We decided to make this a DIY with step-by-step instructions because we get a lot of questions about our process for making over old furniture. This particular dresser needed some extra TLC because it's over 30 years old and was well used. It needed some minor repairs, some major rebuilds, and several coats of paint. Painting in the humid summer can be especially tricky so I included some helpful tips on our process below!
We never promise to make something as good as new, but we always try to get as close as possible. Hopefully this post will help you reach the same goal! Or just contact us and we'll do it for you. ;)
Click on Read More below for more pics and the steps!
Brian's mom had three dressers stashed away in her attic and basement. We got the specs and checked out the pieces --- and then sent them along to the couple with our recommendation.
Not surprisingly they took our advice and went with the smallest, simplest, piece of the group. The most baby appropriate. We moved it out and hauled it home in our Honda Accord (way more fits in that car than you'd imagine).
There was a lot going on with this dresser - and this is more about painting and refinishing than it is fixing because each fix could be an entire post of it's own!
Here's what we did:
- Replaced the bottom drawer's runner
- Refasten the kick board
- Fix a couple drawer bottoms
- Make the bottom drawer slide correctly. (This was a piece of detective work that took a little while. There's no shortcut, you just have to chisel and plane off pieces of the drawer until it slides freely.)
Use 100 grit sandpaper on all ALL of the parts. Sanding it and roughing it up helps the paint stick to the piece.
Then go over it with 150 or 200 grit sandpaper as needed to buff out all of the nicks you create with the 100 grit.
If you have one, use a random orbit on the flat surfaces - it's way faster.
Also sand all of the rough, yucky, bits/uneven edges, etc. to clean it up.
Using alcohol or mineral spirits (personally I prefer mineral spirits) and a rag, tack down all of the parts you just sanded.
You can also clean off any cobwebs and/or dirt at this point.
Using furniture paint (my favorite is sold at Home Depot - Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover Semi-Gloss) put a first coat on the drawers and base of the dresser.
Some DIY Dacey painting tips:
- I like to use a small brush and take my sweet time, especially with this first coat. It's easier to wipe off any dust motes as you go.
- I keep water on hand and whenever I'm not using it I put the brush in the water. You want to prevent it from drying out at any cost!
- Clean the brush with regular dish/hand soap when you're done. Then store it somewhere as dust free as possible. Dust + brush hairs = bad.
Painting in the heat is really rough. It's more prone to peeling and it takes longer to dry. Try not to touch it for as long as you can. Resist putting a fan on it to speed up the drying process (fans just blow dust into the air, and they settle into your wet paint).
DO NOT close the drawers for at least a few days (ideally a few weeks) after you paint. This picture was a risk, and a mistake, and I paid for it by having to do lots of touch ups.
I typically do three coats on everything but the back and bottom (only two coats on those rarely-seen bits).
I do at least one round of touch ups.
This is also just to show off the signs we're making now!
Simmy chose these adorable knobs from a different vendor on Etsy. They took 5 weeks to be made and shipped to us (in Medford) - we warned the Bucks that there would be a waiting period and delivered it knob-less. A few weeks later we went over to add the knobs and really finish the project.
Replacing the knobs on a dresser is an easy and fun way to really fancy-up a piece.