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Home Decor: Painting an Old Dresser (from the thrift store)


First of all, did you see the winner of the Silhouette CAMEO here


Also, have you entered the Hellmann’s/BlogHer giveaway here?  An easy $100 to spend on anything you’d like over at  Fantastic!

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Okay, onto other things. 


I know I have mentioned this before (maybe 100 times or so….haha!) but we moved from Georgia to Colorado over the summer for my husband to complete P.A. school and do some of his clinical rotations here.  We chose CO because I have lots of family who live here.  Oh, and also because my parents have a basement apartment that we can stay in.  You know, for a really big discount.  :)  The basement has 3 bedrooms (well, 2 1/2…..the baby is sharing a room with grandpa’s workshop) and a bathroom and kitchen.  It has plenty of room to live in but a lot less than we were used to.  So we have had to combine rooms and get creative with storage.  And since I can’t leave anything alone…….I am trying to decorate a bit and make this space our own.  We still have 4 or 5 more months here so it’s always nice to feel at home in your space, no matter how long you’ll be there, right? 


So, all of that to say that I will have several home decor posts coming up.  Because, well, that’s what I’m up to lately.  (And hopefully my parents don’t mind my decorating style in their basement. Ha.)



The first thing up?  An old Dresser makeover. 


Oh my, how I love turning old into new.  It’s seriously so rewarding.  I think that’s why I like re-purposing clothing so much as well.  (All re-purposing projects found here.)  Something you may think is junk, can be transformed completely, if you just look at it a little differently. It’s pretty thrilling.  And kind of addicting.


So here’s the old dresser that I found at the thrift store for $12.  (This photo is after we sanded it down just a bit, fixed the wonky drawers, and filled in the major gauges with wood putty.)



And turned it into this:



It became a great focal point on a bare and boring wall.  (And yes, that is a shoji screen in the background, dividing off some craft space that I share with the main Living Room.  More on that later…)




Want to see more of the process?



The drawers were all wonky and needed new stops in the back to keep them from going in too far.  We (my husband and I……bless him!) also sanded the whole thing down.  But we didn’t take all of the finish off……just enough sanding to make the surface smooth.  And the poor thing had gouges and scratches everywhere……so we added wood putty and then sanded that down after it was dry too.



And in case you haven’t painted furniture much……here’s what else I did, that worked well for me.


I have purchased super cheap paint in the past.  Which gave me super cheap results.  Using cheap paint always ends up bubbly, uneven, and then remains sticky for months for me.  I decided to spend a bit more on some higher quality paint, so that all the work would be worth it.  (I didn’t buy top of the line paint but this Olympic brand really gave me the creamy and smooth coat I was looking for.)  I also purchased the primer/paint in one.  I knew I wanted to prime the dresser, to seal in the old color and varnish, and using a 2-in-1 paint really cut out some of the layers of painting.  It worked great!   (The paint lady at Lowe’s told me that the Valspar 2-in-1 works really well too.)  


The other thing…….I purchased a more expensive paint brush.  Okay, not that expensive but I used to buy any ‘ol $2-$3 brush…….but decided to buy this $10 brush that had a great angle and really soft bristles at the ends.  The cheaper brushes made more lines in my paint……and I was tired of that.  (This brush has already been used on a dresser and 2 tables and is still in great condition.  I am assuming I can use it for years.)

 **The paint color I used is True White by Olympic and the paint brush is an angled brush made by Wooster.  I bought both at Lowe’s. 



I also added Floetrol to my paint while painting.  This kept the paint from drying too quickly while painting.  So I didn’t have as much trouble with drips drying too quickly before smoothing them out and it also helped with brush marks.  It seemed to really keep the paint wet enough while I was still working.  However, it didn’t take the paint days to dry either.  It was dry to the touch a few hours later, just like normal.  Then I painted the whole dresser in a clear polycrylic finish.  (This isn’t always necessary.  But I have kids and didn’t want the dresser to get nicked and scratched too easily.)



After a day or two of letting the paint and polycrylic really dry/set out in the garage, we moved this little beauty down into the basement.  (Though, I think it takes weeks for paint to really cure.)  I added some bronzy knobs I found at Lowe’s and then topped her with a big mirror I found at Ross.  I also added a few more things to the top that I found at the thrift store and some at Ross.  (I also put little pieces of felt underneath those decorative pieces, to keep it from nicking the paint while it really sets.)




I love how it turned out. 


And sorry mom, when we move, the dresser comes with us. ;)




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This post is sponsored by:




Ashley Johnston

Administrator at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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