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Easy Ways to Paint Your Dresser and Make It Look Like New

How to Paint Your Dresser

Painting wooden furniture, like dressers, isn’t as simple as grabbing a tub of paint and getting to work. Unless you want to find yourself dealing with chipping paint or an unpolished finished product, it’s important to have an idea of what you’re doing. A general overview of the process includes the most important steps:

Clean and Prepare It: Take your dresser apart and make sure to clean it. Sanding down the rough edges and clearing away the dust and debris is a crucial step in the process. Allow it to then dry completely before moving on. Depending on the paint you use and the stain on your dresser, a primer might need to be used as well.

Paint It: A mini foam roller is going to be your best friend throughout this process, and help you get the job done rather quickly. Between coats, gently sand down any drips or residue for a smoother finish. And use a high-quality brush for those hard-to-reach places to avoid bristles in the paint.

Finish It: When you’re finally done, don’t forget to protect your hard work with a finishing coat!

Pros and Cons of Doing it Yourself

Some of the greatest advantages of painting a dresser yourself include significant cost savings, especially if you’re re-purposing a salvaged piece of furniture. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to experiment with your creative side, trying different techniques, and your hand at a potential new hobby.

There are some disadvantages associated with doing it yourself though, mostly related to the mess aspect. Sanding, painting, and finishing are dirty activities and can ruin carpets and flooring underneath them. It’s also a time consuming process that typically takes a few days at least, and this is where you pay, instead of with your wallet.

Design Option Ideas

One really neat idea to consider implementing into your dresser painting is to include an extra design or sparkle onto the drawers. By painting the rest of the dresser a solid color, and then including a pattern on the drawers, you can help a piece of furniture match the overall vibe of your bedroom. There are also plenty of stencil options available to help you paint any design you can think up on your dresser drawers.

How to Care for Your Painted Dresser

Cleaning and caring for painted dressers is probably significantly easier than you might be expecting. Make sure to stay on top of your dusting routine, and wipe your dresser down with a damp cloth every so often. When cleaning, it’s most important to avoid leaving any water droplets or spots, so they don’t dry and leave permanent stains. Keep some of the original paint to the side to spot treat nicks and scrapes and keep your dresser looking in its best condition. An oil finish will offer the best protection for your paint.

Chalky Paint Maintenance Tips

When it comes to maintenance, the first month after painting your dresser with chalk paint is the most important. Though the finish on your dresser may be hard and dry to the touch, the wax does not fully cure until approximately 5-21 days after application. Never use furniture polish, degreaser soaps, or anything acidic to keep your dresser looking bright and beautiful.

Milk Paint Maintenance Tips

Keep water away from your milk-painted dresser as much as possible to keep it looking fresh and new. You can use a lint-free, damp cloth on your dresser each week to clean it, but make sure to dry your furniture well afterward.

Decorating Around Your Painted Dresser

Because painted furniture is bright, bold, and exciting, the design options for the room surrounding it are virtually endless. Dressers painted in pastel and white colors, for example, are wonderful for including in a spacious, monochromatic room filled with similar colors. Bright-colored dressers can be used to add a pop of color into a room. Neutral-toned dressers could be used to soften a color palette, introducing different hues into the space. Placing paintings and pieces of artwork around the dresser can really help include different furniture pieces within the room into one general theme.


Wooden furniture will always be an integral component of interior design. Today, painted dressers are skyrocketing in popularity, and for good reason. These pieces of furniture can be used to bring an entire room together, adding color and life within a space. And, painting it yourself can leave you feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment that can never be granted through purchasing. To get the most life out of your painted dresser though, it’s important to know how to properly care for it and keep it in great condition, no matter what style of paint you decide on. That way, your art and creation can last for years to come.

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