Repurpose With Paint... Standard "Thirfty Store Find" Dresser....

My sister recently asked me to refinish an older dresser that she's had in her bedroom forever and transform it into something my older nephew might want and be able to use. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out, and hope he will be as well.

We've seen them everywhere.... most often in thrift shops or on Craig's List.  I've had several in my home for my children when they were younger because they were affordable and durable.

I've seen them for sale for as little as $15 to $20, and provided the drawers are in good shape and the runners intact, with a little paint and elbow grease it can easily become something stylish and useful for more years to come. 

While the above photo is not the original, it is almost the exact dresser we were working with (outside of the fact that ours was taller and not as wide).

The drawers were in good shape on this piece.... the runners had to be realigned and glued into place and the frame itself had some minor dings and deep scratches.  After a rough sand on the bottom portion, I completely sanded the top down to the bare wood.  After an hour or so, I still could not get the top to look uniform until I realized there were 2 different pieces joined together to create the top. 

Once I got the entire top smooth, I moved on; hoping a few coats of stain would even things out.  At that time, the top was still to "red" for me and I was hoping for the best.

I was also hoping to replace all of the dated wooden knobs with some cool ORB knobs on the upper 3 smaller drawers, and some cool cup pulls to match on the remaining drawers.  That was before I realized that the remaining 10 drawers had 2 knobs a piece (versus the 1 knob on the upper set).  While the finished product would have looked awesome, the cost to replace 23 knobs/cup pulls would have outweighed the cost of repurposing the piece to begin with. 

That's when, as the professional you hope you are,  you have to trust your instincts.  Sure, the new knobs would have given the piece a whole "NEW" feel versus the dated piece it was, but it didn't make sense monetarily. I had then thought to spray paint the existing dated wood knobs with ORB paint, but I couldn't see it making any difference.

After walking away from it for a few hours, it occurred to me to just clean them up, apply a little Danish oil to make them shine and restore the wood, and work with what I had.

I figured I had already stained and oiled the top....

...and left the darker spots to fall in naturally with the finish to tie in with the black paint.  Why not leave the knobs as refinished wood, too, and tie the whole piece in together?

After doing a linear distressing on all of the drawer fronts, refinishing the top, cleaning and refreshing the knobs, and leaving the frame itself fully painted.... I love how it turned out!

The lighting in the room gives the wood tones a much "redder" hue than it actually is (and what my sister swears is a dark blue versus actual Graphite Black body) the overall effect is a beautiful updated chest of drawers that I hope my nephew enjoys for many years to come!

Proof positive that you can take something you LOVE (with sentimental attachment) but don't LIKE (due to age... aesthetics... or just not your "vibe") and turn it into something you can live with happily for years to come!

It truly is about rejuvenating your home and restoring your style for less!


  1. Beautiful colors and great job. Great for a boy for sure! -Bev

    1. Thanks for your kind comments, Bev! It was actually painted for my nephew, as a much needed dresser for his new apartment. I read on your blog where you were in the process of moving.... hope that is going well and thank you for taking time to stop by!


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