Upcycled Thrift Store Dresser Makeover

8 Materials
6 Hours

Don't let cosmetic and minor damage get the best of your furniture. You CAN make them over and make it beautiful! I took this damaged and neglected dresser from my local thrift store from grungy to modern and classic.

This sad but structurally sound dresser was front and center at my local thrift store. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be perfect for a makeover. First things first - I removed the hardware and thus, started the process.

I chose Krud Kutter to clean this piece. I can't stress enough how important this is as paint won't adhere correctly without a clean surface. I rinsed after and let it dry. I then used Bondo to repair the damaged areas of the drawer fronts as well as fill in the old hardware holes. Bondo is a body filler and works really great. Make sure to use it outside; I always use a respirator as well since the odor is pretty strong. Once it dries, sand it smooth. I sanded the top down to raw wood and took this opportunity to scuff sand the rest of the piece as well.

Next, it was time for primer. I used BIN primer, the one with the shellac base for this project. I knew since I was going from a dark stain to a light color primer was essential. I sprayed the primer, lightly sanded with 400 grit, cleaned the dust with a tack cloth and then applied a second coat. I let that dry and used the down time to make a few resin molds.

These molds are really cool because they allow you to dress up surfaces and these served as the backplates for the handles I added later. I used a kit called Amazing Casting Resin - it is a mix that you pour and let it dry for about 10 minutes.

Once the resin dries it turns white and you can paint it then place it anywhere you like. I applied a base coat of Blue Ridge and then used wood glue to adhere it to the dresser. I added six of these and two others for the sides.

While the molds dried on the piece, I decided to apply a whitewash on the top surface. A wash is 50/50 water and paint. I used a white called Cottage White for the mix and once I had the water mixed I applied it with a foam brush then let it soak in for a minute and then used a shop towel to wipe back. This gives the grain a really nice finish without the look of it being heavily painted.

For the body of the dresser and the molds, I used the same color, Blue Ridge, from The Chippy Barn. It is a ceramic based paint that dries to a hard finish. You can find it here - https://www.thechippybarn.com/products/blue-ridge?variant=31029086486612 

I used my favorite round Zibra paint brush to apply to get a smooth finish. I ended up applying two coats, lightly sanding between each coat and removing dust with a tack cloth.

Here is the beautiful paint up close. It is a really soft muted blue and knew this piece was perfect for this color. After I finished painting, I sealed with a flat top coat and drilled the holes in the keyhole spacing of the resin molds for the new hardware.

Here is a close up of the resin mold placement and new hardware.

Here is the full dresser photo. Thank you for following along!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • D fuhrman
    on Nov 17, 2019

    This may sound like like a dumb question but you say this paint has a ceramic base and dries to a hard finish. What do you mean hard finish?

    • D fuhrman
      on Nov 28, 2019

      Yes they are. I gave the set to a friend and they are now using it in their bedroom.

  • Chris
    on Nov 17, 2019

    Have found the resin, but where did you find the molds! Refinishing an old dresser for my granddaughter and would love to add this!

  • Tjsa4gold
    on Jan 18, 2020

    What kind of resin do you use?

Join the conversation

4 of 73 comments
  • Janie
    on Nov 30, 2019

    Absolutely beautiful!! If I had the energy, (76yrs) I would try this as the instructions are super clear. Really love this!

  • Sandra
    on Nov 30, 2019

    I have my parents' dressers from the 1940's that look exactly like yours. I took them because of the sentimental value, and especially I remembered the sound the old handles made (as a child I drove my mother crazy playing with them!) so I will probably preserve those old handles. Yours turned out beautiful so you've given me inspiration to get on this project, now. Thanks!!

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