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How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

It’s week 3 of the One Room Challenge and my DIY guest room makeover is moving right along! Last week I shared the faux shiplap accent wall and it was a game changer in here! Make sure you check it out if you missed it. This week I put on my upcycle hat and and tackled some furniture makeovers to save my solid wood dresser and nightstands. I gave new life to my old furniture with some new hardware, paint and trim. Now let me walk you through this step-by-step tutorial on how to DIY dresser makeover with new paint and trim because I know you are going to want to try this!

‚ÄčGarrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

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Why refinish an old dresser?

Refinishing is a great way to update an old furniture piece. It keeps items out of the landfill and sometimes gives you a chance to save a piece of history if you have a vintage dresser or other piece of furniture. But in many cases, it simply saves money!

For me, making over my furniture was the smart choice because it saved me money and these pieces were truly the perfect size for my guest room. I originally purchased the dresser and nightstands second hand for only $100 back when we first moved in. Since all three pieces are solid wood and are relatively plain, they made a perfect candidate for a furniture flip! Except I am keeping them ūüôā  

Years ago I gave them a fresh coat of paint and some new hardware and called it good. For years this is how they sat in my guest room.

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

But as I often do, I got tired of that aesthetic and wanted something with a more modern look. 

How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

‚ÄčSince I tackled three pieces in this makeover I am going to split up the “how to” into two parts. One for the nightstands and one for the dresser. 

DIY Nightstand Makeover with New Paint and Hardware 

The supplies you will need are slightly different so I will also list those separately. This is what you will need for the nightstand makeover.

Nightstand Makeover Supplies

Primer
Paint
‚ÄčRoller
Paint Brush
‚ÄčSander
Wood Filler
Knobs

Initially I wanted to strip these nightstands down to their natural wood. But if I am being honest, my patience for paint stripper doesn’t exist. I spent a ton of time sanding down the dresser top of the first one only to decide it was not a great idea. I switched gears and decided the easiest way was to use a different color of paint and make them lighter rather than exposing the wood grain. 

Step 1 

First things first. I filled in any divots, cracks, or nicks in the nightstand with wood filler. It basically looked like I applied zit cream to them, haha! But these nightstands needed a little love and had seen their share of wear and tear. 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Note: The drawer fronts only had one hole drilled in each for knobs. I decided to replace the old hardware with knobs as well, so I did not have to fill in the holes. If you are switching the type of hardware, you will need to fill the old holes. 

Step 2 

Sand the wood. You will want to lightly sand all the flat surfaces especially where you applied wood filler. I used 120 grit sandpaper and my orbital sander.  

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

When you are done sanding, wipe down the nightstands with clean water and a rag to remove any dust from sanding.  

Step 3 

Prime the wood. Because I sanded the top of one of my nightstands down to the wood grain and because I was going from a darker color to a lighter color, I thought it was a good idea to prime my wood. Not only did it give my paint a better surface to stick to, it also helped cover all the imperfections I applied wood filler to.

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

‚ÄčFor the drawers I laid them out on a folding table and hung them off the edges to paint them. 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Step 4 

Paint the nightstands. I did this in two steps. First I painted the drawer fronts in the same manner I primed them above. 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Then I painted the frames of the nightstands. For this part I needed to use a brush to get the crevices and I rolled the flat surfaces. I needed two coats of paint for each nightstand and I used Open Canyon by Behr in a stain finish. 

I know a lot of people use a matte finish or chalk paint for furniture projects but in my opinion this isn’t a great option since flat paint is very difficult to clean. 

Step 5 

Add new hardware. From the get go I knew I wanted new knobs on these nightstands. I envisioned something sleek and modern that paired well with the simplicity of the square lines. These round drawer pulls in black fit the bill perfectly!   

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

‚ÄčWith just a few simple steps, a little paint, and some new hardware, my nightstands have a whole new look! 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim 

The supplies you will need for the dresser are slightly different. This is what you will need for the dresser makeover.

Dresser Makeover Supplies

Paint
‚ÄčRoller
Paint Brush
‚ÄčSander
Trim
Nail Gun
Miter Saw
Drill
Wood Filler
Hardware Jig 
Drawer Pulls 

This dresser basically started out as a blank slate. It had no detail and really no personality. I wanted to take this makeover beyond paint and add some character. Not to mention it had WAY too many holes for hardware which I wanted to take down a notch. I mean 22 holes for an eight drawer dresser just seems like overkill, am I right? 

Step 1 

As I did with the nightstands, the first thing I did was fill in any divots, cracks, or nicks in the dresser with wood filler. I also filled in all those extra holes for ALL the hardware since I knew I wanted to use larger pulls which would not use the same holes. 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Step 2 

Sand the wood. You will want to lightly sand all the flat surfaces especially where you applied wood filler and on the top of the dresser.  I used 120 grit sandpaper and my orbital sander.  

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

When you are done sanding, wipe down the dresser with a clean wet rag to remove all the sanding dust. 

Step 3 

Paint the dresser. I did this in two steps. First I painted the drawer fronts in the same manner I painted the drawers on the nightstands. I laid them out on a folding table and hung them off the edges to paint them and let them dry.  

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Then I painted the frame of the dresser. For this part I needed to use a brush to get the crevices and I rolled the flat surfaces. I needed two coats of paint for the dresser and I used Tricorn Black by Sherwin Williams in a stain finish. 

As I stated above, I don’t recommend using flat paint on high traffic surfaces because it is very hard to clean. Satin paint only has a slight sheen to it and it will wear a lot better than matte finishes.  

Step 4 

Add trim molding. First you will need to decide on a pattern for the trim molding. I knew I wanted to add some detail to this boring dresser with trim but initially I wasn’t sure what I wanted the pattern to be. So I started off by taping where my new hardware would go so I could visualize the new look. Once I could see past my old dresser I knew what I wanted to do!

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

I started cutting my trim molding down to size. I measured my drawer fronts and cut five pieces per side for each of the middle two drawers for a total of 20 pieces. 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

I chose to attach these vertically on either end of the drawer and used a scrap piece as my spacer. Because these drawers line up, the trim also needed to line up. So I used the spacer to line up the vertical lines as well.

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

For the side drawers, I chose to add the molding above and below the drawer pulls horizontally. I measured the length of my drawers and cut the molding down to size on the miter saw

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Again I used a scrap piece as a spacer from the top of the drawer front to make them all the same. I attached all the screen molding with 3/4 inch brad nails and my nail gun. 

Step 5 

Paint the trim. In a perfect world I would have added my trim pieces before I painted the entire dresser, but I couldn’t decide on my pattern and I only had a week to do this, so it is what it is. I will say this molding is a plastic material and for best results it will need three coats of paint. But it was the perfect piece of trim for this makeover because it is low profile. You can see my first coat of paint as well as the rest of the makeover in my Instagram story highlights ūüėČ 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Step 6 

Drill holes for the new hardware. I am not going to lie, I dreaded this part. It makes me nervous that I will mess up, but like with anything else, slow and steady wins the race. 

‚ÄčI started by measuring out my drawers and finding the middle. If you don’t have a center scale tape measure, you need one! This makes this part so much easier!

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

With the center point marked I used a hardware jig to mark my holes by lining up the center of the jig with the center of my drawer front. With the holes marked for my pulls I measured from each side, the top, and the bottom to make sure they were all the same. Then I drilled my holes. 

Pro Tip: When drilling holes for precise measurements start with a very small bit to ensure your measurement stays the same. Then work your way up to a larger bit. Large bits tend to shift and cause your measurement to be slightly off. 

Step 7 

Add new hardware. I knew from the very beginning I wanted new drawer pulls for this dresser. The old hardware was too small and there were way too many pieces. I also wanted to change the color to gold. With the sleek black I felt like gold would stand out nicely. These are the gold pulls I picked.    

‚ÄčGarrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

With just a few more simple steps, a little bit of paint, and some fresh new hardware, this old piece of furniture looks brand new!  The best part is I didn’t have to spend any extra money on buying all new furniture! 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Don’t forget, you can watch the whole process for both of these furniture makeovers in my Instagram story highlights. 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

Well that’s a wrap for week 3! Still to  come, I have to build a bed, do a closet door makeover, create an accent wall around the TV, and tackle the closet. Is there enough time? We are about to find out! Stay tuned ūüėČ 

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

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Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

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Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim‚Äč

Garrison Street Design Studio - How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim

This post, How to DIY Dresser Makeover with New Paint and Trim, appeared first on Garrison Street Design Studio.

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