?

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Del Sol and Goldilocks

Wow!  I finally feel like the room is starting to come together.  Well at least one wall of if anyway.

So did anybody guess that the dresser/changing table would be yellow?  (Glidden Professional Del Sol actually)  I know I didn’t.  Originally, I thought it would be turquoise like one of my inspiration pictures (here).  Until my mom gave us these pretty sparkly letters (her initials- NSS) to hang above the changing table.

I really liked and wanted to use them, but unfortunately, they clashed with my turquoise idea.  Turquoise really didn’t work with the blue in the chifforobe either.  Thankfully, I had this clipping from the curtains which indicates all the colors used in it.

Kinda like an automatic color palate for the room.  Green wasn’t an option because of the green storage boxes (here) and green chair (more on it later).  Pink I just can’t do.  Purple wasn’t very unisex-looking, and I only planned on painting the dresser one time.  So it needed to work for boy or girl (future children).  Which brings us to yellow.

A unisex color, and it pops against the black wall!  I was a little scared to use it because the room used to be yellow (here) and has negatively impacted the way I feel about the color.  But I have to say I really like it on the dresser/changing table.  Maybe because this yellow is a little more warm feeling and has some orange undertones in it.  I know, we still need to purchase a changing pad, so it can actually function as a changing table.  One step (or a few) at a time though.

How about those curtains?  Don’t they look great (see how we found them here)!  I would also like to add another piece of artwork to go below the letters once we hang them.

 I am so thankful that my mom was able to make the curtains for us.  She was a little nervous about them, but it looks like she had nothing to worry about.  All the color in them helps to tie everything in the room together.  I also love the fact that they don’t scream “Baby Room!”.  I really feel like that these curtains will grow with her.  Notice how the purple in the curtains pulls out the purple in our Bohemian Black wall.  Another cool feature about them is that the back lining is a type of felt-lined vinyl, so it will wipe down easily and won’t collect Buddy’s fur (our orange tabby).

 I hope you noticed the glider and rug.  Like our search for the curtains, the Dutailier glider wasn’t easy either.  This was actually one of the first chairs we found.  I was like Goldilocks… it fit me “just right”.  Not to big, too tall, or uncomfortable.  So we were surprised when we went back to Buy Buy Baby to purchase it and found it had been discontinued, and the floor model sold the previous week!  How could it be?… I had such a connection with that chair.  Thankfully, I have a persistent husband who called a lot of the Buy Buy Baby’s in the southeastern region of the U.S. until he found one in stock.  Yay!  They shipped it to our Birmingham store and let us use our 10% off coupon.  I have a feeling the chair was discontinued because it would be too small for even the average height woman, but with my 4’11” frame, it’s a perfect fit in depth and back support.  The glider was just what I had in mind.  I knew I didn’t want a conventional rocking chair but instead an upholstered one.  The sage green color also works well with the rest of our colors.  The purple shag rug we picked up in the college dorm room essentials “nursery” section of Wal-Mart while looking for our colored boxes.

I like hope you like the progress we are making on the nursery.  Soon, I’ll go over the steps I used to paint the dresser and what else I would like to do to it.

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