Oak Dresser Makeover

6 Materials
3 Hours

I LOVE to paint furniture and I have had this antique oak dresser for a while but never knew just what I wanted to do with it. I finally decided on painting the outside and leaving the drawers with their natural wood grain. I hit a few hiccups along the way but it finally turned out beautiful!

Here's what I started with. I tried adding a pop of color by spray painting the handles but I was really getting tired of the overall look and it was definitely time for a makeover!

I started out by thoroughly cleaning the piece. All of the products I used to transform this piece were from American Paint Company and there's really no other prep work required when using their clay based paints. Awesome right? Ain't no one got time to sand and prep! 😂😂

I started by applying an even coat to the entire shell of the dresser.

This paint is pretty thick so I like to use a fine spray mister with water to help thin it out a bit and apply it nice and evenly. You don't need much, just a couple sprays here and there.

After the first coat I had a little bit of bleed through and a water ring showing. When painting old oak furniture with an open grain you will run into this sometimes.

Once I knew which areas were giving me problems I simply sprayed them with a couple coats of shellac. This stuff comes in super handy for rings and bleed through because I don't care what kind of paint or primer you're using, if it doesn't have shellac in it the spots and rings will continue popping out after each layer of paint you apply.

After my second coat of paint was completely dry I applied my top coat over the entire piece. This stuff goes on super smooth with little to no brush marks.

Once the top coat was dry I applied some of their black glaze with a pointed brush and then wiped away the excess and blended it with a damp cloth. This added some beautiful shading and dimension. I also used it in light streaks across the top to bring out the grain.

Isn't it looking great so far? Next I gave the handles a little makeover using some of the same grey paint and layering on some black glaze and copper metallic over that.

What do you think?? I love the combination of the natural grain with the beautiful grey paint! If you love this piece and would like to see more please check out my Instagram!!

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To see more: //instagram.com/beautymark_furniture

Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Sheryl
    on Oct 29, 2019

    Can this be done on a laminated dresser? This a beautiful project, and I hope to do this on my grandkids dresser.

    • Kris | Beautymark Furniture
      on Oct 31, 2019

      Yes! Painting laminate can be a bit more challenging than real wood but it's definitely doable! Prep is key so as she said above make sure you clean, sand, and prime. Once you have a good surface use a good quality chalk or clay based paint and you can also add black glaze as I did for a streaky wood grain finish. Seal with your choice of wax or sealer and enjoy!!

  • Sylvia
    on Dec 18, 2019

    What colour paint did you use - it looks great

  • Valerie Burge
    on Dec 18, 2019

    That turned out so beautiful!! I have a question about the shellac - wouldn't that give it a glossy finish and prevent the paint from adhering to it? This is the second time I've heard the shellac tip recently, but I don't really understand how that works.

    • Kris | Beautymark Furniture
      on Dec 26, 2019

      Hi Dawn! That's pretty much it! I usually like to do 2 or 3 thin coats of shellac, especially if the rings or bleed through are pretty bad and I let each coat dry before the next.

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