How to Do a White-Wash Dresser Makeover in a Few Easy Steps

Hey, DIY enthusiasts! Today, I'm excited to share with you the step-by-step process of how I transformed an old piece of furniture into something new. Join me as I walk you through each stage and the products I used in this easy white-wash dresser makeover. Let's dive in!

Tools and materials

  • Scraper
  • Scrub brush
  • Sandpaper (fine grit)
  • Paintbrush or roller
  • Cloth or brush for applying glaze
  • Container for mixing glaze
  • Cloth for wiping away excess glaze
  • Screwdriver or appropriate tool for installing hardware
  • Easy-Off (or similar paint and finish remover)
  • Water
  • Turtledove paint Melange Paints
  • Antique glaze by Rustoleum
  • Polyurethane top coat (satin finish) by Varathane
  • Hardware for furniture (purchased from Amazon)
Dresser before the makeover

1. Prepare the surface

To start, I sprayed a coat of Easy-Off onto the furniture surface. I allowed it to sit for approximately 30 minutes to penetrate and loosen any existing finish or paint.

Applying Easy-Off to the dresser

2. Remove the residue

After the Easy-Off has had time to work its magic, it's time to scrape, scrub, and rinse away the residue. Using a scraping tool, gently remove the softened finish or paint. Then, grab a scrub brush and give the surface a good scrub. Finally, rinse off the residue thoroughly with water.

Scraping, scrubbing, and removing excess residue

3. Smooth out the surface

To achieve a smooth and even finish, I sanded the furniture with fine grit sandpaper. This step helps to level out any imperfections or rough spots left after removing the old finish. Take your time and sand in gentle, circular motions until the surface feels smooth to the touch.

Sanding the dresser surfaces smooth

4. Paint wash

Now, it's time to add some color! I chose Turtledove by Melange Paints for a fresh and elegant look. First, spray the dresser with water. Then, using a paintbrush or a roller, apply a coat of diluted paint wash to the entire surface of the furniture. Add the paint wash, then wipe back with a cloth.

Applying a paint wash

5. Glaze wash

For an aged and rustic effect, I used an antique glaze from Rustoleum and diluted it with water. I mixed approximately 1 part glaze with 4 parts water, but feel free to adjust the ratio to achieve your desired look. Using a cloth or a brush, apply the diluted glaze onto the painted surface, working in small sections. After applying, gently wipe it back and let it dry.

Applying a glaze wash

6. Protect with a top coat

To provide durability and protection, I applied a top coat using Satin Polyurethane from Varathane. Apply the top coat evenly, and allow it to dry thoroughly.

Polyurethane top coat

Tip: how to avoid streak marks

Sometimes, when applying polyurethane by hand on solid colors, streak marks can appear. To counter this, I added a small amount of the Turtledove paint into the polyurethane and mixed it well. This mixture helped eliminate streaks during application.

Adding new hardware to the dresser

7. Install new hardware

To complete the transformation, I added new hardware to the furniture. I found some beautiful options on Amazon that perfectly complemented the style I was going for. Install the hardware according to the manufacturer's instructions, and admire the finishing touch it adds to your piece.

Dresser makeover before and after

White-wash dresser makeover

There you have it! By following these simple steps, you can achieve a stunning furniture makeover. Just remember, this process requires time and patience. In total, it took me approximately 7-8 hours to complete this project, but the result was well worth it.

Now, it's your turn to unleash your creativity and enjoy the satisfaction of transforming furniture into something unique and true to your style. Happy DIY-ing!

Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Kathrine Anderson Kathrine Anderson on Jul 17, 2023
    I like your suggestion for avoiding streaks. Would the same technique work with paint specifically chalk paint? Great job! Thanks!
Join the conversation
4 of 6 comments
  • Linda Linda on Jul 17, 2023
    I usually like paint on older furniture. If I'm not mistaken that is Tiger Oak!!! I could never paint over such a beautiful wood!!
    • Moderntouchbyjanette Moderntouchbyjanette on Jul 18, 2023
      It’s actually not painted, it’s just a paint wash to not have it yellow when top coated and is similar to doing a stain where you can still see all it’s beautiful grain.
  • Linda Linda on Jul 18, 2023
    That's great!! The grain is so beautiful!!