My First DIY Re-painting Furniture Adventure

I really can’t believe this is the first time I have re-painted a piece of furniture. I paint things all the time and I love making furniture but…never re-painted old furniture. I stained a hope chest once but I think I was always just too scared I would mess up, actually I know I was too scared I would mess up.

So I started collecting inexpensive pieces from auctions, Habitat For Humanity Re-Store (my favorite), and garage sales. Pieces I thought I was not afraid to paint but then I started to get attached to the pieces and yep, I never painted them.

Well it’s a new year and I am ready for a little change.

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My husband picked this dresser up at a family auction, about a year or 2 ago. I almost forgot to take a before picture. This one isn’t the greatest but you can see that it’s a solid wood, stained dresser. What you can’t see, is it had a lot of lacquer. This is another reason why I hadn’t done anything with it yet. I HATE sanding!!! Especially old polyurethane. I even tried buying paint stripper. That might have been worse than sanding.

Anyways, I have been doing a lot of research, “Pinterest Surfing”, whatever you want to call it and I found a lot of tutorials on re-finishing furniture WITHOUT sanding??  Sounded to good to be true.

Well, thanks to a little thing called Primer, it is not 🙂

So as usual I did not follow any directions or one particular tutorial I just gathered up all my new knowledge of the process and jumped right in.


I started by getting my supplies together; mineral spirits, paint primer, paint, finishing wax, paint roller, foam brush, a “Fine” sanding block, an old t-shirt and a drip cloth.

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Before I began priming the dresser I removed the handle from the drawer. Then cleaned the dresser by wiping it down with a little mineral spirits on an old rag. When choosing a primer I would recommend Zinsser Primer 1-2-3 but I found an enamel underbody at Habitat Re-Store for only $.99, so I thought I would give it a try. I applied the primer to the whole dresser with the foam brush. The photo above is the first coat and the photo below is the second. I made sure to let the primer dry for almost 24hrs in between coats.

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After the second coat of primer had dried I sanded it VERY lightly with a “Fine” sanding block. This was just to remove any dust or pieces of my foam brush that had dried to it. Now it was ready for paint 🙂

I used a small foam roller to apply the paint. I gave it 2 coats, letting it dry between coats again. After the second coat had dried over night I decided to destress it, just a little. The dresser has an old look so I thought it would look funny if I didn’t. I used the “Fine” sanding block and lightly rubbed around some of the edges. I knew I could always go back and do it some more but if I did too much and didn’t like it, it would be harder to fix.

After that I put a little finishing wax on a rag and buffed the dresser. This gave my satin paint a little shinier look and also helps protect my paint a little from scratches.


 Then, I put the hardware back on the drawer and it was ready for it’s new home, Yay!


Now I just have to find some cute baskets to put inside and it will be complete.



Check back to see which old piece gets a new make-over next 🙂

Re-painted with ❤


Neddles & Nails