Dresser Makeover

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A quick and easy makeover transforms a dark, heavy dresser into a light, bright piece through fresh paint and new hardware.

I’ve had this dresser since I was a young girl. I distinctly remember getting it for Christmas one year (I was the type that asked for furniture and decor – go figure, ha!). I loved it for many years and it served me well. Once I got married and it moved with me into our house, however, it was a huge, heavy piece in our little master bedroom. (The poor wall and curtain choices didn’t help, but that’s a discussion for another time!)

Dresser Before - Dark cherry wood with trifold mirror and brass hardware

We lived with it like that for nearly 6 years. When it came time to finally makeover our bedroom, however, I knew something about the dresser needed to change! I was going to either make over the existing dresser or find a new one entirely.

I should just tell you that this is going to be a short post because it was such a simple makeover! But that’s a good thing, right?!

The first simple step in lightening up the dresser was removing the trifold mirror and replacing it with a free-hanging round mirror.

I fell in love with this one from Homegoods:

Round mirror with blue and white inlay and natural wood trim. Earthenware vase with eucalyptus stems.

The second step was patching, cleaning, taping, and painting. That’s several steps but they’re so brief that we’re grouping them.

Before I painted, I removed all the hardware and filled the hardware holes in just the top drawers. They had 2.5 inch spacing while all the other drawers had 3 inch spacing. I had already chosen my hardware and wanted to use all the same size. I highly recommend selecting specific hardware before you paint. That way you’ll know if you need to patch holes, sand, etc. I used Varathane Wood Filler in Natural. Just fill in the holes and sand down the excess at the top once dry. You may need several coats depending on the depth of the hole.

I then gave the dresser a good cleaning. I love using Simple Green Cleaning Spray for prepping furniture pieces. It removes dirt, residue, and smells.

Next I used some Frog Tape to tape off the top of the dresser. I wanted to leave the wood top as it was and just paint the body.

Taping off the dresser top with frog tape

For the paint, I chose Fusion Mineral Paint in “Victorian Lace.”

If you’re not familiar with Fusion Mineral Paint, it’s a fantastic line and I definitely recommend checking them out. You can visit their website to view the color selection, read about the benefits of the their products, and find a local or online retailer.

I ended up needing three coats to completely get rid of brush strokes over the dark finish. It dries to the touch quite quickly, so re-coat time is pretty fast. I just use whatever decent quality paint brush we have available in the house – nothing terribly fancy or expensive.

I painted the drawer fronts separately out on the driveway.

First coat of paint getting brushed on

Finally, after everything was completely dry, I attached the new hardware.

My husband sweetly surprised me and drilled new holes in the top drawers for me while I was napping one day (I was very pregnant), so I didn’t need to do it.

For the hardware I chose a vintage-inspired yet simple pull in “Antique Bronze.”

Antique Brass Drawer Pull on a creamy white dresser drawer

Then I spent a ton of time deliberating over the top of the dresser – Refinish it? Leave it? Stain it darker or bleach it natural? I finally decided just to leave it for now.

White dresser with dark cherry top, antique bronze hardware, round blue and white mirror, vases with eucalyptus, and a faux potted fern.

Is it slightly more red than I would like? Yes. Is it unthinkably vile? Haha, no – at least I don’t think so. Plus, it currently has a very smooth and durable factory finish which I’d hate to destroy if I’m not 100% positive what I want.

There’s definitely something to be said for taking the time to be certain about a decision and knowing one’s personal limits. Refinishing a dresser top at 37 weeks pregnant was not something I really wanted to take on. I’ll live with it for a few months and if I would still like to change it then I’ll refinish it later.

In working with my decision to keep the existing top, I purposely chose a tall vase that has a similar dark rusty color around the top. This continues the dresser hue upward and connects it with the natural wood trim of the mirror, helping to better harmonize the contrasting tones.

It’s amazing how so simple a makeover can yield such big results. The piece feels so much lighter in the room now – it’s like a weight has been lifted.

White dresser with dark stained top, antique bronze hardware, round mirror, vases, and greenery. Vintage rug, blue and white bedspread, gray walls

In case you’re wondering about sources for decor and the room, I’ve listed them here:

Mirror, Tall Vase, Short Vase, & Lamp: Homegoods
Faux Eucalyptus Stems: Target Hearth & Hand
Faux Potted Fern: Target

Books: Cozy White Cottage & Wild Creations
Rug: Boutique Rugs
Bed Skirt: Amazon
Dresser Paint: Fusion Mineral Paint Victorian Lace
Dresser Hardware: Amazon
Wall Color: Winds Breath by Behr

Blue and white round mirror with natural wood trim, vase with eucalyptus stems, empty textured vase, a stack of books with a faux potted fern on top. All on top of a white dresser with dark cherry wood top.

Thanks so much for following along – I hope you found this simple makeover inspiring. Sometimes it’s the simple changes that make a big difference!

Blessings, Melissa

Please note that this page contains affiliate links, which means I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. I truly appreciate your support! Click here to learn more.

2 thoughts on “Dresser Makeover

  1. I have that exact same dresser – plus the matching chest and nightstands, and the headboard and footboard. It would be an enormous undertaking to paint them all but after seeing your dresser and how amazing it turned out, I just may attempt it. I love how you showed the first coat and how terrifying that looks, all streaky and uneven, and then the beautiful result. I just cannot believe how it changed the whole look of the dresser. Great job is an understatement!


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