I’d been stalking every local thrift and used furniture store looking for a perfectly sized, unpainted wood dresser to get my hands on to transform. It finally happened…I found this cute dresser last fall and stored it in my garage. Last week, I got inspired and decided it was time to begin my vision on this beauty.

dresser makeover

My plan was to keep the top of the dresser unpainted.  Since there were several stains, sanding had to be done.  With my Dewalt electric hand sander and a new sanding paper, it took no time to get this done.

dresser makeover

Don’t let water stains discourage you.

I didn’t get all of the water stains out, so I applied a dark walnut stain that made any water marks left disappear! Voila! (never let a water-damaged piece of furniture discourage you).

dresser makeover

After applying a thin layer of satin poly for some added protection, I’m very happy with the result!

Let’s paint!

Now I could get down to business with the painting! Over the years, I have learned… buy the best paint you can afford.  I buy a lot of paint in the quart size, and only purchase Behr brand with all-in-one paint & primer. It’s never failed me…why mess with a good thing?!

dresser makeover

For this piece I used my “go to” color, heirloom white.  I knew I wanted to go with the aged look and thought I would try crème wax for the effect. However, after testing it on a small area, I decided I could get the same results (and save a few bucks) by going with the old faithful approach of applying the stain I already had over the paint.  Wipe on quickly, then wipe off, leaving an antique effect.

dresser makeover

So far I am LOVING it! The process of transforming something ugly into something beautiful is very rewarding. Someone once said “sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.” and that is so true for me when it comes to my makeovers!

Let the french graphic begin!

Now for the good stuff! I brought the dresser inside for the last step – the graphic! There are many techniques used to apply a graphic to wood. I decided to use the projector method for this project particularly because the large font style on this graphic made it easier to paint by hand. Ready? Here we go!

I printed out the graphic onto a clear, paper sized sheet.  The ink stays wet so I carefully placed it onto the projector.  I adjusted it to reflect onto the dresser exactly where I wanted it and taped it in place (make sure you have your tape handy for this step).

dresser makeover

Before I began hand painting, I got comfortable and turned on some 80’s rock…

Now the real magic happens.  I used craft paint and carefully painted the graphic, tracing the image from the projector.

dresser makeover

It takes a very steady hand…  It’s fun to turn the overhead off every now and then to see your work and to get a feel for what it’s going to look like.

dresser makeover

Half way through it was time for a pic…and a break. While working on this step, I wasn’t too worried about the look of the graphic. When this was all done and dry, I lightly sanded over the graphic. The sanding step will even out any high paint marks, clumps, etc. while giving it the aged look.

dresser makeover

Voila!

Lastly, I grabbed a cold drink and sat down a while to admire my masterpiece!

dresser makeover

I still need to add handles, but that may take some time to find the perfect ones.

Finally, we have a place to store our puzzles and games!  I hope you are inspired!

Jeanne Marie – The Practical Fanatic