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Giving a New Life to an Old Dresser

Giving a New Life to an Old Dresser

By Taina Laraba

All older furniture is made of wood right? So this makes your life so much easier than dealing with laminated furniture or press board.

Materials You'll Need -

  • Sandpaper - Medium Grit
  • 3" paint brush 
  • 1" paint brush
  • Latex paint in an eggshell sheen in the color you'd like

The first step to refinishing furniture is to smooth out any rough areas with medium grit sandpaper.

Now you can paint your piece. In French Country decorating, we love super neutral colors like in whites and very light beige. So head on over to your local Home Depot and find a color, then have it mixed in an eggshell finish. You don't want any sheen to the paint, but rather almost like a chalk finish.

You'll begin painting your piece starting on the top.

  • Simply dip your 3" brush into the paint only half way up the bristols (this eliminates ruining your brush) and starting on one corner of the top, begin painting in a back and forth motion (only once though).  
  • Then dip your brush again and do the same thing right next to where you just painted.
  • You'll continue working in sections till the top of your piece is completely painted.

Painting in a back and forth motion only once allows you to paint a section without removing any paint. If you continued going back and forth in a section, you'd remove paint.

To paint the front, first you'll want to

  • Remove the drawers and put aside.  Now we'll paint the front using your 1" brush
  • Simply dip your 1" brush into the paint only half way up the bristols and starting under the top on one side, you'll paint the underneath in a back and forth motion (only once).
  • After you've completed this on the 3 sides, you'll begin painting the front and sides.  
  • Starting on the front, using your 1" brush - you'll begin on either the right or left painting the top using the same motion.
  • Now one one of the sides of your front, starting at the top, paint it in the same way.  Now do the other side.

To paint the sides

  • Using your 3" brush, you'll start at the top on one of the sides. Simply holding your brush with paint on it and pushing the bristols underneath the top, pulling it down. Now load your brush with more paint and starting where you just painted, paint another section in a back and forth motion.  Continue doing this until one side is done. Do the same thing on the other side.
  • Now paint the piece of wood at the top going between the two sides, then paint the bottom.

On an old piece, whether it's vintage or an antique - I never paint the back. A lot of times there's a stamp of some sort on the back identifying the piece and that's what I want to keep, some of the originality to it.

So what do you think? Not so bad right? I'm super proud of you.

This is essentially how you'll paint anything. Remembering to 1) only load your brush with paint halfway up the bristols and 2) painting in a back and forth motion - only once in sections. Only two things to remember when painting.

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