Furniture Rehab · Painted Projects

Small Dresser Makeover

Chalk Paint Dresser MakeoverI picked up this little dresser from one of our online estate auctions for about $12 (it was being sold with a vintage metal stool).  I thought it would be a good fit for my work room (which has gotten out of control with clutter the last few months).

My work space consists of two lowboy type dressers for storage.  One of the dressers has an old door stretched across the top and extends on one side so I can pull up to it with a stool.  This small dresser will actually fit under the counter or next to it, depending on how I might want to rearrange my work space in the future.

I will be replacing a plastic storage unit with this dresser.  I have been on a mission to replace all furniture in our home with real wood furniture.  It’s proven to be a little harder than I had anticipated.  Usually the pieces I like, or that will work in our space, are out of our budget.  I don’t mind waiting for the right pieces though…the fun is in the hunt, after all.

To get started on this project, I removed the drawer pulls and sanded it well to remove any glossy finish that might be remaining and to knock down some of the paint globs that were on it.  I did not sand it down to the bare wood since I would be painting it anyway.  I believe this unit was used in a garage, so it had lots of gunk on it.

Once the unit was sanded, I wiped it down with a rag moistened with soapy water and then wiped it down with a clean wet rag, rinsing the rag often.  The water in the bucket was black before I was done!  I let it dry before I started to paint.

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I chose two colors of mineral chalk paint by the Dixie Belle Paint Company: Driftwood for the body and drawer pulls and Dried Sage for the drawer fronts.  The difference is subtle, but noticeable in certain kinds of light.

Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover

It took two coats of mineral chalk paint since the original finish was so dark.  I love Dixie Belle paint because it is thinner than traditional chalk paint so it goes on more evenly and dries fast.  By the time the first coat was done, the first half of the cabinet was already dried.  I waited about 10 more minutes and then put on the second coat.

Another great thing about Dixie Belle mineral chalk paint is that you can use cheap disposable chip brushes and the finish will still come out smooth.  Just be sure to moisten the brush before painting for best results.

After the paint had dried for about an hour, I took a medium grit sanding sponge and removed some of the paint from the edges to give it a worn look.  I also took a fine sanding sponge and used it all over the dresser to make the finish super smooth to the touch.  Once that was done, I wiped the dresser down with a micro fiber cloth to remove any of the sanding residue and then put a simple stencil motif across the front with white chalk paint for the final touch.  I just love this cherry branch stencil I got on Amazon. I sanded one more time after the stencil paint dried so that the stencil pattern felt smooth also.


I have decided not to wax this dresser, as I love the look and feel of this chalk paint all on its own.  After 7-10 days, the finish is quite durable, so no wax is needed except for real high traffic items.


I hope you enjoyed this little dresser makeover.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover


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