Last December one of the last projects I was working on in preparation for our sailor girl coming home for the holidays was refinishing a dresser with chalk paint.
Spring break has finally arrived in our local school district and that means Lenny and I are on Spring break as well. This year, we are visiting our twin granddaughters in Georgia and visiting our sailor girl in Las Vegas. We’ll have a busy week travelling for sure. Last year for Spring break Lenny and I visited Puerto Morelos, Mexico. It was an amazing experience! But all these thoughts of visiting our sailor girl reminded me that I hadn’t shared her dresser makeover with you yet.
I had already shared with you how “we” (aka Lenny) worked tirelessly stripping wallpaper, patching plaster, stripping and refinishing the hardwood floors and painting our daughter’s bedroom, but in the rush of trying to get everything done for the holidays, I hadn’t yet found the time to share the refinishing of her dresser with chalk paint. Also, unfortunately, I didn’t get a “before” pictures of the dresser before I literally started tearing it apart. But, here’s a picture of the dresser midway through the sanding part where I was sanding the pieces in preparation for painting.
Although I had sanded most of the water stains away by the time I started taking pictures of this dresser, you can trust me when I say this dresser had all kinds of stains, including a pretty bad stain down the side of the dresser.
Yep, this picture above depicts the side of the dresser that had all the water damage. The wood had even begun to kind of buckle or bubble.
The finish was in pretty bad shape, but it was a well used antique dresser. It was actually akin to the ugliest bed ever that we took apart (salvaging some of the wood) and removed from our son’s bedroom when we remodeled his room.
I had the bright idea (which I wasn’t so sure about at the time) of removing the very ornate wooden drawer pulls from all the dresser drawers and replacing them with some round satin drawer knobs. Behind the wooden drawer pulls were big round holes. The holes were apparently where locks could have been installed. But, after I removed the drawer pulls, I wasn’t happy with the way the hardware I selected looked with the wood, so I went with plan B.
Aren’t these drawer pulls something? Really. All the little grooves and bumps where dirt and grime loved to hide. I did try to clean the pulls up in case I needed or decided to reuse them.
One of the things I really liked about the dresser was this little slab of marble. I thought it would provide the perfect place for our daughter to use her hair straightener, curling iron or anything else that might not be safe for he wood finish if the dresser (makeup comes to mind).
Once I sanded the dresser, I wiped it down with a damp cloth and then applied my first coat of chalk paint, using my homemade chalk paint recipe. The really great thing about chalk paint is that it dries really fast. If you’re interested, I even have a recipe and printable for making your own chalk paint.
I sanded after each coat of chalk paint, which really helps to give the smooth as butter finish that you get from chalk paint.
I did tape off the parts I didn’t want to paint, such as the edges of the marble. I wasn’t quite as careful, nor did I tape off, the inside of the dresser. If I was doing this again, I would probably go ahead and tape off about 1/4″ inside the drawer slots. That way I could paint a nice clean straight line inside the dresser and not get too much paint build up inside. Why? Well, when I put the dresser back together, I found the drawers didn’t want to slide quite as easily because of the paint build-up.
I painted four coats of paint on the dresser and drawers. Once I was happy with the finish, I sanded the edges to get that worn, shabby chic finish that I just love. Once I was satisfied with the sanding, I applied a coat of polycrylic, waited for it to dry (and waited and waited), sanded and applied a second coat of polycrylic. Now, polycrylic takes a while to dry. Like eight hours. I painted this dresser in the winter, but in our sun room/front porch, so there was plenty of sunshine and it helped the polycrylic to dry quicker.
Then it was time for the hardware. I ordered these satin nickel drawer pulls from ATGStores.com. I marked and drilled holes so I could attach the new hardware. The drawer pulls fit perfectly and they covered the holes in the drawers perfectly. I had a hard time deciding between the satin nickel finish and the black finish, but finally decided to go with the satin nickel as I thought it would add a little more of a feminine touch.
I loved the finished look I got by refinishing the dresser with chalk paint. And, the best part? Our sailor girl loved the dresser (and her room)!
As a finishing touch, I lined the dresser drawers with wrapping paper. I found this wrapping paper at my local card shop and I just love the way it looks with the white chalk paint finish of the dresser.
I read online where some people actually apply a sealant or polycrylic to the paper, but I wanted to be able to change out the paper liners.
The white striped lining just added to the brightness of the interior of the drawers. It really was a nice finishing touch.
The transformation by refinishing a dresser with chalk paint is just amazing. It does take a little bit of time to use chalk paint because you do have to sand between layers, but the results are so worth it!
Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the dresser before I started the refinishing, but attached to the dresser was a mirror. A very ornate mirror. I was able to save the mirror and I have yet to decide how or if I’m going to refinish it. One thing for sure, it won’t be re-attached to the dresser. You can see a glimpse of the bottom of the mirror in the picture below. At this point, the mirror is simply resting on the dresser.
The dresser still has its original wheels. Lenny had to replace a couple of the blocks and a missing piece of wood inside the dresser that keeps the drawer sliding straight, but otherwise I was really pleased with the condition of the dresser after all the sanding. So, now I’m thinking about refinishing a hutch with chalk paint. Or maybe I’ll refinish another dresser with chalk paint!
So what chalk paint projects do you have in mind?
Til next time…
P.S. If you liked this refinishing a dresser with chalk paint project, you might also like these projects from The Birch Cottage: