Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dresser Makeover

Well, this was one of those projects that I thought would be so easy, and it absolutely kicked my butt and tested all my patience.


In fact it was a nightmare from painting all the way to the knobs.


This awesome dresser was David’s Grandma’s. When she passed away, no one claimed it so I said I’d love to take it. It’s been sitting in storage for over a year now and I finally got around to giving it an update now that I had a garage to work in.

For the first time ever I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I’d heard such wonderful things about this paint. Let’s just say I had very high expectations.


Supposedly the paint goes on like a breeze, dries like a breeze, waxes like a breeze, and you’re left with enough to do at least 3 or 4 more small projects.

Well, I hated it. It was so expensive, $75 bought the two items above. A quart of paint and an even smaller can of wax. I was sick to my stomach for spending that much money on paint, but it was supposedly “magic paint”!! And not to mention, I couldn’t buy the corresponding brushes. The paint brush you’re supposed to use is $28 and the wax brush is $35. There was no way I was spending that much money on paint brushes. I picked up a brush from the place I bought the paint that they said would be okay if I wasn’t buying the other brush. I got a wax brush from Lowes for $8.



I did pick up these nifty painting triangles from Lowes. I loved them.


Still smiling at this point because I just started.

Nude sports bras are not cute in pictures…




After one coat.

The thing about chalk paint is that you don’t have to prime or sand.

Well, this dresser took three…three coats of paint. I still didn’t have full coverage but I didn’t have enough paint to do a fourth coat. It’s okay as is, but it could have used one more coat. What I thought I would finish in a day, ended up taking several.

Then I had to wax it at the end. That thoroughly sucked too!

So besides the paint, I had big trouble with the knobs. The original knobs were just not my style, so I set off in search of new ones at Hobby Lobby. I spent literally an hour in the store staring at knobs. If I found something I remotely liked, they didn’t have enough. I needed 14 total.

Then I got an idea. I remembered seeing Teal and Lime’s Faux Malachite knobs and I knew what I was going to do. I bought up almost all the white knobs and was super excited about making this happen.

Well, after being gone for two hours and coming home with $30 worth of plain white knobs (?!)…that I’d have to color with a marker (?!) and bake(?!), let’s just say David was less than happy. Here I go, doing something weird again.

Why can’t you just buy NORMAL stuff???

photo (2)5

I colored knobs and let them sit over night.



Then I baked them to set the color.

The tutorial I read said she tried to scratch them and everything and the color didn’t come off after baking.

Well, of course that was not the case with mine. The first one I picked up to screw onto a drawer, left blue ink all over my fingers and was completely wiped off of the knob.


Seriously!! Can I catch a freaking break?!!


I carefully put them all on, smudging each in the process. Got lots of “I told you so” looks from David. And proceeded to cry.

Because in addition to the color rubbing off, one of them broke in the process and is actually super glued right onto a drawer front, and the two on the big cabinets’ screws are too long and the doors wouldn’t shut.

I have temporarily removed the inside middle drawer until I can cut the screws down.



My original intent was to put it behind the couch with some lamps on top. But unfortunately we don’t have any floor outlets and it was kind of in the way without serving a purpose.


So now it’s currently living in our room.

Last complaint about the chalk paint - the color. I spent nearly an hour deciding on a color at the store. They had a few pieces painted in this Old White color. They were all crisp bright white and beautiful. And yet mine turned out ivory white which pretty much doesn’t match anything in the house one bit. Sad face. 

Now I really wish I’d gone with something else. I am absolutely crushing on Retro Ranch Reno’s blue buffet.

3.1.12 018

Maybe I can change it up again one day…


I do really love the dresser and I’m digging the extra storage space but I am mad at myself about the knobs and my color choice. Wish I’d have gone a “regular” route because it’s still not technically done. I am going to give them a coat of mod podge and hope for the best!


  1. I think it looks beautiful!!!

    Now, explain to me the difference between regular flat paint and chalk paint??

    1. Thanks so much girlie! You know, I don't know that there's much of a difference...I clearly should just choose flat next time!

  2. I love the color in your bedroom. What is it called? I am looking to do a neutral color in our living room to brighten it up a bit.

    1. Thanks Kim! It's Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore! We used the same color throughout most of the house.

  3. Love seeing my grandma's furniture in your home :-)

    <3 You SIL!!

    1. I'm so glad I have the honor to put it in our house :) Love you more!

  4. It is a cute piece... If you like the buffet style you could always add legs onto it and put it in the dining area?!?!? and yes change the color and it would serve as storage for your kitchen stuff extra seasonal stuff like plates, napkins, etc. or anything else that could lay flat in a drawer :) You are ubber talented and I am going to have copy cat stuff from your home in my own once we get back to FL!!! Y'alls house is so cute, I'm jealous!!

    1. Hehe you're too funy Yeah that's true I could but I'd be too scared to make it higher, it's a beast and could collapse on the legs!

  5. Ok, I think the problem with your knobs is you needed a ceramic sharpie. It looks the same but isn't. I I did a lot if research on using sharpies on coffee mugs and though Pinterest says you can use a Sharpie, they left out the ceramic part. It's beautiful though! I don't understand what chalk paint is...?

    1. Well dang, now you tell me! Although the lady's on the blog I got it from, she took a picture and it was the same kind. I was thoroughly ticked regardless. Not at her, just the fact that hers worked and mine didn't! And the chalk paint doesn't require sanding or priming blah blah blah but I won't be able to tell you all the other special qualities it supposedly has because I didn't get to experience them!

  6. I made the same "mistake" with the chalk paint. If you look a little deeper on the interwebs, it does say that you get 1 to 1 1/2 coat coverage *with every color except the whites*. Whites takes 3 and the wax yellows the white a little more than the other colors - perhaps the examples in the store weren't waxed? I have used the white - did exactly what I wanted but took three coats - kind of frustrating. And used the black - one coat, super awesome, loved it!

  7. Thank You for the Honest post! Glad you could see the humor in it. It's so refreshing to see actual real life situations with all the thorns included. Regardless, the piece turned out beautiful if not exactly what you wanted.

    1. Just keepin' it real! :) Yes unfortunately it's not all just pretty Before and Afters, but then where would all the adventures be?! And thank you so much, I do think it turned out great, but may not be safe from another makeover in the future :)

    2. I loved loved your post ! Honest and to the point on the positives and negative issues. I agree on the price points of all the supplies and because of this I have developed my own paint at a little over half the price of the Sloan, Caldwell and coastal paints. I've used the high end and mine works just as well if not better and I too went to the home stores to shop for brushes, ended up using an old cotton tshirt to apply on the large areas and bought a stencil stippling brush for the hard to reach cracks and tiny spots I couldn't get into with my rag.

  8. I also wanted to mention a solution to your knob problems. I've done a tin of glass and ceramic makeover/up cycling and I used the Perm enamel paints found at hobby lobby or michaels I think I may even have seen it at walmart as well but not sure it's been a while, it's a paint on and bake product but gives a ceramic baked finish on whatever u use it on throw in the dishwasher after type thing, so rub off no headaches etc it removes the "this sucks" right out of the equation. Permanent and beautiful.

    1. Hi Mamadodah! Thanks so much for the tip! Come the beginning of the year I think this baby is going to be on my to-do list. The under color of the wood is starting to almost seep through the 3 coats of white paint. It's awful. I've now hidden this dresser in a back room until I can stand the thought of covering up all that hard work. I am going to have to look into the Perm enamel paints. I love the knobs, but of course currently when I open a drawer I have to grab the drawer itself and not the knob. Super annoying. But since they do wipe right off I'll just wipe them for a fresh slate and try some enamel paints! Thanks again!



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