DIY-namite: let’s create

January 21, 2007

Dresser Refurb

Filed under: paint,paper,wood — by marieann @ 11:51 pm

Dresser Finished

I am so into chocolate and teal these days. I found this awesome skinny dresser on the street near my house and I had to have it (I love NYC for awesome free finds). I took it home and after a couple of months of slowly working on this and planning, I refinished it. I am very happy with it and learned some very important lessons. This dresser is pretty self-explanatory but I have some tips on how to make it (and things NOT to do).

Furniture to refinish
1 quart of interior paint (I chose semi-gloss, but more on the choice of paint later)
Scrapbook papers
1 qt of ACRYLIC polyurethane (do not get the plain kind because that has an amber tint to it and will change the color of your paint/papers)

Fine grade sand paper/block
Paint brush
Allene’s glue (or some other TACKY glue)
Circle cutter (in the scrapbooking section of stores)

1. If you have any pulls or hardware on the furniture, remove all of them.

2. Sand the piece with a soft grain paper. I have a few hints here. First, if you are painting with a darker color, your wood does NOT have to be completely raw again (assuming you’re dealing with a pre-painted piece of furniture; if you are painting over a piece that had previously been stained you DO have to sand it totally clean). Also, do NOT use a really coarse sandpaper as it will put mini scratches into your wood.

3. Wipe the whole thing down with a wet rag (or those awesome little sawdust picker upers).

4. Paint it! This is probably obvious but in case it’s not, paint with the grain of the wood and also be sure that you smooth everything. You do NOT want bubbles of paint (check the edges of drawers, etc. because paint tends to pool there). DOUBLE coat it.

5. Here’s the fun part. Cut out lots of different shapes from your scrapbook paper. Glue them to your furniture using Allene’s glue. Be sure that you press all the edges down. It is normal that your paper might have very tiny ripples in it because of the moisture in the glue. This will go away.

6. After everything is dried solid (I would wait over night), coat everything in THREE layers of the polyurethane. Be sure to read the directions and also do it in a ventilated area.

7. After you let it dry very hard over night, screw back in the pulls.

8. An alternative fixture note: I had originally planned to paint the shapes onto my furniture after the chocolate house paint dried. However, I found that my acrylic paints didn’t stick to the chocolate paint. Because I used semi-gloss paint, it just slid off. This looked horrible and this is why I chose the paper (which ultimately I liked much better). If you would like to paint on your details then you must use a matt house paint. This is fine because you can buy the acrylic polyurethane in gloss and make that effect if you like it.

Dresser FinishedDresser Finished



  1. This is so awesome! I’m thinking of brown and blue for my kitchen remodel — so this appeals to me for a bunch of reasons.

    This also reminds me of a neat idea I saw. Someone basically did something similar — except they used a whole art poster (I think it was a van Gogh – and cut it into drawer sized slices. Then similar process — it looked really cool.

    Good job!


    Comment by ideagirl — January 22, 2007 @ 1:26 pm |Reply

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