Dresser makeover

Hey guys! It’s finally here! The first power tools post! I’ve been wanting to do this project for a long time, but for some reason I just kept putting it off.  I’ve had this dresser for as long as I can remember and I’m pretty sure my mum had it before then. This thing has been with me through a lot, at least 4 moves and the purchase of my first home. Even though this thing has been with me for the majority of my life I’ve always thought it was ugly. Sorry mum!  A few weeks ago I decided that I had procrastinated long enough, unfortunately Mother Nature had other ideas and it rained for a week straight. I bought my supplies anyway, hopeful that the rain would soon stop.


Finally the clouds parted and the sun appeared. So I drug my old dresser outside excited for its makeover. On day one I was able to get a lot done. I was able to sand, paint and sand again. For this project I used my favourite paint. Rust-Oleum Chalked paint. I love this stuff, I have used it in 6 projects not including this one. Every time I have used it I have been in love with the results and this time was not the exception. This stuff is so amazing it, covers pretty much anything. I’ve never had to use more than two coats, and the only thing you have to do to prep your project is to make sure it’s clean. That being said I did break out my palm sander, I’m not sure why I did this, I really just created more work for myself.

Ready to be painted

Once I finished sanding I got to painting. My first coat was Aubergine. My second coat was Icy Grey. Once I finished I had to wait for it to dry. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long because this stuff dries so fast. Actually by the time I had cleaned up my painting supplies and gathered my sanding supplies it was dry. Another one of the many things that I love about the Rust-Oleum Chalked pain is that it is so easy to distress. I love the weathered look. I you were to walk through my house you would find that basically every piece of furniture in my house has been distressed.

First coat, Aubergine
Second coat, Icy Grey

To distress my dresser I used 150 grit sandpaper sheets. It really doesn’t matter what kind of sandpaper you use, I’ve used sheets, discs, and blocks of various grits. Just be aware that the lower the grit the more coarse the sand paper. For this project I used 60 grit discs with my palm sander and as I said 150 grit to distress. When I’m distressing I try to focus on areas that would naturally wear faster than others. I usually focus on corners, areas near handles, and the top surface.

Unfortunately I was unable to finish my project in one day because Mother Nature was working against me. Just as I finished distressing I felt a few raindrops so I rushed everything into the safety of my shed. I didn’t even have time to take a picture first.


It took a few days for the rain to clear but when it did I was eager to finish. I had very little left to do on the outside so I started working on the drawers. First I measured and cut wallpaper to fit the outside of the drawers. I secured them with paste as just like you would when applying to a wall. While I waited for it to dry I attached the new hardware. Unfortunately I had to drill some new holes to get the hardware to fit.

This is where I could lie and tell you that everything worked out perfectly and not tell you about how this might have been one of the more frustrating projects that I’ve ever done. Well this isn’t a perfect blog so I’m going to lay out what I did wrong so hopefully you can benefit from my mistakes.

Up until now everything had run pretty smoothly, that all changed when I went to put the drawers back in the dresser. When planning for this project it didn’t occur to me that the drawers of the dresser had an extremely tight fit, and it I hadn’t really considered that by adding the wallpaper the drawers might not fit. I also didn’t take into account the type of wallpaper I was using. When I picked out the pattern I was just looking for something pretty, I didn’t think how texture would affect my project. I chose a lovely pattern but unfortunately I also chose a wallpaper that felt more like fabric than traditional smooth wallpaper.

Sophie inspecting my work

When I put the drawers it felt like they were going in a little difficult but I didn’t really notice that anything was wrong until I put the last one in and stepped back to admire my work. Instead of seeing the finished project I was expecting I saw wallpaper hanging out of three out of four drawers.  Slightly annoyed I tried to pull the drawers out. One came out easily, one took a little extra muscle and two seemed to be stuck. It took me close to ten minutes to get the last two out. When I finally got them out the paper on both sides was ruined. I decided that I would sand the drawers a bit to create more space and help them slide in. I applied new wallpaper and hopped they would fit this time. Thankfully two of the three problem drawers fit the third drawer ripped on both sides. Frustrated and tired I cleaned the third drawer up and put it back in without wallpaper.

I’d like to say that after a few deep breaths and a diet Pepsi I went back and finished. Unfortunately I can’t, I’m still a little too annoyed to try again. I will in the next few days but for now the dresser is sitting, mostly finished, in my shed. Even though its not overly functional at the moment, it is still very pretty to look at.

IMG_4310 (1)
Looks pretty now, someday it will be functional too

Oh my I think I’ve rambled on more than enough for today. I think you deserve a pat on the back for making it this far. What do you think of my little project and the struggles that went with it? Are you going to try a similar project?


Until next time,




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