Painting this dresser for our nursery was a really fun and surprisingly easy project. When we moved into our new house I needed a place to put the kid’s clothes. Even though I prefer to hang clothes over folding any day, I didn’t want to hang ALL their clothes. Sometimes its just easier to shove things in a drawer….(don’t tell anyone I said that.)
I love to shop on Craigslist and at thrift stores, these are my go to places for wood furniture. Since this was going in the boys room I needed something solid and none of that particle board stuff. I also wanted something with drawers that slide out and back in easily. One of my pet peeves are those 90’s dressers where the drawers get stuck and give you a workout just trying to get them back in there.
So with my two priorities for dresser gold I was excited when I found this used solid wood dresser with the smoothest sliding system ( I think that’s what you call those rail things). You can tell below in the second photo that it was painted white and it had yellowed. All she needed was a good paint job and I was ready to give her one.
Since I wanted to put her in the nursery I wanted her to be colorful and match the colors in the room. To visualize this I used my handy Silhouette Cameo Software to sketch up what I wanted it to look like.
I love sketching up projects because I can fool around with colors and get a vision of the end product. After I picked what colors and how I wanted them arranged I decided to paint the cabinet part that holds the drawers (the shell) white so that the colors would pop.
Before I painted the shell I lightly sanded with 80 grit sand paper on all surfaces I planned on painting. I put her on some old cardboard to protect my concrete floor before I painted. I used a regular sized paint roller for the top and sides, which helped me cover the dresser quick and I used a brush for the middle section and bottom front piece.
(Above you can see how yellowed the old paint really was and how happier she looked already with the first coat.)
(After I finished painting the shell I let it dry over night. The above photo is what it looked like after)
The next step was painting the drawers, my favorite part was mixing the paint colors to get custom hues. I took 6 Styrofoam cups ( one for each drawer) and I mixed in different flat interior paint and craft paint to get the colors I wanted.
It took me a few tries but mostly I would add a dark color first and add white until I got to my desired color. If I wanted different undertones I added bits of that color. The only exception was the teal drawer, I just used the same paint as the wall color which I think made the dresser seem like it fit in with the room.
Using a 3 inch wide brush I painted the top and inner lip of the drawers. I did two coats of paint and then I put on two clear coats, since this is going in a boys room and needed durability. I let it dry about 2 hours between each coat. My recommendation is to follow the drying time according to the paint you use. After my last clear coat was completely dry It looked like this:
( I am very happy with how it looks and the colors are perfect for our nursery. After I painted everything It looked so nice I decided to cover up the inside of the drawers with contact paper since they looked worn.)
After applying the contact paper, the only thing left to do was bring it in the nursery and see how it looked. I have to say I am happy with the result and the clear coat I used hardened and made the drawers pretty durable for everyday use. Another upside to the clear coat is its easily wipe-able for those little finger prints that will show up.
As you can see in the photo above this is what the nursery dresser looked like when it was finished. You can see the surface is shiny but doesn’t really give a glare which is a perfect finish for any furniture going in a nursery or child’s room. I think my Son liked his first piece of furniture for his new room. He went right over and checked it out, thankfully he has no idea how to open drawers…..yet.
Ready To Begin? Below Is The Project Breakdown:
Supplies I Used :
- Wood Dresser
- 80 Grit Sandpaper
- Styrofoam Cups To Mix Paint Colors
- Paint Roller and 3″ Paint Brush
- Behr Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel in Ultra White (Dresser Shell)
- Interior Paint and Craft Paint I Had Already (Which I Used To Mix and Get Different Colors)
- Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Cover Gloss Clear Paint
- Contact Paper (if needed)
- Drop Cloth For Paint or Cardboard
Steps I Took To Paint The Nursery Dresser:
- Remove Dresser Drawers and Label Where They Went (Some Drawers Really Only Work In Certain Slots)
- Sand Down The Dresser and Front Of Drawers
- Wipe Off Dust And Place Dresser On Drop Cloth Or Cardboard
- Paint Dresser Shell With Mini Roller and Let Dry
- Mix Your Drawer Paint Colors To Desired Shades
- Brush Your Paint Colors On The Drawers and Let Dry
- Apply Clear Coat To Drawers Let Dry
- Place Drawers Into Dresser Stand Back and Admire Your Work