Monday, July 22, 2013

Dresser refurbish

I'm so pleased to bring you my latest bit of hard work.

A dresser for Princess.

This old yard sale dresser turned out to be a good size for the spot in the girls room where I needed the dresser to go.  It had seen decades of use, however, and needed some attention. 

I got it with the intention of sanding a little and painting it white.

When I sanded for over an hour and only got part of one drawer front tackled, I knew I should rethink my plan.  It turns out that the dresser had about 7 layers of gummy latex paint (in some pretty entertaining colors, I might add).  One treasure, about three layers down, even revealed a landscape motif with a little hand-painted dog and flowers and such.  

I decided to strip the wood of everything.

I like this gel.  You can use it indoors or out (I did both) because it doesn't have harmful fumes.

You brush it on pretty thickly and wait.  It bubbles up and the kids thought it was so cool.

Then take a scraper and... 


At the bare wood I saw a trace of an earlier trim piece maybe?  I kept getting curious about its history.

The drawer fronts weren't too terrible.  One layer of gel, scrape, clean up the edges later with sandpaper.

The dresser shell was a different story.  Once I started on the top I was pretty nervous.  It was TOUGH as nails.  I really considered giving up at this point.

But I didn't.  I just kept gelling and scraping and sanding and scraping.

Finally scraped and stripped as much as I thought I could without going to the loony bin.

Here she is halfway through priming.

All total I did 3 coats of primer, 3 coats of paint, 2 coats of Polycrylic clear coat.

Here she is, with girly glass knobs, in all her glory!

Before the clear top coats I lightly distressed.  The girls' bed is the same way, so it made sense.


Edited to add:

Project details:

I used half a quart can of KILZ primer/stain blocker to prime.
I used two cans of Rustoleum 2X coverage white spray paint.
I used 80, 180 and 220 grit sandpaper for the different levels of work.  The fine stuff was used between every primer and paint layer.
I used 1/3 of a quart of Minwax Polycrylic
I got the knobs on eBay - set of 10 for $16.99.

Due to the mirror, here's a bit of a sneak peek to the girls' room.

For the complete room, read HERE.


  1. Wow! What a lot of work, but it definitely paid off. It's great. I've been looking for a dresser. Maybe we should talk ;)

  2. If it's a sand and paint project, I'm in. Stripping completeyl? Blargh.

  3. Oh my that looks like a lot of work...but it turned out so beautiful!!!

  4. Hello! My name is Katy and I am the social media coordinator for KILZ brand products. Great job with your re purposed dresser! We are happy to hear that our primer helped you and we would love for you to share your experience with our products by writing a review. Simply click on this link, select the product used and write/submit a review:

    We appreciate the feedback! If you ever have any questions on our products or on your next painting project, please contact us directly at Thanks!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!