Painted Dresser Diaries

August 19, 2012

The story goes like this: I pull into GC’s driveway before a usual game of tennis and spot a ton of old furniture stacked on his curb, ready for the garbage man.  I take a closer look and see an old, rickety, wooden dresser, a hand-me-down, from GC’s undergrad days, among the “trash.” I had been scouring craigslist for a while in search of an old piece to re-finish, so I immediately wanted to take it home.  I can’t say GC was too too surprised by my request, so I loaded it in my car and I immediately began brainstorming possibilities.

The Beginning:

This is what I started with.  I was so anxious to get started on the sanding that I did not even bother taking a picture of it as a whole (an action I am now regretting), but the stain and knobs are distinguishable from this photo.


I am fortunate enough to have a father who is a mechanical contractor, and after a quick lesson, he let me borrow his electric sander to speed the process.  I seriously do not know what I would have done without that thing.


After I prepped the piece for painting, I spent an incredibly long time sketching.  I went back and fourth on colors, stains, patterns, etc.  Here is an original sketch that didn’t make the cut, I thought it would be too busy, and I really couldn’t decide on colors.  I did stick with a few things from this original drawing, though, a dark stained top and bottom and an antique white background.


I knew I wanted a dark stain and that was probably the easiest decision of them all.  Paint color, not so much.  My design morphed into a solid antique white piece with a dark top and intricate knobs.  I went on the hunt for the perfect shade of white.  I settled on “Delicate Lace” and started the process.

Just Call Me the Knob Snob:

While I was searching for a color and painting, I was also scouring the Internet for the perfect knobs.  I originally wanted something colorful and different to really stand out on the piece.  Not long into my search I discovered that “different” would cost me, so I turned to instead of anthropologie to find them.  After looking at thousands of knobs (and that is no exaggeration), GC started calling me the “knob snob” (a well-deserved nickname).  Even after I finished painting I still had not decided on the knobs.


When the painting was finished, I was honestly disappointed.  I wanted it to look distressed, antique even, but it just seemed boring to me.  I decided that even knobs wouldn’t make it interesting enough so I went back to the drawing board.

I sat there and stared at the piece for a good two hours, seriously considered splattering it with ten different colors, and then regained my sanity and decided on herringbone.  Yes, I am a chevron-lover, but let’s be honest, so is every other young female on the planet right now.  I chose herringbone because I see it as a chic twist on chevron.

Paint Part Two:

After deciding on a pattern I had to pick a color.  I decided that a neutral would look great and provide versatility in the future.  I am not the only indecisive one in my family (surprise, surprise). My mom tested around six different colors on our kitchen walls before finally settling on a shade.  Luckily for me, she still had all of the reject colors, perfectly preserved in our basement.  I chose one (after much debate), and started the measuring and taping process. “Frog Tape” became my hero and gave me great clean lines

Finishing Touches:

As I finished the pattern, I decided that clear knobs were the way to go and found a decent price through  I knew the exact shape that I wanted (melon) so it was a relatively quick process.

All in all I couldn’t be happier with the end result, and I plan on taking on even more furniture projects soon! Maybe I will even try to sell the next one….. More to come.


Most Popular


IHOP Pancake Palooza? Sign us up!

Puma Purple Background Shoe Green

PUMA Kosmo Rider Photo Shoot

Full Spread

America’s Favorite Drumstick: Our Ice Cream Cone Video Shoot!