Chest of Drawers Makeover

5 Materials
5 Hours
Hello all! I am super excited to share with you our project this week. We are in the process of giving our master bedroom a makeover. Nothing major because we rent. With that being said, we will be changing the décor and furniture! Furthermore, all of the furniture pieces were purchased used, as well as the bed we plan to use. We did not buy any new furniture pieces. There will be a short video tutorial near the end of the post.
Here is the chest of drawers before.
Chest of Drawers Before
Master Bedroom Before Part I - Chest of Drawers

Here is a picture of our existing master bedroom.
Master Bedroom
Chest of Drawers Makeover – Prep

I wanted to incorporate pieces with the two-toned look by incorporating stained wood and paint. I feel this is important.

The drawer fronts would be sanded and stained as well as the door fronts. My paint color would be Dixie Belle’s Caviar, a deep rich black. English Chestnut by Minwax will be the stain color. 

The first order of business was to remove the drawers, the two doors, and the old hardware. I purchased new hardware from Lowe’s that I will add to the finished piece.
All Cleaned
I sanded (outside) each door front and drawer front to remove the existing finish using my Dewalt Orbital Sander with 120-grit sandpaper. I followed up with 220-grit to achieve a smooth finish. 
Sanding Drawer Front
Look at the beautiful wood!
Beautiful Wood Front
Once I brought them back inside, I used a piece of tack cloth to remove any remaining sanding dust.

Applying Stain

Each drawer front, as well as the door fronts, received one coat of the stain. I applied the stain with a lint-free cloth. Just simply wipe on, wipe off (Like Mr. Miyagi from Karate Kid), removing any excess stain. Sorry, every time I say wipe on wipe off, I can’t help but remember the movie!   
Stain Applied
Wood Appliques for Doors

I added one coat of stain to the wood appliques that I purchased from Amazon. I wanted to add contrast and thought these would be perfect for the door fronts. 
Wood Applique
The stain needed to dry for at least 48 hours, Therefore, I set the wood appliques, the drawers, and doors to the side and began the painting process on the chest.  


For this project, I decided not to prime. To clarify, since I am painting with a dark color, I do not have to worry about any bleed through. Dixie Belle paints require no sanding or primer. 

Make sure to stir your paint before applying. I also keep my paintbrush dampened with water using a spray bottle. This allows the paint to go on smooth, and you will have fewer brush strokes. 
Here is the chest after one coat.
One Coat of Paint
After about 4 hours of drying time, I applied the second and final coat.
After Second Coat
The next day, the doors, drawers, and wood appliques were ready for paint.  I placed the tape around the edges of the stained drawer and door fronts to keep from getting paint where I didn’t want it.
Painters Tape Protecting Where I Stained
Each drawer and door front took two coats of paint. The wood applique only took one coat. 
Drawer With Paint Applied
Door With Paint Applied
Wood Applique With Paint Applied
The next day after the paint had set, it was time to distress. As a result, I took a piece of 220-grit sandpaper and sanded around the edges of the doors and drawer fronts. Additionally, I distressed the wood appliques. I removed the sanding dust with my tack cloth.
To add the wood applique, first measure to find the center of each door front and then mark the points using a pencil. Next, apply hot glue to the back of the wood applique and press onto the door.
Wood Applique Applied
The painted sections were sealed with Minwax Dark Wax. The stained areas were sealed with Minwax Clear Wax. The Hubs added the hardware to the drawers and the doors. They really compliment the two-toned finish.
New Pulls
Here are the knobs.
New Knobs
And now, the finished chest of drawers. It is now beautiful! The next makeover will be the nightstands.
Resources for this project:
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Lucie - Oh my sander
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Kristen Kristen on Dec 19, 2020

    I almost always dislike a painted makeover because real wood is fascinating and beautiful. However, this is definitely an exceptional makeover and worthy of 5 stars. Great job!

  • Diane Diane on Jan 29, 2021

    What did you paint the inside drawers? This is gorgeous. Where did you find the paint applications?