As I’m sure you guys know, I moved into a new place earlier this year. I’ve been talking about it for months (and diligently working to make it feel like home), but have yet to post any home decor content. I was traveling quite a bit this summer so that took up a lot of my time. My schedule as been a little less hectic these past few months and that has given me more time to devote to decorating my home.

My bedroom makeover is almost complete and should be up in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, I wanted to share one of the DIY projects from the space—a dresser makeover.

I LOVE revamping furniture and I spend more time than is probably healthy on Craigslist. I’m a firm believer in spending money wisely. I could have gone out and bought a dresser with the exact look I was going for, but it would have run me hundreds of dollars and I just think there’s a better way for me to spend my money. Plus, like I said, it’s a labor of love for me.

So let’s hop right into it!

What You Need:

  • Dresser
  • Sander/Sandpaper
  • Wood Filler
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Spray Paint
  • Power Drill + drill bits
  • Painters tape
  • Drawer Pulls

I found this mid-century modern style dresser on Craigslist for $40. Its previous owner was moving to California and couldn’t take it with her, so I was more than happy to take it off her hands. (My Uber driver might not have been quite as excited.)

The first thing I did was spray the inside down with disinfectant. Not only does it kill germs, but it staves off any mold or mildew.

Next I removed the handles. They did absolutely nothing for the piece and didn’t match my vision.

Although I wasn’t sure what types of pulls I wanted to use for the final look, I knew they wouldn’t be centered positioned like the old ones so I needed to fill the holes. To fill the holes, I used DAP’s Plastic Wood filler in white. It’s great for filling holes and nicks to allow for a smooth finish. It’s also easy to paint over.

I let it dry overnight and then sanded it down. Because the holes were through and through, I used a pretty good amount of filler to make sure the holes were completely filled. Normally I sand by hand, but because I used a much filler as I did and I wanted to make sure it was completely smooth, I pulled out my electric sander. I purchased this inexpensive Black & Decker one from Amazon a few years ago—with 80 grit sandpaper—and it works like a charm!

For a completely smooth finish, you should be able to run your hand across the front of the drawer and not know where the filler starts and ends.

Note: I could have drilled new holes at this point, but since I still wasn’t sure what kinds of pulls I wanted, I moved forward with priming and painting. You can do it either way—before or after painting.

Next, I primed all the exposed surfaces. To prime, I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 primer. It’s the best on the market! It sticks to just about anything and doesn’t require you to sand the surface beforehand. I actually did sand all the exposed surfaces prior to sanding just because I wanted to be 100000% sure that the finished product would be flawless. But if you’re not as anal as me, feel free to skip the sanding—so long as the surface is clean and blemish free.

I applied 2 or 3 coats of primer (I can’t remember exactly)…making sure to allow each coat to dry fully. After each coat dried, I sand it by hand. Sanding between coats makes sure the paint adheres properly. It also keeps the surface smooth. For this part, I used a 120 grit sanding block.

After priming, I applied 4 or 5 (again, I forget) coats of black high gloss paint. I knew I wanted a shiny finish and contemplated a polyurethane finish, but ultimately decided that would be too shiny and might cheapen the look. Instead, I opted for Glidden’s Trim & Door high gloss paint in Deepest Dark.

Again, drying and sanding is SUPER important—especially at this point. Oil based paint takes longer to dry than latex paint, so to be safe, I allowed a full 24 hrs between each coat. Once each coat was completely dry, I sanded and repeated.

I forgot to say this earlier, but make sure you wipe away any dust from sanding before you paint.

You’ll notice I didn’t paint the legs. I decided to paint them last, because they were the perfect way to keep the dresser off the ground while I painted it. Another reason I didn’t paint them while I painted the rest was because I didn’t want them to stick to or touch the drop cloth and smudge.

Once the piece was completely dry and had cured for a few days (I didn’t touch or sit anything on it while it cured), I removed the legs and spray painted them gold with Krylon’s Premium Metallic Gold Foil. I love this spray paint because it’s a true gold metallic finish. Some gold spray paints can be too green or too red. This one is the perfect shade of gold. To prep the legs, I also sanded and primed them first just to make sure the surface was smooth and that the spray paint would adhere properly. (Sorry, didn’t take pictures of that part.)

Next up, the fun part—adding the bling!

Once I finally figured out what kinds of pulls I wanted, it was time to drill new holes.

I’ll admit, I was a little nervous about this part. Even though I had never used a drill before, that wasn’t what made me nervous. (I think I was Bob the Builder in another life.) Because I decided I wanted two pulls per drawer, it meant the measurements had to be exact. There was very little room for error. At least not to me and my OCD. So the key to this part was …”Measure 2000 times, drill once!” That said, if you do happen to drill unevenly, you can always refill the holes and repeat the process. No big deal.

Because I decided to drill after painting, I placed a piece of painter’s tape over the spot where I wanted to drill in order to protect the paint. Once the tape was down, I measured another 2000 times for good…measure. Lol. Drilling the actual holes was easy and took all of 5 minutes. I purchased a drill bit set from Home Depot for $5 and used it with an electric drill I purchased a few years ago.

As a final touch, each drawer got its very own pair gold ring pulls. I searched high and low for reasonably priced 3″ mission style rings. I found quite a few for upwards of $50/ea, but at that price I could have bought an entire dresser! So I kept looking. I finally found these from Look in the Attic for $15.


For a total price of about $140—$40 for the dresser and about $100 in supplies*—I achieved a look that would normally cost you several hundred dollars. This similar one from The Classy Home is going for a whopping $460!

*Keep in mind that a lot of the supplies I purchased—everything except the pulls—I plan to reuse for future projects. So that $100 is going to stretch quite far before it’s all said and done.

You’ll notice quite a few changes in the room since I started working on this project and there’s quite a bit more left to do, but this dresser definitely makes the room fill a little more complete. That said, the full room reveal is coming soon so check back.

In the meantime, let me know your thoughts on this project in the comments!