How to Refinish a Dresser: Creating a New Look with Paint & Hardware

Have you ever found a dresser you know would be perfect for your space, but it’s way over budget? Today, I’m sharing how to refinish a dresser so that you can use a less expensive option with a similar shape, achieving the look with paint and hardware. You’d be surprised at how easy the process can be – no sanding required!

dresser before and after, how to refinish a dresser

How to Choose a Dresser

Start by looking for inspiration from dressers you love on Pinterest, Instagram, and other social media channels. Some of my favorite retailers for dressers are McGee & Co., Ballard Designs & One Kings Lane. Here are a few of my favorite options:

Note the shape, size & overall style of the piece. Then, start shopping for your dresser to make over. You might find that you already own a dresser that is similar to one of your inspiration pieces. If so, you can make over an existing piece. Another great place to shop for dressers is at thrift stores – those can be some of my favorite places to find DIY project pieces!

After you find the perfect piece, you will need to choose a paint color to achieve the look you want. I love soft grays, blues and whites for coastal style spaces. Then, you will need to find hardware to complete your look. Amazon, Rejuvenation and even home improvement stores are good spots to check for hardware options.

dresser before and after, how to refinish a dresser
Boothbay Gray by BM / Liberty Hardware Drawer Pulls

How to Start the Process to Refinish a Dresser

When you begin the process to refinish a dresser of your dreams you will need a few tools:

Tools Needed:
Drill (if creating a new space for hardware)
Wood Filler
120 Grit Sandpaper
Small Paint Roller
2-4″ Paint Brush

It really is a simple process to achieve a new look with paint and hardware. There’s only a few steps needed:

Step One: Remove the hardware. Take anything off you don’t want to keep.

Step Two: Use Wood Filler. If you are changing the layout of the hardware, you can use wood filler to fill in the previous holes. This is very simple. Just use your finger to press the filler into the holes and smooth it with a plastic putty knife until it is mostly smooth. No need to worry about perfection, as you can correct it on the next step.

Step Three: Allow the wood filler to dry thoroughly, then sand over the areas you used it.

Step Four: Drill any holes if new hardware isn’t an exact fit. You will need a drill for this part.

Step Five: Paint Your Dresser
Using your roller and brush, paint with cabinet-grade, self-leveling paint. My favorites are Benjamin Moore Advance and Sherwin Williams Emerald Line. You may need to use a couple of coats to achieve the perfect tone. You can also use Minwax Polycrylic as a top coat for extra durability. Make sure you allow paint to fully dry between coats.

Step Six: Style and Enjoy!
After placing the new hardware, your dresser will be ready for styling! Add your favorite decor – from vases and plants to a mirror, candlesticks, books, etc. Here is where you can get extra creative with your new piece!

Before and After

Here’s a final look at the way I chose to refinish a dresser for our primary bedroom. I love the soft Boothbay Gray Color and the Campaign style hardware makes this piece extra chic!

Have you ever tried to DIY a dresser? I’d love to see – share in the comments below or tag me on Instagram!

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