Welcome to Kelli's Olympic Nest's tale of how we are creating a home we love through thrifty DIY projects, crafty ideas, and a willingness to get dirty. In between, there's the stories reminding us to also live the life you love. 

Yard sale dressers: budget friendly DIY makeover for a farmstyle look

Yard sale dressers: budget friendly DIY makeover for a farmstyle look

Master Bedroom Part 1: Chalk Painted Dressers

I had this vision that one day I would have a beautiful master suite. Something grown-up...polished. A place where my mind sighed every time I entered. But with two mismatched dressers and very little spending money, it seemed like my dream would never see the light of reality.  But where there is imagination... cough--Pinterest...and paint...anything is possible.


My master suite did not put my mind to rest. Too much stuff packed into a small space and none of it worked with one another. I had crates for night stands. A gun cabinet with gun accessories piled high on top of it. Two dressers and a vanity. And, because it seemed like a good idea, a slim chair next to one of the dressers. If this is hard to imagine or creates a chaotic image, welcome to my master bedroom.

For the last few years I kept telling myself I was  going to figure out how I was going to create a cohesive space. I wanted furniture to work with one another. I even contemplated biting the bullet and buying a new bedroom set. Cough. Choke. Um...a big hell no to that idea.

So I created an inspiration board which really helped. It forced me to think about colors and textures as well as working with what I already had. What I really liked about it is that it gave me room to explore. Even before I committed to doing anything. Shocker!

This post is all about the two dressers that took a weekend to give them a much needed face lift.  

How to give yard sale dressers a makeover so that they match

This beauty I purchased for a mere $10 at a garage sale many years ago. It was the first dresser we purchased. Understand, our first home was a single-wide where the master bedroom included a closet and built-in with three drawers. There was no room for a dresser.  I must have worn the same thing over and over. That was fun....not. 

before dresser is painted

Isn't she purty? Looking at it I can't believe I hung onto it for so long. But I really liked the lines and the feet of this dresser. More importantly her insides were solid.

What I didn't like was the yellow tinted cream color. I especially didn't care for the gold edges. Can you dig it?, not diggin' it at all.

Then came along this piece. We found her at an estate sale for only $20 bucks. I was stoked (yep, just dated myself). A dresser where none of the drawers were broken and they actually worked!? That was a deal I couldn't walk away from. Plus this meant I could feed my need to buy more clothes. A girl must have space to house her essentials--right, Ladies?

before chest dresser gets updated

Let's just take a moment to talk about the white elephant in the room. You see that monster that used to be known as a TV? That thing was a beast. We ended up with that one right before the flat screen became a thing. In my cleansing, must move the living room around, frenzy I broke the previous TV. Hubby went and found this one--sweet. Only took three grown men to move the dinosaur. 

This was one reason why I put off painting the dressers. No way was I going to move that beast. Then the heavens opened up and the angels sang. It died!

So two dressers with very different looks. I went back to my inspiration board I created about a year ago. Researched different paint methods and decided to stick with chalk paint. 

Save money and make your own DIY chalk paint

I chose chalk paint because I knew I wasn't going to take the time to strip each dresser the right way. Now you know. I am not a perfectionist. Plus, I discovered the chest dresser had very little real wood to sand. Chalk paint will adhere and, from experience, holds up over time (see bathroom vanity I painted two years ago).

Also you can mix up your own chalk paint for a fraction of the price. I used 1/3 C plaster of paris with 1/3 C of water. This covered both dressers. It's important you use latex paint and your sheen is NOT gloss.

Rough-Up the surface

I took my electric sander and roughed up the surface of both dressers. Once sanded I then cleaned with TSP liquid substitute cleaner and let dry.

sand surface before painting

After that it was smooth sailing. Each dresser took two coats of my DIY chalk paint.

Because the chest dresser top gets more wear than the upright one I decided to give it a coat of the eggshell Behr pure white paint. It provided a slight sheen and protective coat.

Rather than buy new pull handles spray paint the hardware

I contemplated buying new hardware. When you look at so many pinners posting how new hardware updated their dressers, I wanted to do the same thing. But budget being as it was I just couldn't do it.

dresser hardware.jpg

Instead I cleaned each one, primed with Kilz spray paint, and then spray painted them Canyon Black. After 24 hours I reinstalled them. Again lesson learned from past experience, the paint chips when you don't give it enough time to cure. 

Two dressers, two days and they turned out like this:

70s dresser hardware update
1970s upright dresser makeover
update dresser with chalk paint
spray paint dresser hardware
chest dresser painted white with black hardware

I'm pretty pleased with the end results. Better yet, it was an affordable makeover.

Just in case you forgot what I started with, here are the before and after pictures!

before and after dresser makeover

So...what do you think? Are you ready to take on an old outdated dresser? Or have you already and love how it turned out? Don't be shy, comment and share what you've done or what you would like to do.  







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