Dresser Redo Complete!

It’s really nice to have a project idea in your head and have it come out like you imagined. A lot of times things I plan end up way different than the initial vision, but the dresser worked out just right!

Here was the before:


I did this with my own version of chalk paint. Again, that was using calcium carbonate (bought online) mixed in a 1:2 ratio of CC to paint. So, for these sample jars (8 oz) I used 1/2 cup of calcium carbonate plus 2-3 tablespoons of water. Mix the water and calcium carbonate, then mix in the paint. The thing I love about making my own is that I can buy a small sample color and not have to purchase a whole quart of chalk paint (super expensive), which allows me to have multiple colors on the same piece.


I decided to go ahead and prime the dresser with Bullseye primer just to make sure the paint would adhere and also because I was going from dark to light and only wanted to do 2 coats of paint.  I took the drawers out and took them to another room to paint. I will be honest and tell you I didn’t even take the clothes out LOL. I am such a risk taker 😀  I put the dresser frame onto some pieces of wood to elevate it and painted that right in the bedroom.  

I got some great hardware from Cabinet Hardware Designs on Ebay.  Their prices are amazing!  I got 3 pulls and 4 knobs for about $15 with shipping.  Score!!!   The only annoyance on the hardware is that the screws that came with the pulls are too long:


Now I have to buy some nuts to fit in there – or cut the screws.  

Once the painting was done, it was time to do the graphic on top.  Since I was doing a large size, it was going to be to hard to do an inkjet transfer, which I did with my little table since it only took 1 sheet.  So, I tried a different method I researched.  First, I took the graphic from The Graphics Fairy and enlarged it using Block Posters.  I played around with the sizing and decided I didn’t want the graphic to be too huge on top.  This gave me 7 sheets of paper, which I taped together and measured placement on the dresser.



Then I took a soft drawing pencil (you could use chalk) and rubbed the back of the design all over with it.


Then I flipped it back over and taped it in place. You need to tape it so that it won’t move around when you are tracing.  The next step was to take a pen and trace the outline of everything.  This was fairly painstaking and I am glad I did not have a hugely ornate design.



The beauty of the chalk paint is that it takes any kind of transfer really well.  When I lifted the paper up, I had the design transferred in place.


Neat, right?  I was stoked that this actually worked LOL!  Now I filled in the letters with a fine Sharpie.


I would have like a more dark gray color, but that would have meant using paint and a brush and since my skills in fine painting are on a preschool level, I decided to live with the black.  This took some time to do – maybe an hour?

dresser top


It’s not completely perfect. I had a smudge, but it’s barely noticable.


Normally I like to do poly on things, but I only had spray satin. I didn’t want to drag the dresser downstairs and outside to spray, so I decided to go ahead and try waxing the piece instead since I had some.


I tried waxing before, but it was on latex and didn’t work well.  The beauty of chalk paint is how well it takes the wax. Nice to learn these things.  I did 2 thin coats of wax on the drawers and sides and 5 thin coats of wax on the top for extra protection.  Note – I tried putting wax over the sharpie on a scrap piece of wood to make sure it wouldn’t smear, which it did not, obviously.

I love how it came out!

Painted dresser


With buying the paint samples and hardware, this project cost me about $25.  I already had the calcium carbonate, which still was only $5 for 5# and I have it for future projects. So even if you count that, it was $30 for a fun new dresser!

However, I do need to buy a new clock.  This one just doesn’t go with the dresser LOL!


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12 thoughts on “Dresser Redo Complete!

  1. emmaclaire

    You always make everything look so easy, Lori!Thanks for posting your step-by-step.

  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet

    I love how this turned out! Well worth the cost involved!

    Have you ever tried using shoe polish as wax? I’ve got a small decorative piece I’m going to try it on. I am NOT a risk taker. 🙂

    Does your local hdwe store have bulk bins? Ace Hardware (one very near me) has almost every kind of screw, bolt, nut, and other small bit imaginable and you can buy only as many as you need. So much better than buying packages of 8 or more.
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..Welcome to Biggersville

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