Have an old dresser sitting around that doesn’t feel quite right in your space? Don’t kick it to the curb. Give it a new life with a new coat of paint—a DIY you can easily pull off in a weekend. Plus, it’s the perfect project if you’re on a budget—just pick up one of our quart-sized cans of paint, which will only set you back $24.
Painting a Dresser 101
Before you get started, we’ll walk you through the best methods for painting a dresser—or any other furniture piece that needs a little sprucing up.
First, prep. Wipe down the piece with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris that’s stuck to the surface. Then sand down any imperfections, and give the whole entire piece a light sanding while you’re at it. Roughing up the surface like this will help the paint stick even better. For a smoother, professional-looking finish, add a coat of our primer after sanding and before painting.
Then, paint! Using an angled brush (or a roller if you’re working with a large, flat surface), paint a thin coat on the entire piece, ensuring you’re getting into all the corners and crevices. Let it completely dry, then paint another coat (or more, depending on the original color of the furniture and the opacity of the paint color).
Painting a Dresser and Adding Cool Cane Details
Featuring The Brownstone Boys
Difficulty level: Intermediate
For historic renovation experts Barry Bordelon and Jordan Slocum, the duo behind the Brownstone Boys, the beauty of a design is always in the details. That’s why they decided to give their basic IKEA dresser an update with a fresh coat of paint and cane detailing on the front. “One of our goals is to reuse, restore, remake items into something new, giving them a new life and creating something unique,” they said.
To pull off this project, first you’ll need to cut panels into the drawer fronts. Carefully mark and measure however large you want the cane panel to be, then cut the shape out with an electric hand saw. For a little extra polish, consider gluing trim to the sides of the cutout.
Next, paint the dresser in your color of choice—Barry and Jordan chose Grayish. Cut out your cane wedding, then attach it to the back of the drawer fronts using a staple gun. Add any hardware you want, then piece the dresser back together. Take a look at their Instagram to get a better visual on the steps.
“In one afternoon, we were able to transform this dresser completely,” they said. “If you have a piece of furniture you’re thinking of getting rid of, maybe just give it a new life!”
Painting a Dresser for a Fresh, Clean Look
Featuring Ashley Whiteside
Difficulty level: Easy
As an artist, stylist and DIY pro, Ashley has an incredible eye for spotting diamonds in the rough. So she knew she was onto something when she found a vintage dresser for $12 on Facebook Marketplace. While it had scratched hardware and an uneven finish, she knew it’d be perfect for her preteen daughter’s bedroom once it got a fresh coat of paint.
Together, she and her daughter landed on our light beige Classic color, which pops nicely against our dreamy blue-green Headspace shade on the walls. The result? “It’s fresh but warm and feels more elegant and mature,” Ashley says. “She wanted to hide the dresser in her closet before, and now has asked to rearrange her bedroom to make space for it!”
Want more DIY inspo? We have you so covered.