Blog Projects Tutorials

Tall Dresser Makeover


The tutorial I am going to do today, for part 2 in the furniture makeover blog series, is the tall dresser I recently got for the master bedroom.  I purchased it for $30 off the LetGo app and it was good and solid, heavy as lead, and had nice overall design.  I did not like the color for my room and I did NOT like the dated hardware.  This is pretty simply to fix though, right?

I started prepping this with a good cleaning.  Hot soapy water, then a good rinse with clean hot water.  I did this inside and out.  Once it had dried it was time to break out the paintbrush and my trusty chalk paint!


I gave the entire thing 2 good coats of Rustoleum Chalk Paint in Linen White and had to put a light 3rd coat here and there where it wasn’t as solid as I wanted it to be.


I did the same thing with the fronts of the drawers, applying the paint with my new favorite Zibra Paintbrushes.  These things are awesome brushes y’all, and I’m not getting paid to say that!  They are good quality, leave minimal brush marks, are easy to clean and paint a lovely crisp edge.  They have all sorts of different sizes and shapes as well for all sorts of different uses.  You should totally try them out the next project you do!

As you can tell by these photos, I distressed the entire dresser using fine sandpaper and always going WITH the direction of the grain.  I distressed in places where it would get worn like edges as well as areas near the handles where time and use would make it worn.  I wasn’t looking for an overly distressed look with this piece but didn’t want crisp white either.


After I finished cleaning off all the sanding dust with a vacuum and then a soft cloth, I proceeded to wax the entire piece with Waverly Dark Wax.  I applied it with a soft cloth and did a lot of rubbing to get it where I wanted it, lighter and darker.  When my cloth was about ready to dip into the wax again, I would softly rub it across the middle of the drawer fronts so that these were not stark white, but I did want some contrast so didn’t apply the dark wax nearly as thickly here.


Once it had cured for 24 hours to make sure the wax had hardened, I went over the entire piece, except for the middles of the drawer fronts, with a dry brush and my original Rustoleum chalk paint in the same Linen White color as I started with.  Very subtle, just softly here and there to soften and lighten the wax somewhat and give it a more weathered appearance.  I would dip just the tips of the bristles into the chalk paint and then brush it across a cloth to remove most of it.  Use a VERY light hand with dry brushing.  You can always add more if you need to but it’s harder to remove it if you put too much on.

When the entire piece was finished to my liking, I applied several coats of my new favorite Varathane Paste Finishing Wax, letting it harden for a short time in between coats.  I love how this product goes on smoothly and easily and can be buffed to your desired sheen with just a soft cloth.

The only other thing that this piece needed was some new beautiful hardware and for this I took a trip to my local Hobby Lobby when they were having a 40% off sale on their pulls and knobs.  I think these particular ones really make the piece!

I hope this helped to give you ideas on how you too can make an old piece of furniture new again for a very small price!  Trust me when I say you can’t go wrong with chalk paint.  If you don’t like something about it you just slap on another coat and start fresh or try dry brushing etc.  If you have any questions please drop me a comment and I will do my best to answer them.



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  1. You did an excellent job! I wouldn’t have the patience to do that, but maybe it is easier than it sounds. Love the drawer pulls you found. They made the piece.

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Honestly chalk paint is so easy to work with and so forgiving! You should give it a try some time. Yes, I love the hardware I found for it.

  2. Tara, I love your painting technique on this chest. I love the color and the distressing you gave it. Very pretty. Looks like a million dollars.

    1. stilettosandshiplap says:

      Awwww so sweet of you to say! I really appreciate that!

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