This was a dresser that was left in the new house my daughter recently purchased and she loved the style. The only issue was the dresser was really a piece of trash which I could not tell from the image she sent me. I told her to send it over and I would fix it up and give it the same geometric makeover I gave the headboard. Well, when the dresser arrived you can imagine how my face dropped it was a heap of junk. But I have restored worse than this so I decided to have a go fixing it up.
Geometric Dresser Makeover
It does not look to bad in the photo, but it has about 5 layers of paint. All the drawers were broken and it was coming apart at the seams.
The whole dresser was split in half and was just held together by the spider webs inside.
I wanted to strip off all the paint to see what other damage the paint was hiding. I tried paint stripper first which did not budge the paint. Next, I tried to sand off the paint using an orbital sander but that was going to take for ever. My last resort was a heat gun and paint scraper which did the trick. Once all the paint was removed I sanded the surface as smooth as I could. It was not perfect but I knew the chalk paint would hide a lot of the blemishes.
I needed to try and glue the dresser back together. I used wood glue and large clamps to pull the two pieces back together. I did the same for the base.
The supports inside that held the drawers in place, were hanging down which is why the drawers would not sit right. I glued the supports back into place and used a nail gun for extra support.
All the joins on the dresser looked like this. It had been repaired so many times over the years. To cover up all the damage, I used a wood filler to fill in all the holes. Once dry the wood filler was sanded smooth.
The drawers and mirror support were also falling apart but nothing some glue would not fix.
From past experience I know drawers on old furniture will always stick and not slide smoothly, due to the wood being very dry. So make sure the drawers fit well before replacing the top so you have access to make adjustments.
To get the drawers to slide smoothly this is a trick I use. I add some beeswax to a cloth and apply it to the sides of the drawers. The beeswax I used was thick and did not spread over the surface very well. You can heat the wax up with a heat gun and then wipe with a cloth and it will spread well. You can also do this to the supports the drawers slid on.
To clean up all the hardware I used the baking soda method which works perfectly every time. You need an old pan that you no longer be using. Put a half a cup of baking soda in the bottom of the pan and add your hardware. Add enough water to cover the hardware only, do not fill. Bring to the boil and then turn the temp down to a simmer only for 30 minutes
The paint will just wipe off. If you have any paint stuck in the grooves a brush will get rid of it.
When I strip furniture hardware I always like to keep the pins and screws so they fit in the holes in the wood.
The handles were painted with a suitable spray paint, and they looked new again.
The whole dresser was painted with 2 coats of white chalk paint.
To add the geometric design I used painters tape and randomly made shapes with the tape. There was no measuring at all.
I used 2 shades of grey to fill in all the shapes, painting 1 colour at a time to prevent smudging.
Once dry the painters tape was removed. And the dresser was sealed with 2 coats of water based polyurethane. And finally the hardware was replaced.
The drawers were replaced and Ta_Da the dresser was complete. This was a very cheap makeover for me because I had all the supplies at home left over from the matching headboard.
This dresser now has a few more years of life. For more detailed information on this makeover jump across to my website using the link at the bottom of this page.
And looks great with its matching headboard.
Another project you may like is this old writing desk which I repurposed into a Makeup desk to store all makeup and beauty supplies in one place.
Before and after
Resources for this project:See all materials
Leslie on Mar 31, 2021
Hi Anita, was wondering about what looked like original paint on the dresser. If it was painted pre 1978 or looked like it had been I would have tested for lead paint. FYI you can get the kit in HD or Lowes. Old Painted wood on doors, old windows etc need to be tested so that you can keep yourself safe when stripping and working on the piece.