Antique Dresser Makeover


I adore antique furniture both for their character, charm, and the quality of the furniture. You’ve heard it before, “they just don’t make ‘em like they used to” and that couldn’t be more true in terms of furniture then and furniture now. I found this very cute dresser at a garage sale I just happened to come across by a lady who was an antique collector. Her husband was getting tired of the massive amounts of furniture she had piled up over the years and I guess it was time for her to unload it. Sad for her but score for me because everything was going at rock bottom prices. I literally had to control myself while I was there or else I was going to end up just like her by piling my house up with gobs of furniture. I think my saving grace was that I didn’t own a truck and had no way of hauling it home or else this story would have turned out very different! SO, only choosing a few pieces, I fell in love with this charming little dresser and mirror. It definitely needed a little TLC because whoever had tried to paint it previously did a horrible job; the paint was thick and there were drip marks all over it. There were sections where the paint was flaking off, but things were about to change for this little dresser…


  • Paint stripper
  • Putty knife or paint scraper
  • Orbital sander
  • 80 grit sand paper
  • 180 grit sandpaper
  • Primer
  • High gloss white paint
  • Wood stain
  • Polyuerethane
  • Brushes



In deciding how I wanted this dresser to turn out I settled on keeping it white with some sections of stained wood to keep it fresh and up-to-date. So, there were parts of the dresser that needed to have the paint removed. To do this I needed to use some paint stripper.

When using paint stripper, make sure you are in a well ventilated area and it’s away from kids and pets, make sure you always wear gloves and goggles. It does burn the skin when in contact and if it splattered into your eyes you are going to seriously hurt yourself. Just be smart and careful that’s all I’m saying. You can slather this stuff onto your surface; don’t be shy with it because the thicker the coat the better. Wait the recommended time before scraping it off.


The paint will bubble and curl up; after it has done so, you will take a putty knife or a paint scraper and simply scrape the paint off. It should come off nice and easily. It may require a reapply of paint stripper but if you don’t get it all off don’t worry. You are going to use the orbital sander with an 80-grit paper to remove the rest.

On the rest of the dresser that I am keeping white, I used my sander again with an 180-grit paper and went over all the areas that had drip marks or was flaking off. I smoothed it down and then primed all the exposed areas.

When the primer was dry I painted everything with a high gloss white paint. The high gloss is nice for furniture because it gives it a little more protection than a matte or an eggshell finish. And I don’t have to paint a top coat over it which just saves me a step.

Going back to the part where I used paint stripper, I stained the surfaces with provincial stain from Minwax and let it dry; then applied a top coat over that.


Finishing the piece off with some decorative knobs made this little dresser the belle of the ball. Totally made over with a “new lease on life” to be enjoyed once again as the favourite furniture piece in the home.


Cami TannerComment