DIY Dresser Refinish

As you know we are slowly in the process of updating our bedroom (finally). We have been in our townhouse for just over three years now and until recently our room was boring beige. A little while back I shared some inspiration for our bedroom redo, you can find that post here. Since then we’ve started by tackling the paint colour and adding some wall paper behind the bed, you can see a little sneak peek below.  One thing that became very apparent with our new paint colour was that our black-brown dressers needed to go. Well brand new bedroom furniture isn’t quite in the budget at the moment so I decided to try my best at refinishing them. I started out by refinishing  our end tables, start small right? I figured this was the safest way and if things went horrible wrong it wasn’t going to break the bank to fix. Well guess what, they were so easy to do and not only that, they looked amazing against the newly added wall paper. So naturally next up was our dressers. At this time I only have one of the two done, but I couldn’t wait to show you.


I headed over to The Handpicked Home Shop in Whiterock, to pick up a can of Fat Paint to refinish the dresser. One of the great things about picking up the paint from a local retailer is that they are all well versed in how the paint works. Piya, the owner of the Handpicked Home Shop, has spent time learning with Fat Paint, so she can assure her customers leave not only with the colour of paint they want but are well-informed in how to use it. She was able to answer any questions I had about the paint, as well as provide me with some tips on how to make the task easier for myself. 


Instead of lugging the dresser down two flights of stairs, hello townhouse living, I opted to paint the dresser in our room. We had just enough room in front of our bed to lay down a drop cloth and prop the dresser up on two 2×3 framing studs. This allowed for me to paint right down to the base of the dresser without worrying about it sticking to the drop cloth. While painting inside doesn’t seem all that ideal, rest assured the windows were wide open and I also had our ceiling fan on to help circulate the air. This being said the paint doesn’t give off any strong fumes, and is really no different from painting the walls. Once propped up, I pulled out all the drawers and got started.


  • A light sanding to the whole dresser
  • Light coat of paint to the whole dresser
  • Let dry for 20 minutes
  • Repeat on the drawers
  • Apply second coat of paint
  • Let dry for 20 minutes
  • Repeat on the drawers
  • Apply a 3rd coat of paint
  • Let dry for 20 minutes
  • Repeat on the drawers
  • Light sanding to the whole dresser. The harder you sand the more of a distressed look you get.
  • Apply wax to the dresser and drawers! Applied in small sections and buffed in.
  • I then let it cure over night before putting the drawers back in.

Since our dresser really only sees a handful of picture frames and the odd pile of laundry or two, I only opted for the wax to finish it off. If it were being used more often I would have finished it with a top coat. As soon as time allows I need to paint our last dresser. I still have about a 1/4 of the pint left and this should be plenty to finish my last dresser. I should have about 1/2 left but I might have knocked over the can. I still haven’t decided if I want to leave them as is or add knobs / draw pulls to the dressers and night stands. What are your thoughts? Leave them plain or add hardware?





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Xo. Andria

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