DIY Painted Dresser

4 Materials
5 Hours

I'm taking you through the easy, fun, step by step instructions to turn this $50 Craigslist find into the perfect boho black dresser that makes a statement in the bedroom and beyond!
Sand your piece with a power sander or medium grit, all-purpose sanding block. I used a power sander because this was a) a large piece of furniture and b) seemed to be sealed with some sort of light lacquer.
For my black paint I used a basic, exterior black paint to paint, applied with a brush painting with the grain throughout the dresser. I used regular paint instead of spray paint and applied it with a brush because I didn't want it to have that perfectly sprayed finish and I used an exterior paint because it would be durable enough to hold up to wear and water on the top of the dresser, but wouldn't have to be sealed. And you can totally seal something like with a number of things this and it's worth it if you want it to be bulletproof, but I want it to wear naturally and imperfectly (boho, people. boho.) and this should do the trick. It's also easy to clean - I've tried and tested it and it cleans perfectly. TIP: On the fronts of the dresser drawers I used a smaller brush to achieve even strokes that could also easily get into the crevices around the appliques without those brush strokes showing up.
For the whitewash on the bun feet that I attached to the dresser, I mixed equal parts Rustoleum Chalked chalk paint in Linen White and warm water. Mix the paint with a paint stick until the white paint appears dissolved into the water, and you're ready to apply to your feet. You can apply the whitewash with a specific chalk brush, or just any large soft-bristled brush you want. It's meant to be perfectly imperfect, so drips aside, embrace the somewhat uneven coverage of your whitewash.
Apply your whitewash to your bun feet in even strokes running in the same direction as the grain of the wood. When dry, you can attach your bun feet using simple top plates if the bottom of your dresser is a level, flat surface or you can attach square wood risers to each corner and then attach your feet to those if the bottom of your dresser is recessed like mine was.
After the first coat dried, I applied a second coat of black paint to my dresser and drawer fronts because it needed it for coverage purposes.
To attach the knobs to the drawer fronts, we simply measured to the center of the appliques and drilled through the front of the drawers. Luckily this time the length of the bolt on the knob was just about perfect for the thickness of the drawer front plus the applique, so we didn't have to cut them to size. Score!
And you're all done! A beautiful, boho black and white dresser that will wash and wear wonderfully throughout the years.

Suggested materials:

  • BEHR Premium Plus Black Satin Enamel Exterior Paint  (Home Depot)
  • Anthropologie River Reflection Knob in Mint (x6)  (Anthropologie)
  • Waddell 4-Inch Basswood Turned Bun Moulding (x4)  (Home Depot)
See all materials

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Love & Specs

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Kelly Dodds
    on May 26, 2017

    Soooo where could I find a dresser exactly like this one?
    • Love & Specs
      on Jun 28, 2017

      Hahaha good question! This was one of my best Craiglist finds to date! Kind of a diamond in the rough.

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