How to Makeover Old Furniture Into a Modern Painted Dresser

In this step-by-step tutorial, I'll take you through the process of how I gave new life to this once-tired painted dresser. I am excited to share the steps on how to paint a dresser using basic tools and materials. Painting a dresser to transform it is easy and fun so let’s get started.

Tools and materials

  • Dust cloth
  • Water
  • Easy-Off Oven Cleaner (or similar paint remover/stripper)
  • Scrub brush
  • Water hose
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Paint (I used Gallery Gray by @melangepaints)
  • Water (for diluting paint)
  • Varathane Polyurethane (or another top coat for protection)
  • European Gold Rub ‘n Buff (for hardware)
  • Drawer liners
Dresser before painting
Cleaning the dresser

Step 1: Cleaning and preparation

Begin by giving your piece of furniture a thorough clean. Dust it off and wash away any dirt and grime. Once cleaned, set it outside to dry in the sun, allowing it to air out and dry completely.

Removing paint with Easy-Off Oven Cleaner

Step 2. Remove paint

Remove old paint with a paint stripper by following the package’s directions. I used Easy-Off Oven Cleaner.

Use a scrub brush to gently remove the softened paint. Be sure to rinse away the residue using a water hose.This step will reveal the bare surface of the furniture.

Sanding the dresser

Step 3: Sand for smoothness

To create a smooth and even surface, use fine-grained sandpaper to sand the furniture. Sanding helps to prepare the surface for painting and ensures the new paint adheres well.

Diluted paint solution
Applying diluted paint to the dresser
Wiping off the excess paint

Step 4: Paint application

Dilute your paint by mixing one part paint with one part water. Apply two coats of this diluted paint to achieve a beautiful, even finish. I chose Gallery Gray by Melange Paints for my piece.

Step 5: Top coat for protection

For added durability and protection, apply a top coat of Varathane Polyurethane or a similar product. This will help safeguard your newly painted furniture from daily wear and tear.

Changing the hardware on the dresser

Step 6: Hardware transformation

Clean the hardware, and if desired, give it a fresh look. I added European Gold Rub ‘n Buff to mine for a touch of elegance. Once the hardware is ready, reinstall it on the furniture.

Adding drawer liners

Step 7: Drawer liners

For a finishing touch and to protect the insides of drawers, add some drawer liners. This step not only adds functionality but also enhances the overall look of the piece.

How to paint a dresser
DIY painted dresser

DIY painted dresser

This dresser went from dull and dated to fresh and modern with just paint. Follow these steps to revamp your pieces and enjoy stylish and refreshed home decor.

Let me know how your painted dresser turned out by leaving comments below!

Follow @moderntouchbyjanette on Instagram for more DIY ideas.

Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Alice Alice on Oct 06, 2023
    This dresser appears stained as Rlyoung asks about, am I missing something? This post does not seem to be about stripping paint before the new look is created. janette, would you please clarify your project for us, thanks!
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