Jenni Ingram
Jenni Ingram
  • Hometalker
  • Wexford, PA

Amazing Gray Dresser Makeover

10 Materials
4 Hours

My friend texted me a picture of this dresser asking if I could update it?? My first thought was a gray dresser, but then considered a two-tone gray dresser. Oooh yes!

amazing gray dresser makeover

Here’s what I was working with – this dresser is in approximately half of all bedrooms in the United States – it’s a common style, with the most common (awful) handles – not pictured – and the most blah reddish brown stain. I need to do something about it…

amazing gray dresser makeover

Step 1. I removed all the hardware.

Step 2. I removed the drawers, then sanded them down with my pad sander and 120 grit sandpaper.  When finished, I set them aside.

Step 3. I scuff sanded the rest of the dresser with 220 grit sandpaper, and then cleaned with a mix of denatured alcohol and water (or White Lightning).

amazing gray dresser makeover

Step 4. I painted the case of the dresser – using the NEW Perfect Gray. It’s a beautiful warm shade of gray that will go beautifully in the new room. 

Step 5. While the dresser was drying, I stained the drawers using my favorite 50/50 mix of Antique Oak and Walnut Water Based Wood Stain. I just used a rag to apply it, then wipe it off quickly. Once dry, I gave it a second coat.

amazing gray dresser makeover

Step 6. I topcoated the drawers using GF High Performance Topcoat in flat finish. I let that dry, then came back to smooth out any rough spots with 400 grit sandpaper before giving it a second coat of topcoat. 

Step 7. I installed my new hardware. What a difference!

Here's my step-by-step process of this dresser makeover. Want more furniture tutorials plus paint reviews? Subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Want to paint furniture like a pro? Check out my Furniture 101 ebook {FREE} here. 

Feel free to find me on Facebook for inspiration, encouragement and so much more! @rootsandwingsfurniture

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Jenni Ingram

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Lau30852322
    on Mar 27, 2019

    Haven't refinished furniture in long time so my question may sound idiotic (?). You mentioned cleaning with denatured alcohol and water (or White Lightning). Is this the White Lightning my grandmother used to make in her still??? LOL

    • Wyldecent
      on Mar 27, 2019

      White Lightening is a brand name for cleaning products. Although I suspect grannie's white lightening would also work as it is alcohol (and likely stronger!)

  • Rory McBean
    on Mar 27, 2019

    I love what you have done! I have a large, curvy dresser (although, because of its height might mean it's a bureau), which is one piece of a set. You have inspired me! Maybe it's an optical illusion, but some of the handles on the drawers of your dresser look a bit crooked. Did you use a level when you were attaching them?


    • Tina
      on Apr 4, 2019

      Looks like she used original holes from the previous hardware, look at first picture before she started painting! I think she did a lovely job!!!

  • Tricia Lincoln
    on Mar 27, 2019

    I am one of the people who have one of these in their guest room, and am now inspired to do something with it! Could you have removed the skirt and added new legs to give a more modern feel?

    • BentonanJo
      on Apr 3, 2019

      I was thinking the same thing the skirt would have to go and new legs would have made it look even more mid century

Join the conversation

2 of 27 comments
  • Tina
    on Apr 4, 2019

    I love it, just beautiful! What a great way to upscale something old and make it look new!

  • Debbie
    on Apr 27, 2019

    That turned out wonderful

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