New Life for a Thrift Store Dresser

4 Materials
4 Hours

I found an old solid wood dresser at a thrift store and gave it a face lift with a little TLC and paint.

My son needed a dresser for his room. I wanted something sturdy but I didn't want to spend a lot of money.

I found this vintage wood dresser at a thrift store for $20.00. It was missing a pull and had a some splitting as well as deep scratches and other damage.

I got it home and gave it a good cleaning. When I pulled out the drawers, I actually found the missing hardware so that was a bonus!

I used soap and water to clean it and a magic eraser to remove the wax pencil used to price it at the thrift store.

I filled all the cracks and gouges with wood putty.

There was a lot to fill. I was sure to let the putty dry completely.

Once dry, I sanded the entire dresser. I wanted to be sure it was completely smooth when I was done.

One of the drawer slides was broken so I secured that back in place.

Then I wiped the entire dresser down to prep it for paint.

I let my son choose the color and he chose blue.

I used milk paint on this dresser. I thought I was going to distress it but changed my mind. If I did this again I would use a good latex paint.

I used a foam brush to keep the finish super smooth.

This paint goes on pretty thin so I gave it 5 coats in all and let it dry completely between coats.

Once dry, I used a clear furniture finishing wax to seal it. I gave it 3 coats of wax and let the wax dry between coats.

I decided to use the hardware as is. I just washed it with soap and water and used an old toothbrush to get into the crevices. I like the patina it had naturally.

I love the way it turned out and I only spent about $55.

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Laurie Coyne Jaensch
    Laurie Coyne Jaensch
    on Jan 5, 2021

    curious why you would have chosen latex?

    • Sharron Christie
      Sharron Christie
      on Jan 10, 2021

      I’m not the author but I agree with Gisele. I find a good latex paint is so much easier to work with rather than chalk paint which dries very quickly making it difficult to work with. As well, a polyurethane sealer is much easier to apply and more durable. I expect that is the reason for her comment.

  • Penny
    on Jan 10, 2021

    In the before picture the one hardware is missing, how did you replace it?

  • Sandra L Warren
    Sandra L Warren
    on Jan 10, 2021

    Did you attach the two bottom drawer pulls upside down on purpose?

    • Denise Mines
      Denise Mines
      on Jan 10, 2021

      My mistake. They are upside down. But that's how they are on the original, too.

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