Small Dresser Makeover: Painted Mustard Yellow
I upcycled this mini dresser using homemade mustard yellow chalk paint and wood stain. This makeover is a perfect project for beginners.
I found this small chest of drawers on the Facebook Marketplace. Here is how it looks when I purchased it. It was cute but really outdated. There were several scratches all over the dresser. It is made of a mix of solid wood, veneer and particle board. Honestly, it is not a super high quality piece of furniture… But it was a perfect candidate for a makeover.
Prepping the Dresser
First, I removed the drawers and the handles using a screwdriver. I stored the handles and screws in a small box as I planned to use them later.
The small dresser was sealed with acrylic lacquer. So I lightly sanded the entire piece with 220-grit sandpaper. Sanding allows the paint to adhere better to that piece of furniture.
The drawer fronts were in good condition, except for one drawer that needed some fixing. I applied a small amount of wood filler on the damaged corner, let it dry for a couple of hours, and sanded it to a smooth touch.
At this stage, I knew I wanted a wood top. I used my electrical sander to remove the varnish and expose the veneer underneath. When sanding veneer, you need to be careful not to sand through the veneer.
After sanding smooth, I cleaned the piece.
Painting the Small Dresser
The following day, it was time to paint. I chose a tangy yellow mustard color for this project. I used my homemade chalk paint recipe for this project. It’s actually a mix of regular latex paint and calcium carbonate. Read more about this homemade mixture on my blog.
Since the original piece of furniture was quite dark, I applied three coats of paint for a better result.
Staining the Top of the Dresser
The wood on the top of the piece was really light and I didn’t find the wood super beautiful. I decided to stain it. I was looking for a natural solution and found it is possible to stain wood with coffee. However it was not a successful experiment. Find out why on my blog.
So I decided to use another solution and go for a natural walnut stain. After applying 2 coats of stain, I was satisfied with the result.
Distressing & Adding Top Coat
I lightly distressed it around the edges and the drawers. I also sanded again the entire piece for a smooth finish. To seal the piece, I chose a Clear Paste Wax. Lastly, I gave the old handles a good clean and put them back in place.
For this project, I also painted the inside of the drawers. It is much prettier when you open them.
Here is how it looks after I painted it. Much better? I like this mustard yellow so much. It is a bright and vibrant modern piece that would be perfect as bedside table or in a child bedroom. My daughter immediately wanted it for her bedroom.
Here is another after picture. I’m pretty satisfied with how this little dresser makeover turned out!
- 220-grit Sandpaper
- Paint brush
- Mustard Yellow paint
- Clear Paste Wax
- Walnut Stain