The Before and After Dresser Makeover!

The Beginning – FB Marketplace is my weakness!

True confessions time. As much as I LOVE Dumpster Diving and the thrill of the hunt for treasures, I love FB Marketplace almost more! Some people have a TikTok or Instagram issue, I have a FB Marketplace issue. The endless posting of Free and bargain furniture just waiting for a makeover causes me to fall down the Furniture Makeover Dreaming Wormhole.

So as not to waste too much time on this endless buffet of potential furniture makeovers, I do set limits! I found an entire Bedroom Set on Marketplace for literally dollars.

Tall Boy Dresser, Beautiful Desk and Nightstand. Note: Vintage VW Bug was not included. Darn!

Prepping The Dreser for The Makeover

Most important thing to do when beginning a Furniture Makeover is examine the piece carefully for scratches, stains, anything that will the paint you are using will not hide. This Dresser had a few deep scratches, (it’s old), a broken piece of a drawer front, (from me dropping it upon pickup…) and a slightly broken leg. I did a mixture of sanding the entire piece with a 220 grit sandpaper to not only get rid of the minor scratches, but also to “rough up” the finish so DIY Paint would have a better adhesion.

This Dewalt Orbital Sander is truly my favorite. I have a worn a few out over the last almost 20 years I have been making over furniture, but it never disappoints.

Time to Paint the Furniture!

Once you have prepped your piece and made sure it is dust free, (use a damp cloth or a tack cloth, cheese cloth with glue on it) to get your piece ready for the fun. My goto paint is always Debi’s Design Diary DIY Paint. It’s a Clay Based paint that is different than any other Chalk Type Paint on the market. The base is primarily Clay. You get a much richer, much smoother and more durable finish than any other paint. There is no acrylic or latex in DIY Paint so there are endless things you can create with it.

For this project, I used DIY Paint in Old School:

I share with you all my best tips and tricks for Making over a Tall Dresser in my YouTube Video Here:

How Long should a Tall Dresser Makeover Should Take?

I get asked this question a lot. The answer is, way faster than if you used any other paint, or had to start with a primer before painting. Like any new skill, practice does make you more efficient but I have helped and taught literally hundreds of people learn to paint their furniture with DIY Paint. It is hands down the easiest paint you will ever use. If you make a mistake, it’s so easy to fix it by either wiping with a damp cloth, or sanding down a drip after it has dried and applying paint again.

This dresser took me about 2 hours in total from start to finish. I did add the IOD Kindest Regards Stamp to the front because I just can’t leave well enough alone!

The Prep in fixing the broken leg and drawer probably took me about as long as it did to get the first coat of paint on. I only did two coats of DIY Paint with this piece and Sealed it with DIY Paints easy Brush On Top Coat “Big Top”. It’s like a Polycrylic without the hassle and smell.

The Finished Dresser!

I was so excited about the finished Dresser. It was a really easy piece to complete and is now available at my space at Antique Coop in Brentwood, CA. If you have a similar Dresser that you would like to paint or have questions about how to makeover your old stuff, please leave a comment or reach out. There is not much I don’t know about making over and painting old furniture!

Thank you so much for stopping by.


  1. Jan

    That is gorgeous! But I have to confess, a part of me would have loved to see the original finish on the dresser restored to its former glory. I’m a sucker for antique furniture in original finish, I’m a very traditional babe, I guess. But you refresh is incredible. I wish you lived closer to me in Wisconsin, I’d have you do over my 1973 French Provincial bedroom set.

    • GTC

      Hi Jan, thank you so much for your sweet comment, you just made my day! I wish I could have restored the finish back to it’s original finish, but like a lot of pieces mass produced many years ago, it was not a stain but a coat they actually applied on top of the paint. It would have been gorgeous if I had the patience to sand the whole thing down and stain it though! Wish I lived closer too, I would love to help you with your pieces! Have a beautiful day. -Karen

  2. Patty Soriano

    Beautimous! I’m wanting something painted in that color. Just picked up a newer style hutch and having a friend paint it for me since that’s her business. My first piece of painted furniture!!! Karen,also sending you a private note on facebook. 😉

  3. Nichole

    Love your website! So kind of you to do all of the video tutorials! Just got some salt wash ordered. Thank you!


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