Today I’m sharing an exciting DIY dresser makeover that went through two phases. The project is exciting to me because it came together in such a scrappy manner. It’s a project that reflects sheer determination, compromise, and the age-old philosophy of wabi-sabi, or the art of imperfection.
There are so many talented furniture restorers out there that share these inspirational and picture-perfect “before and afters,” which can be a little intimidating. I mean, I enjoy rehabbing but am by no means a perfectionist. I’m here to reassure you that sometimes an imperfect piece of old furniture will far outweigh anything you can buy in the store.
Finding the Dresser
When I first bought my house, I was in the market for an antique dresser. I always like repurposing what I already have, so it dawned on me that there were some drawers encased in a wall underneath my basement stairs. At first, I wasn’t sure that the drawers in the wall were part of an actual dresser. Who would shove this old dresser into a wall in a basement?
I grabbed a crowbar and a hammer, and within fifteen minutes, I was hauling the heavy dresser up the stairs. I found some white paint in the basement and gave it a quick once-over after a very light sanding. Unfortunately, I was so excited to get the dresser out of the wall that I didn’t get any true “Before” photos. You can see that the dresser was in decent shape. The top had been painted pretty terribly, which helped me decide to go with a two-tone finish vs. sanding and refinishing the wood.
Two Toned Dresser
Here is the dresser when it was two-toned. I love the imperfections, the dovetail drawers, the old furniture label, and the fact that it’s solid wood throughout. The top actually shows more age since when I first painted it. There are scratches and smudges, but I like it like that.
Chalk Painted Dresser
Eventually, I was commissioned to paint the dresser using a specific brand’s chalk paint. Since the front drawers were “faux painted” and none of the wood was original, I decided that it was okay to paint this antique furniture and to take on the project. Below, I’ll walk you through the basic steps I took to paint and then distress the antique dresser.
How To Chalk Paint a Dresser
To get started, pick a brand and color of chalk paint that you prefer. I really liked this Himalayan salt pink, and I think it coordinates well with my other decor.