HOW TO TURN A BEAT-UP $15 THRIFT FIND INTO A GORGEOUS UPDATED PAINTED AND STAINED DRESSER
If you’re not sure whether to paint or stain, why not do both! It’s Furniture Fixer Upper Day my friends and I’m sharing a $15 beat-up thrift store painted and stained dresser makeover!
I’m also sharing…
- My favorite water-based stain color
- A FREE pre-stain wood conditioner for water-based stains
- How to keep your stencils clean
- A dollar store tool to help fix furniture veneer
- And my blogging besties’ Furniture Fixer Upper makeovers as well so be sure to check them out below! 🙂
Here’s the thrift dresser I started with. I was so excited when I saw the $15 price tag until I took a better look. The top overhang was cracked and the veneer was lifting so this required some work. A perfect project for furniture fixer-upper day.
Before I get into the how-to details here’s the NEW look! What do you think? Worth $15? I LOVE the warmth of this paint and stain combo!
THIS POST IS SPONSORED/CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
$15 Thrift Dresser – SALVAGED
$15 PAINTED AND STAINED DRESSER MAKEOVER
When working on these types of fixer-uppers, it can feel overwhelming because there’s a lot to do. But I remind myself to take it step by step. Focusing on one step at a time makes it sooooo much easier!
Here’s how it all came together…
PREP | CLEAN
I removed the hardware and then cleaned this piece with this TSP substitute. I like using it in a spray bottle and wiping it down with a large sponge. Since Nick installed my new paint room flooring I’m also doing my best to keep it clean by using more drop clothes! 😉
Pro Tip ~ While cleaning your piece, give it a really good inspection. Keep your eyes peeled for missing pin nails in the drawers, loose drawer slides, or any scratches and knicks or missing or lifting veneer.
BOTTOM SKIRT REVISION
To update the skirt on this dresser I used a jigsaw, woodworking square, and a sharpie. I measured and marked the new bottom with a sharpie and then used my jigsaw to cut along the lines. To smooth the wood, I gave it a light sanding.
The front lip of this dresser was cracked and the previous owners fixed the lifting veneer by nailing it down. To fix all these issues I started by removing the nails that could be removed without breaking the veneer. (the other few nails I countersunk and filled with wood filler). Then I used a Dollar Store tool — a meat syringe — to inject the wood glue. They sell actual glue syringes on Amazon, or as I mentioned a dollar store meat syringe works just as well. Once everything was glued in place I clamped it with these furniture clamps and let it all set up. As extra reinforcement (not shown in the images below) I used a pin nailer to nail it all up as well and then wood-filled any remaining cracks.
FILL AND SAND
Using Bondo and this wood filler, I filled in all the cracks and dings. Then using my orbital sander and a 120 grit, I scuff-sanded the entire dresser. For the drawers, I sanded the existing finished off starting with an 80 grit and working my way up to a 220 grit to leave them nice and smooth and ready for stain.
STAIN & FREE PRE-STAIN CONDITIONER
To stain these drawers I used my favorite water-based stain color — Tobacco Road. This is such a gorgeous stain and SO easy to use! It’s a warm brown but has NO orange undertones. This gives it a more modern-looking finish while allowing your wood grain to peek through.
When using oil-based stains it’s recommended to use a wood conditioner first. This preps the wood so your stain will take to the wood for a more even finish rather than look blotchy.
When using water-based stains, I use my FREE wood condition – WATER! I take a damp rag or sponge and wipe down the raw wood right before applying my stain. This opens up the grain to accept the water-based stain and gives a MUCH nicer finish!
For the paint color I choose a warm neutral — this Sand Castle Silk All-In-One Mineral Paint. This Silk paint has a primer and topcoat included which is a time saver. I love spraying this paint but it’s self-leveling and brushes on beautifully as well.
I’m often asked how much paint did you use for each project. For this dresser, I used 1/4 of a 16oz jar. Plenty leftover for another project.
SIDE DRAWER DETAIL
The previous owner was a budding artist and inspired me to add a little detail to the side of the drawers as well.
After sanding the sides of the drawer I added this NEW Basket Weave stencil design. This stencil is the perfect size for drawer details — front or sides!
Pro Tip – If you have a hard time keeping your stencils clean and new, here’s a little stencil cleaning tip. The BEST thing I’ve found for cleaning my stencils are these Scrubby Soaps. They are great for cleaning brushes AND stencils because the rough sponge removes paint effortlessly!
TOPCOAT | PROTECTION
No top coat is needed for the paint portion of this dresser. To seal and protect the drawers I used this spray wax. It’s super easy to use and has a totally flat finish.
I replaced the old hardware with these large detailed knobs from Hobby Lobby – so pretty!
Here’s the finished look!
Check out these drawers!
AND NOW FOR SOME FURNITURE FIXER-UPPER FUN!
You’re going to LOVE what my creative team of Furniture Fixer Upper ladies do! Below are their BEFORE photos. Visit the links below to see the amazing AFTERS and learn how they did it! I’m heading over to take a peek as well! x
1. SALVAGED INSPIRATIONS (HAPPY YOU’RE HERE!)
Here’s another look at this dresser’s before and after. I hope it’s inspired you and given you some new ideas for your projects!
LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK OF THIS $15 DRESSER MAKEOVER. FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU. IT MAKES MY DAY! 🙂
Happy furniture painting friends!