Hello friends! I hope you read my post earlier this week about the amazing Finish Max paint sprayer that I used on my tallboy dresser.  Today I am going to show you a little more about the dresser makeover itself. I’m a huge fan of DIY furniture projects. I found my rescue and restore dresser at a yard sale.  I could picture it with new knobs and a fresh coat of paint.


Two important steps in DIY painted furniture projects are (1) using primer and (2) choosing the right paint. I’m not a big fan of sanding furniture before painting but without prepping the surface properly, your nicely painted finish won’t last very long. This is where primer comes into play. If you prime your furniture first, the paint will have something to adhere to. Your piece of furniture will end up looking great and the finish will last longer and be much more durable. Also, if you are painting bare wood, it will not bleed if you use an oil based primer. For this project, I used Zinsser Cover Stain Primer and Behr Premium Plus eggshell latex paint for the finish. See the cup stain on top of the dresser?  A good primer will take care of that!

First, I applied a coat of primer with my sprayer.  My primer was oil-based, which requires more clean up time and stronger products like paint thinner or mineral spirits to clean your tools, hands, etc., but well worth the effort.

dresser makeover

Primer fumes may be toxic.  Proper ventilation and use of a mask or respirator during priming is a good way to avoid fumes.

dresser makeover

After taking a break to let the primer fully dry, the dresser was ready for paint!  I’ve used many different brands of paint over the years, and I have found you get what you pay for.  I go for the Behr brand and am never disappointed.  Whenever I shop for paint, I always hit the mix-match paint section and sometimes I get lucky and find something similar to the color and finish I’m looking for.  This time I wanted a light grey and I found this quart of gray Behr latex for five dollars!

dresser makeover

Next, I prepared my latex paint for spraying by adding water to it to thin it down (For some sprayers, including the Finish Max, you need to thin your paint down for best results). I needed it to be roughly the consistency of thick chocolate milk. For more details about the Finish Max, check out my Finish Max paint sprayer review.

A few hours later, I distressed the edges and went shopping for knobs and drawer pulls.

There are tons of options for handles at places like Hobby Lobby or Home Goods.  I could do a blog post just on handles alone, in fact, you may see that post soon!  Look, as I stood in the knob isle at Hobby Lobby trying to make a decision.  It was torture for me to have so many choices!  I mean…how’s a girl to decide?


Finally, I added the knobs and drawer pulls to complete the look!

dresser makeover

The finish turned out nice and smooth with no brush marks.

Dresser Makeover

That’s it! It’s really very simple to take a piece of old furniture and totally transform it into something amazingly beautiful for your home without spending a lot of money!

I hope you are inspired!  – Jeanne, The Practical Fanatic

before and after