Do you have an old dresser that has seen better days? Did you just get a new-to-you dresser from a local garage sale, but hate the color? Or, do you have a baby on the way and need to spruce up the nursery? Here is a quick and fun way to detail an old dresser into a work of art.
A few years ago, while pregnant with my first child, I needed a dresser for baby clothes. I was on an extremely tight budget and eventually got an old four-drawer dresser from a garage sale. The dresser was in good shape, but the paint needed a lot of help. It was in no shape to adorn my new nursery. Since I was on such a tight budget, but wanted a cute piece for my new baby, I decided to re-do it myself. This idea is so easy; I even did it while pregnant.
You will need the following supplies for this project:
– 1 dresser
– 4 Acrylic craft paints (red, blue, purple and orange for the drawers and white for the top. These were the only colors I had at the time, but you can use any you like.)
– 4 large craft foam brushes
– 1 craft paintbrush
– White glue or glue stick
– Favorite themed wrapping paper
– Newspapers or an old sheet
– Paper plates
– Paper towels for clean up
The first step is to set up your painting area. You will need a large area to put the drawers on while you pain them. Lay out the sheet or newspapers on the floor or large table. Next, check the hardware on the drawer handles, knobs, etc. to see what you will need to remove them.
After your area has been set up, and the hardware has been removed, it is time to start painting.
Painting your Project
I started with the white top of my dresser. Since this was the largest portion of my project, I wanted to give ample time for the paint to dry between coats. I used one of the large sponge brushes, with long even strokes and painted the top white. I don’t remember the brand of paint I used so many years ago, but now, I prefer either Apple Barrel or Folk Art. These acrylic craft paints go on with smooth, even coats and rarely clump or streak.
While the top of the dresser dried, I then painted each of the drawers a different color. I used bright and bold colors and only used two coats. I used one large sponge brush and washed it every time I changed colors. If you are using contrasting colors, like black and white, or even blue and yellow, I recommend using separate sponge brushes because you can never quite get all of the darker color out of the brush. (Or, if you are short on money, just paint the lighter colors first, then proceed to the darker.)
After the top of the dresser is completely dry and has a nice, even color to it, it is time to add your decoration.
Designing Your Dresser
I chose Baby Snoopy as the theme for my baby and decided to use some of the paper from that party. The best part of this particular paper was an image of Baby Snoopy sleeping on a crescent moon. This was perfect for the top center of my dresser. I chose the largest one and cut it out in a circle. I then chose two more cute images of Baby Snoopy sitting on the crescent moon for the two front corners. This particular design also had yellow stars that I cut out, in circles, to place around the center and on the two top corners. (See above photo details.)
Using the white glue and the craft brush, I gently painted a thin layer of glue on to the backside of the circles and placed them in their chosen spots. I ever so gently rubbed the air pockets out of each circle so they would lay flat. This was a tedious task, but well worth the results.
I checked the bold colors of my dresser drawers while the top dried.
Finishing Your Dresser
Using the varnish and another large sponge brush, I applied a single coat to each of the drawers. While they dried, I checked on the top and it was ready to varnish. I used a new sponge brush to apply the varnish. I did not want to use the same one I used for the darker colors because it might color off.
Varnishing the top of the dresser is more difficult than the drawers. You will need to use care when applying the wet varnish to the dry paper. If you press too hard, the paper will tear. The best way to accomplish this is to dab a bit of varnish in the center of the circle and work your way to the edge. Do this for each of the circles and try to keep the coats streak free and smooth. Let dry. Test the paper and make sure it is completely dry before attempting the second coat. If it is not dry and properly adhered to the dresser, then it will smudge and rip.
To finish the project, take your varnish and apply small amounts along the top of the dresser. Have your large sponge brush and, using long strokes, cover the entire top of the dresser. Let dry and repeat with one more coat. Let dry over night.
Lastly, attach all hardware. Step back and admire all of your hard work. There are many ways to so this kind of project, but this one worked well for me with an almost non-existent budget for crafting. Enjoy!