Completed Project – 3 Drawer Dresser


I recently was browsing my local Facebook pages and stumbled upon this little gem for about $30.  Now, I thought that $30 was a bit high for a shorter, 3-drawer dresser but it was in good condition and was solid wood so I snagged it up for my son’s room.  Originally, I was going to put labels on each drawer, like 1, 2, 3 or A, B, C but I decided not to so that it would be a piece that he could use from toddler to teenager.

My inspiration piece of course came from Pinterest, as many of them do, and I knew that I wanted to do a dark stain + light paint color combination.  I looked at a few and then got my game plan together; for this I used:

  • A palm sander and various grits of sandpaper ranging from 80 (rough grit) to 220 (soft grit)
  • A basic wood stain that already had a polyurethane in it – I know the picture looks pretty red but it was more of a dark brown stain (I will update with the name shortly)
    • At first I was disappointed with the lightness of the stain because I was trying to find something dark but after three coats it was perfect.  It was the darkest brown stain that I could find short of going with ‘Ebony’
  • “Mistake” paint from my local Home Depot – Eggshell White ($2.00!!) Behr Paint/Primer combo
  • 2″ paint roller / nap
  • Flathead screwdriver (for removing  and re-adding the knobs)
  • Two paintbrushes: one to paint in the grooves of the dresser and one to paint the hardware

So, I didn’t spend too much time sanding the front of the drawers because I knew that I wanted to stain them;  I just did it enough to take off the previous stain / poly.  I used an 80 grit on the sides and got what I thought to be as a decent amount off BUT I ended up having to put three coats of the Paint/Printer combo on there to cover the stain remnant.  In hindsight, I should have spent a little more time to fully take off the stain:

SidesofDresserBasically, here are the steps that I followed for my project:

  1. I removed all the hardware and set it aside for the final steps.
  2. I sanded down the tops, sides, front and drawers using various grits of sandpaper.  Make sure that you wipe your project off after you sand so that you don’t gunk up your paint.
  3. I stained the drawers first, mainly because I knew I had to do that outside and with winter approaching I only had a window of a few hours each day.
  4. I painted the dresser body, waiting about an hour in between each coat. I cannot stress enough how much easier it is to use a roller for this type of project vs. a brush – it may just be personal preference but to me the result is perfect. To elaborate, I had to use both to get in to some of the smaller spaces, but overall I used the roller.  I like the slight texture that you get from it and there is less of a possibility for visible brush strokes.
  5. I used the smaller brush to paint the sides of the knobs and the roller on the front to keep the texture throughout.
  6. I waited about three hours for the last coat of paint to dry (probably should have waited longer but I was so excited) before inserting the drawers and attaching the hardware.

So, I was pretty happy with the end result and even managed to surprise my husband with how it turned out – he is very adamant about keeping wood furniture in it’s original condition (a basic stain and poly), but complimented me on the stain/paint combo when it was done. Again, I decided to leave the markings (1, 2, 3 or A, B, C) off of there so that it can be a longer-lasting piece without having to go through and remove it. So, all in all I spent about $32 on this piece because I already had all the tools and the accessories; I kept the original wood knobs because they were in good shape.

Have you tried this color combo before?  What stain / paint combo did you use and were you as pleased with your results?  I have also seen this method used where the base of the dresser was left with stain and the drawers were painted – might have to try it if I find another piece! Let me know what you’ve tried!

As always, thanks, and good luck with your projects!





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