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Antique Dresser DIY Makeover + Before & After Photos

OMG, I didn't realize I never published this post!! I redid my dresser a couple of months ago and completely meant to share this post with all of the details earlier, but better late than never right?! Today I am going to share step by step how I redid my lime green antique dresser and turned it into the gorgeous navy blue chic dresser it is now!

For background, I've had this dresser since I was a baby! Originally it was white when we still lived in Chicago, but when I was in middle school and we'd moved to Milwaukee, my mom painted it lime green one summer just for fun. While the green was super fun growing up, I knew I wanted to bring this dresser with me to my apartment and it was going to need a facelift to fit the vibe I was going for here. I am so, so happy with how the dresser turned out! It cost around $100 to gather all of the materials (paint, brush, sandpaper, tack cloths, etc) and another $100ish for the new pulls, but these days you would be hard-pressed to find an antique dresser as high quality as this one for $200, so the DIY was well worth it. Plus, sentimental value is priceless!

Sooo, here's how I did the makeover:

Step 1. Remove the Pulls 

This is by far the easiest part- just unscrew the pulls with a screwdriver! I ended up not using my old pulls and donated them, but you could spray paint or modify your pulls if you want to reuse the same ones after painting the dresser.

Step 2. Sand

I used a sanding sponge like these, which a recommendation to me by the guy at our local Ace Hardware! He said it was a good "grit" for my project and I just did thorough circular motions over the entire dresser. Unfortunnately I can't remember the exact sponge details but I assume any wood furnishing-focused sanding sponge would work well. I recommend the sponge over paper as it's easier to move around!

 This is definitely a part that you don't want to skimp on, because as I learned later on, not enough sanding = not enough room for additional coats of paint between the dresser drawers resulting in *extreme* difficulty getting them back open... lol. Definitely ended up with a few semi-big chips which could have been avoided by more thorough sanding both before and after priming! But also, remember that this is the third time that this dresser has been painted, so my experience could have just been circumstantial. 

Step 3. Tack Cloth

I used a tack cloth like this to wipe off the dresser after sanding. A tack cloth is a sticky-ish cloth that gathers any dust/residue and cleans off the dresser so you can get to priming + painting. This part is super simple!

Step 4. Prime

I used Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 White Water-Based Primer which was also recommended to me by the guy at our local Ace Hardware. He said it would work particularly well for my project, which obviously was an indoor paint job on a wood surface. I guess it worked well! I don't know anything about primers but I like how my dresser turned out so there ya go!!

Step 4.5: I should have sanded again after priming... but I didn't, and later on this caused problems opening the drawers... the drawers ended up getting a bit stuck and I've had to since touch up any areas that chipped when I yanked the drawers out for the first time!

Step 5. PAINT! 

I went with Benjamin Moor Hale Navy, which turned out to be the perfect shade as it was exactly what I was looking for. In the dark, it's a dark, matte navy, but when light hits it it's slightly blue and ever so slightly glossy (I went with a finish that was closer to matte but not considered so... maybe satin? Unfortunately I can't remember!). I am so happy with it because I wanted the dresser to be dark navy and not "blue" so I got exactly what I wanted with this shade. I felt better about my decision knowing this was a part of the reputable BM Historical Color Collection.

At first, it appeared very charcoal and greyish and I was so nervous, but after a couple of coats and letting it dry, it was perfect! 

Step 6. Screw in the new pulls!

This is the best part, seeing it all come together!! I ordered these Atlas Homewares Brass 3inch Pulls and absolutely love how they look. Shoutout to Elizabeth for finding them and sending them to me, what would I do without you! I knew I wanted something unique, so the shape of these is what got me. They are absolutely fabulous!

Aaaand that's it! What do you think?!


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