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How to Paint a Dresser to Make It Look Like New Again

Strong hardwood dressers are regularly constructed like tanks and intended to keep going for quite a long time. On the off chance that you have one that is looking somewhat worn, don’t waste it or part with it as a gift. It probably has a few decent years left in it, so why not renovate it with paint?

We chose to paint this strong wood vintage dresser in Himalayan Salt from The Spruce Best Home Chalky Finish Paint line. Chalk paint offers a delicate however revived vintage look⁠—and it’s an ideal method to refresh different household items also, for example, a nightstand.

Selecting to repaint the dresser in a strong shading eased up the general look and made the piece more varied. To keep a tad of vintage engage, we polished in some dull wax and made an unobtrusive old fashioned completion. Track with to reproduce something almost identical.


Before you get your paintbrush and begin, recollect that not all dressers are acceptable contender for repainting or revamping. Antique dressers ought to be assessed prior to painting to ensure that modifying the appearance will not degrade the piece. This dresser had been painted various occasions and the artificial wood look utilizing earthy colored paint was weighty and worn.

Prep work is indispensably significant when painting a dresser. To begin, void every one of the drawers. Chipping away at the dresser will be a lot simpler when it’s not stacked with stuff. Then, at that point utilize a screwdriver to painstakingly eliminate the cabinet pulls. Require a couple of moments to clean them well on the off chance that you plan to return them on the dresser subsequent to painting it.

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Medium-grit sanding block (optional)
  • Clean lint-free rags (for cleaning and waxing)
  • 1 to 2 Small paint rollers
  • Paintbrush


  • 1 quart The Spruce Best Home Chalky Finish Paint
  • Wax finishes (clear and dark)
  • Vinegar (optional for cleaning)


  • Sand the Existing Finish
  • Clean the Dresser and Let It Dry
  • Roll on a Coat of Paint
  • Trim With a Brush
  • Buff on a Wax Finish
  • Reattach Your Hardware
  1. Sand the Existing Finish

    If your dresser has a smooth finish and is in good shape, feel free to skip this step if you are using chalk paint. However, if you want to smooth out some rough edges, use a medium-grit sanding block to sand off any high points.

    Prepping for Chalk Paint

    The great thing about working with chalk paint is that it will adhere to most existing finishes. If you are using another type of paint, such as one with a lacquer or shiny finish, you’ll need to sand the dresser down so that the new paint adheres well.

    prep a dresser for painting

  2. Clean the Dresser and Let It Dry

    Remove any dust and debris from the surface. If the surface is not pristine, dust will get stuck in the paint and compromise the finish. Use a damp, lint-free cloth to wipe down the dresser. Allow the dresser to dry completely.

    Stain Removal

    Remove tougher stains and gunk with a combination of equal parts vinegar and water.

    A cloth wiping an old wooden dresser

  3. Roll on a Coat of Paint

    Read the directions on the paint can for specifics. You might need to add a tablespoon or so of water to thin out the chalk paint to a desirable consistency prior to painting.

    Use a roller to paint the larger surface areas and create a finish that does not have visible brush strokes. Roll paint onto drawer fronts and drawer sides to ensure a smooth finish.

    How Much Paint Do You Need?

    A quart of The Spruce Best Home Chalky Finish Paint will cover 60 to 100 square feet. That is enough paint to cover an average dresser with two to three coats.

    Using a roller brush with chalk paint on a dresser

  4. Trim With a Brush

    Not every surface of the dresser can be painted with a roller.

    With a paintbrush, fill in the edges and any detailing the roller didn’t hit. Allow the paint to dry completely. Depending on the paint used, you may need to apply one to three coats.

    Wait about 48 hours before applying the final protective finish.

    A paintbrush painting a dresser with pink chalk paint

  5. Buff on a Wax Finish

    For latex and oil-based paints, you won’t necessarily need to put a finish coat on a dresser. However, if you’re painting with chalk paint, wax finishes are a common finishing step. We buffed on two different wax finishes: a clear and a dark.

    Following the manufacturer’s instructions, apply the clear finish to the entire dresser. Focus the dark wax finish on details and around the edges. Use the same rag used to apply the clear wax to buff the dark wax for best results. The transitions should look seamless from one wax to the next.

    A hand buffing out wax on a chalky paint dresser

    Improve the Drawers

    One way to make a dresser seem new again is to improve its function. This quick trick will help old wooden drawers slide easier and not get stuck.

    Buff on a clear wax finish on the wood rails of the dresser drawer. Then buff on the same wax finish on the inner rails where the wood pieces slide against each other.

  6. Reattach Your Hardware

    The last touch is adding back the decorative hardware. You can reuse the existing knobs without refinishing them to retain that authentic antique vibe. If you prefer, update your hardware in a similar style so you won’t have to drill any extra holes.

    how to paint a dresser

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