Geometric Mid Century Dresser Refresh

I picked up this Dixie dresser from a furniture sale. While I loved the mid century look and style of the piece, the finish needed some work and I felt that the piece needed a bit of color and a geometric design to add some visual interest.
Mid century dresser before
The piece started out looking pretty great so I was not going to paint the whole piece. I just add a design onto the top drawer and gave the rest of the wood a "refresh" as I like to call it.
Refreshed wood and a geometric design
To darken the wood without stripping and sanding the old finish off of the piece, I used a very high grit sandpaper to help get rid of the topcoat without sanding off the stain color. I then used dark walnut stain and gave the piece one coat, letting it dry for a full 48 hours. This gave the wood a richer look and helped to cover up diminish the scratches and dings it had here and there. I then sealed the piece with 2 coats of water based poly in satin for durability.
clean, crisp lines thanks so a coat of poly!
For the geometric design I chose 3 colors, black, white, and a vibrant blue. Some of the walnut wood was also left for part of the design. I measured 4 squares across the front of the drawer, then taped off one color of triangles and painted each color starting with black, and finishing with blue.
Biggest tip: When painting the design on, tape out the design (or whichever part of the design you are starting with), and first apply a thin coat of water based poly. This will seal the edges of the tape and prevent any of the paint from bleeding under. If any of the poly does get under, it's clear and you won't be able to see it!
Just a little paint and some stain really transformed this common, mid century dresser into a unique statement piece!

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


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2 of 90 comments
  • Kelly
    on Jul 2, 2015

    I think you did quite an amazing job! I'm wanting to do something like this on a credenza I just bought, but I'm confused with how you did it & the process by which you did it. Did you put the poly on first, then painted the triangles? Or, did you seal it with poly after each triangle you painted? Can you please email me at I have a few questions to ask as I want to do this right. Please email me. Thank you!

  • Dunham Design Company
    on Mar 28, 2016


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