Hey everybody! I had been meaning to finish my antique dresser makeover project for a while now, but it kept getting postponed. However, I finally finished it this past weekend. After a trip to Hobby Lobby, I came home with some lovely dresser knobs and was excited to get started.
I love painted dressers. It is such an easy and inexpensive way to remodel a piece of furniture.
I inherited this very old and tired early 1900s antique dresser with swing mirror from my grandparents. The pulls were rusty and it was layered in thick stain from years past. Some people would probably have thrown it out, but I saw its potential.
I sanded off most of the thick layers of the mess on the dresser and gave it a good soapy cleaning. If you are planning to chalk paint, sanding is not required; however, this piece of old furniture was in dire need.
I got rid of the old rusty dresser pulls. Each pull left two holes on each side of the drawer. I only needed one, so I chose to use the inner hole for my knobs and filled up the other one with wood putty.
Once the putty dried, I sanded it to smooth it down with the wood and wiped it clean. I had three drawers to complete using the same method. I decided to paint the drawers a different color than the rest of the dresser so I went with chalkboard paint. This stuff is neat but it stinks. Use it in a well-ventilated area. Since it is somewhat thick, two coats were all it took.
I chose not to sand down the worn spots on the dresser. It needed its history exposed. The gorgeous knobs pop against the black background of the drawers. I love their hand-painted look and Southwest design.
Now it was time to turn this ancient girl into a reconstructed beauty. Chalk paint is one of my favorites. It is my go-to paint for most projects. I am sure Annie Sloan is fabulous but I chose a more budget-friendly brand.
Americana Decor Chalky Finish Chalk Acrylic paint worked well for this piece. The color is primitive. It is a light gray-tan. I thought it would go perfectly with the festive dresser knobs.
It took about three coats to get the look I was going for. This stuff dries fast which is great if you are like me and get a little impatient.
Antique Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Paint
It came along nicely. I took a much-needed break to make sure it was completely dry before adding wax.
I wanted to use wax that was not going to make this quick and easy DIY project turn into a long ordeal. Minwax Water Based Polycrylic with protective finish was just what I needed to give the dresser a sheen look. I applied a thin coat of wax to the entire piece and let it dry.
Once dry, I lightly sanded with 220 grit sandpaper. The sanding was needed to buff out paint lines and other marks. It also smooths the finish. Make sure you use a fine grit sandpaper on chalk painting projects.
This is how it looked before sanding. I barely sanded the sides and front. These areas of the dresser got to keep their glossy look. I sanded the top of the dresser more and ended up with a matte finish.
At first, I was going to toss the swing mirror. Yes I know, I know, how dare me! I mean, it was a mess. You can tell I had struggled with this old mirror before. I painted it blue. I tried to re-silver it with Krylon Silver Mirror spray paint and that was an epic fail. It ran and streaks were everywhere.
I pondered a while on what to do with it. After a bit of research, I discovered some repurpose mirrors into chalkboard ideas and had my ah ha moment!
Having never tried to “chalkboard” anything, I had no clue what I was getting into. All I knew was that it would be a crying shame to dispose of this mirror even if it was a hot mess. It took four coats to even out the streaks and cover the mirror.
The directions for using chalkboard paint called for baking what you painted if you painted glass or let it cure about 21 days. Well, this thing was not going to fit in my oven. Plus, I was a bit apprehensive about baking a wood-encased mirror and risking what I thought could be a house fire. I decided to be safe and let it cure.
Once the chalkboard mirror dried, I reattached it to the dresser. I think it is so charming! All that is left to do with this antique dresser makeover is let the chalkboard cure as instructed and then I will set it by covering it in chalk and wiping it down. Then we can write whatever we want on our new repurposed chalkboard dresser.