From Barfy to Beautiful: Transforming An Ugly Dresser!

1 November 2012

Dear Diary,

There was an empty wall to fill at Jon’s place and I had no idea what to do with it. It was one of those spaces that seemed to be begging for a bench or a credenza. But that would be too obvious, so I decided to put a dresser there. I believe that dressers can go in any room. They are beautiful pieces of furniture and they provide storage. And who doesn’t need more storage? I found this ugly dresser at Wertz Brothers:

I chose to paint it a Benjamin Moore green color called Vine (2034). Emily and I had success with this color at the Lake House so I was excited to use it again.

At the Lake House, we used it to paint an old storage container we used as a shoe rack for the entry way:

If you decide to buy an ugly dresser and paint it yourself, here is what you will need:

1. Primer: I actually didn’t need to prime this dresser, but if you have a particularly difficult to paint (i.e. glossy) piece of furniture, it’s worth your time to prime first so you’re not painting it a million times or risking it chipping all over the place, flakes of paint flying into your open, horrified mouth.

2. Sandpaper: Every time I try to steal a kiss from my boyfriend, he screams that my scruff feels like sandpaper and then runs from my apartment crying. While sandpaper isn’t so much fun to make out with, it’s important to sand furniture before you paint it. Otherwise the paint will just run off onto the floor and you’ll be totally annoyed and want to drink alcohol even though it’s 9 AM.

3. A paint roller: unless the piece you’re painting is tiny, get a paint roller. You don’t want to be standing there with your tiny paintbrush, painting for hours.

4. Paintbrush: use this for detail work and those hard to reach nooks and crannies.

This is a process shot of the dresser. I painted it in my parking spot. (Note to all apartment-dwelling DIYers: Never, under any circumstances, spray paint a coffee table right next to you your neighbor’s new car. It’s called overspray and it travels fast, sticking to vehicles and ruining paint jobs. You know who you are). Here’s the Blair-Witch inspired pic of the finished dresser:

I chose to use brass hardware, mainly because I like how gold looks with green.

And here’s what the finished project looks like:

I’m going to add two lamps and a giant piece of artwork to the whole situation when I style the space in a few weeks. But I’m happy with how the vibrant green livens up the space. And yes, that is my tool bag. I’m kind of obsessed with it even though it’s not the most practical computer tote…

Now it’s time for you to go out and paint something ugly. HURRY!


15 Comment

  1. stellar color—i’m painting an old-ass hand-me-down dresser this weekend in a turquoise color which took guts for me to land on since i am the queen of boring neutral tones, but now i’m wishing i had thought about this awesome green. great job, you make it look easy! feel free to come paint with me in boston, i have a feeling mine won’t turn out as well…

  2. KOJohnson says:

    So often repaints look like it. But this really worked well! The design of the piece, the choice of the color, and the new hardware–looks like it was designed that way from the beginning. Brilliant.

  3. I cannot be happier with this combination of green, brass and humor. “open, horrified mouth” spiced up my workday.

    1. Jen says:

      What Drew said! I was actually surprised at how good ‘Barfy’ looked when you were done, and the ‘open, horrified mouth’ crack actually made me LOL! honestly, where have you been all my life? So hanging out with you from now on – let’s be BFFs! ;-P

  4. Cruz in Austin says:

    For those of us that are hopelessly design-impaired, can you explain how you refinished the insides of the drawers too? Just repainted? Lined with some chic paper maybe?

    1. Orblogdo says:

      Fortunately, the insides of these drawers were in good condition. Usually I’d leave the inside of the drawer alone, unless it smelled weird. In that case I’d probably just use a liner or paint it the same color as the outside.

  5. dana says:

    In your experience, can you paint over that melamine stuff that a lot of cheap furniture is made out of? Do you need to sand that first, or would the top just sand away into oblivion, leaving you with nothing but pressed board? Thanks for your thoughts on this…. Love the dresser!

  6. torie says:

    love it. ‘nough said.

  7. Kevin says:

    I love your choice for the colour..what kind of plant is standing on that shoe rack?

  8. I used that same color to paint a mirror in my shop bathroom. Combined with gray walls and some orange accents!!! Mama Mia, it’s a-beautiful.

  9. […] who could forget this gross dresser that was reborn as a green piece of glamour? I paired it with these crazy tall lamps from St. […]

  10. […] If I had to crawl inside any piece of furniture and hide there for the rest of my life, I’d choose this crazy dresser. I painted it green and added that sassy hardware, which took it from barfy to beautiful in, like, 3 hours. (See before pics here). […]

  11. Reblogged this on Nesting Art.

  12. Eyes On says:

    Did you use semi gloss finish to paint that gorge dresser? Please advise. Thanks 🙂

    1. Eyes On says:

      Oh and what is the color of the wall? I like that color, thinking of using it for my place.

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