Asked on Sep 01, 2014

Painting back of dresser?

Cindy D.
by Cindy D.
I am renovating a dresser to be used as a buffet. I have done the top (stained) and primed the cabinet and drawer fronts, but I'm wondering about doing the back. It doesn't look like the back was ever done before, and it's not real wood, it's some sort of thin pressed board. What do you all recommend?
  9 answers
  • Most of the backs of furniture are luan plywood, particle board, or cardboard. Depending upon the quality of the piece itself. It can be painted, but remember depending upon the type of material it is, do not overdo it with water based paint as it can easily become warped. What will really determine what you do with it is the color that you do on the rest of the piece. Its really only placed against the wall anyway so there is no real reason to do anything with it.
  • AvonelleRed AvonelleRed on Sep 01, 2014
    I wouldn't do much of anything with it if it's going to be placed against a wall, but if you plan on having it out in the room with the backside in full view, you might want to get some AirStone ( or something to put on that side of it. It would look awesome. Just a thought, and no, I am not in any way affiliated with AirStone.
  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Sep 02, 2014
    If it is not good wood, you probably will place it against a why take a chance of it being of inferior material and making a mess of it?
  • Diane Daughdrill Diane Daughdrill on Sep 02, 2014
    I have painted the backs on the ones I've redone because of the way they looked, nasty! I think it's just a personal preference & consider the way it looks.
  • Jill Valeri Jill Valeri on Sep 02, 2014
    If the back will be exposed, you could cover the original back with bead-board panels and paint it to match the rest of the piece.
  • Jan Williams Wallace Jan Williams Wallace on Sep 02, 2014
    Even if it is cardboard or some type of particle board, you can paint the back with a good primer, which will help to seal it; then paint to match the rest of the piece. I would be careful, depending on what it is made of, and use several lite coats of primer rather than getting it too wet. At least the entire piece will be fresh, clean and new whether you decide to put it against the wall or not.
  • Lex263207 Lex263207 on Sep 03, 2014
    I vote for leaving it as is. It's more work for an area that likely won't show. If you want to cover it with something, Target sells a line of beautiful wall decor papers similar to contact paper.
  • Cindy D. Cindy D. on Sep 04, 2014
    After talking with my daughter, I decided to give it one quick coat of paint - being careful not to get it too wet. I don't want warping, but my daughter told me they hope to use it between two rooms as a divider of sorts, so the back will be seen. I may look into that wall decor paper, or have them do so, later. Thanks for all the input!
  • Avi30704729 Avi30704729 on Mar 23, 2022

    I'm doing same thing. Right now I will paint & then do something with stencils. Another something to try... put wallpaper glue on back, then crumple up either tissue paper (then uncrumple) and apply to look like leather. Similar process with torn up paper bags, and this will also give more stability. Good luck to both of us!