How to Update an Old Dresser

April 18, 2019 3 min read

Do you have an old dresser that needs to be brought to life again? If so, then this blog post is just for you.

In case you've forgotten or weren't aware, I'm a FAT Paint retailer. I've really fallen behind in sharing paint projects and all their beautiful paint colours with you.

This is the dresser that I ended up redoing. I've gone back and forth on what to do with this dresser for years. Whether I should actually strip it and paint it or leave it like it was. I wasn't sure if I could bring myself to cover up the wood.

The stain itself was awful. Thick and gummy at spots. Something needed to be done to bring this beautiful piece back to life again.


I settled on this colour below. It's BLUSH from The FAT Paint Company 

I'm trying to be more brave when it comes to painting with colour and I'm finding that I'm loving each piece that I've painted so far.

Because of the shape that this dresser was in, I decided that I better go about this project the correct way.

I took the dresser apart. Removed the drawers, took the knobs off the drawers, took the mirror off the dresser and also took the mirror apart.

I bought some furniture stripper. I used a cheap bristle brush to apply the varnish remover to the entire dresser. (Be sure to wear rubber gloves, long sleeves and don't go barefoot when applying this. It burns if it lands on your skin.)

I let it sit for 5-10 minutes before using a scraper to start the process of removing the stain from the dresser. You can tell once it's starting to work as the coating starts to bubble. I ran into some really tough areas where I had to use a few coats of this furniture stripper before all the old stain and varnish was removed to my liking.


Once I had removed as much of the old finish as I wanted, I wiped the dresser down with a damp cloth. Then I went over the entire dresser with a sander.

I had no idea what type of wood would be hiding under all those layers. It ended up looking beautiful when it was back to more of its natural wood look.


I started painting the drawer fronts first to make sure that I would be happy with the colour that I had chosen.


The dresser has a few coats of paint here and the top has been stained with Dark Walnut by Minwax. As you probably can tell by now, it's one of my favorite stain colours.

The paint in this photo below looks much pinker than it is in real life.


I used an aeresol lacquer to seal the entire dresser. If you use this method, I would strongly recommend using a mask and making sure that you have proper ventilation.

Here's the dresser after it's partially put back together. I was trying to decide what type of knobs to use on the drawers.


I sell these beautiful sculpted flower knobs through both my retail location and my online shop. Click on the image below to check them out.

I decided to go ahead and try these out. I was a little concerned that they'd feel too heavy and awkward for the dresser. I was quite happy with the delicate touch that these beautiful flowers added to this antique dresser.


I'll share some more "after" photos that you can scroll through and enjoy.




Take a look at this stained dresser top. Isn't it beautiful??!! I just love the texture and the warmth that it adds to the dresser. I'm so glad that I decided to stain the top instead of painting it.



I really hope that this inspires you to paint something. Revive an old piece of furniture. Paint the entire piece or try a combination of paint and stain.

Happy Painting!


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