Thrift Store Dresser Redo With Paint and Stencils

In less than two days, I transformed a dark, tired thrift store dresser into a work of art fit for my dining room.
What do you think of my "new" dining room buffet?
A few years ago, I bought this wooden dresser at a thrift store for $80. The picture was taken after I had already removed most of the drawers and started stripping off the finish. I have to admit, $80 is a little salty for me for a thrift store purchase. But this was a solid wood piece in great condition, made in the U.S.A, with dovetail drawer construction. I knew it would work perfectly as a buffet in our dining room, so I immediately stained the piece to match my table and chairs.
Fast forward to last week. I was feeling like that dresser was looking a bit dark and heavy in the room. So I decided to give it a second makeover, because I’m crazy like that.
I scrubbed the dresser and drawers down with a deglosser first to help remove any wax residue and prepare the wood to take paint.
For this project, I used Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint. I chose a mixture of two parts Lace to one part Everlasting. I applied the paint using my HomeRight Finish Max Pro sprayer, giving everything two coats of the chalky finish paint.
After the paint dried, I used my orbital sander to smooth out any rough spots and give the edges a distressed look.
Next I mixed up equal parts of Americana Multi-Surface Metallic paint colors in Chocolate, Champagne and Gold. (This paint is available at Michaels.) I wanted to apply some script art to the drawer fronts. I used the Royal Design Studio Springtime in Paris stencil for this.
I turned the dresser on its back so I could lay out the stencils and apply the paint more easily.
Here's a look at the piece after the stenciling was complete. I sealed it with a coat of clear wax.
Here's the new "after" with the hardware reattached.
Living Rich on Less - Susan
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 5 questions
  • Connie K Connie K on Oct 18, 2016
    Susan, reflected in the mirror on the dresser is a chandelier. It looks like one I have been considering. Can you tell me which company manufactured it and the style name if you still remember it.

  • Shawnda Shawnda on Nov 04, 2016
    I love both of the make overs! I am new to refinishing furniture. So forgive my ignorance. When you stained the dresser, was it oil based and the chalk paint covers it fine?

  • Martha Martha on May 28, 2017
    Hi. Very nice. Did you make the lacy bowl sitting on dresser?

Join the conversation
2 of 285 comments
  • Janice Janice on Nov 28, 2018

    I think that it was beautiful both ways but maybe now too much white. If the top had been left stained I think it would have stood out a little better against the white wall. Beautiful both ways. I have a dresser that needs refinishing and I like your enthusiasm.

  • Mar50642897 Mar50642897 on Oct 22, 2021

    I like the 2nd coating. Very nice.