This green painted dresser is soooo much fun! A little bit of paint goes a long way in updating and transforming any piece of furniture, and this modern dresser is no exception! Here is how to easily DIY paint your furniture in a green modern finish.
Friends! This makeover was so. much. fun!
From the moment I laid eyes on it on Facebook Marketplace, I could see this dresser in green with gold knobs.
Usually I figure out what to do with a piece of furniture after it has sat around my shop for a while. But not this one!
So I didn’t waste any time diving into refinishing it!
This is what the dresser looked like BEFORE! Scratched up with broken hardware.
It had amazing modern lines though! And the scratches and hardware are easy to fix.
Supplies for the Green Modern Dresser Makeover:
- Old Vintage Dresser
- Krud Kutter – to clean off the dirty dresser
- Kwikwood – to fill the hardware holes
- Tack Cloth – amazing rags to wipe off dust and lint
- Paint Brush or Paint Sprayer
- Green Chalk Style Paint – Wild Clover Paint from Country Chic Paint
- Water – Based Polyurethane
- New Knobs
Step One: Prep the Dresser for Paint
I know this is always the step everyone wants to skip. I think that’s why chalk paint became so popular, because it was advertised as no prep paint.
And you can totally go that route, if you want all of your hard work of painting to end in easily scratched furniture.
No matter what kind of paint you use, whether it’s chalk paint, latex paint, ceramic paint or milk paint, you need to clean off the surface that you’re painting and give the paint something to actually hold onto. If there isn’t anything to hold it onto the furniture’s surface, then you’ll run into scratching and peeling paint.
Prepping furniture for paint should only take around a half an hour to do, but it will save you so much time in the end! So here’s how to do it!
- Remove the old hardware with a flat head screwdriver. If you have a lot of screws, or paint furniture a lot, I totally recommend this battery operated screw driver! It makes life so much easier!
- Clean the surface with a cleaner that will cut through grease, grime, oil and wax. (I use and love Krud Kutter! – it’s amazing for cleaning around the house too!)
- Scuff sand the whole surface with a few passes of a piece of 220 grit sandpaper. You don’t have to sand down to bare wood! Just run the sandpaper over everything at least once or twice.
- Vacuum off the dust (and while you’re at it, take out the drawers and vacuum behind them too!)
- Use a tack cloth or a lint free rag to get any remaining dust off. (Tack Cloths are sooooo amazing. They feel super weird, so sometimes I wear gloves while using them. But dust clings to them, which gives you a completely dust free piece of furniture to paint!)
The Best Way to Fill in Old Hardware Holes
Part of prepping furniture sometimes includes filling in the old hardware holes so I can make new holes for new hardware.
Hardware choices can really make or break a piece of furniture! So changing out the old stuff for the new stuff is sometimes the best thing you can do for a dresser.
It’s suuuper easy to fill in the old holes too! Especially when you have the right product in your hand!
Option One: Wood Filler (works okay)
When I first started to paint furniture I would just stuff the holes with wood filler.
But it would always sink in a bit after it dried, and honestly I don’t think it’s the most durable option. It also takes forever to dry!
BUT it works if that’s all you have on hand. Just plan on filling it a few times before it actually is smooth with the surface.
Option Two: Bondo (works better)
Then I found out about Bondo (Bondo is so good for broken furniture repairs – learn how to fix damage with Bondo here).
I used Bondo for a long long time for hardware holes. But I would always have to go back and fill it a second time because of bubbles in the bondo or I would shave too much off of it before it dried, so it was never completely smooth on the first fill.
It dries super fast though and it dries rock hard! So it’s a great option to fill hardware holes!
Option Three: Kwikwood (works the best!)
I still felt like there had to be something better. Something easier to use, that would dry fast and super hard.
I finally found it in Kwikwood!
Kwikwood comes in a little tube and is the consistency of clay.
Just break off a small piece of the stick, knead it in your hands until it’s completely mixed together, and then fill the hardware holes. I like to just barely overfill the holes so I can sand them down completely smooth with the surface of the dresser once the Kwikwood is dry.
You can work with it for about 15 minutes before it starts to really get hard, and then it takes about an hour to dry hard.
Once it’s dry I like to sand it down smooth with 220 grit sandpaper.
Drilling New Holes for Hardware
This is the part that I always leave for last, even though I know I should do before I actually paint.
There are so many things that can go wrong if you wait to drill new holes until after you have painted. Putting holes in the wrong places, accidentally marking your fresh paint with pen, the wood chipping right around the holes, and on and on.
So try to make new hardware holes before you paint the dresser. Unlike me that does it after the piece has been painted. haha!
First, measure the height and the width of your drawers. Divide the height by 2 so you know where the center is. Then decide where you want the knobs to go on the sides of the drawers. Measure the distance from that spot to the outside of the drawers.
You can mark these measurements with a pen and then use a drill bit that is just a little bit bigger than the screws to drill new holes.
The hardest part is just making sure that all the measurements are precise so your knobs are all lined up.
Step Two: Paint the Dresser Green!
Now for the fun part! Painting the dresser green!
This green is the absolutely stunning color called Wild Clover from Country Chic Paint!
Country Chic Paint is a furniture paint company that offers eco-friendly clay based paints. It acts just like chalk style paint does too! which means it has great adhesion, it’s super easy to distress, and it dries fast!
It’s honestly my go to paint and has been for years!
How to Paint without Brush Marks
Country Chic Paint also has these Painting Sponges that make painting furniture details easy! The sponges also help you get a brush free finish when you thin the paint out a bit with water, and then brush the paint on in thin coats! And they are really really amazing for applying the water-based poly.
My preferred method is using a paint sprayer for a brush free finish.
If you want a true brush free finish on your painted furniture, I really recommend this cheaper paint sprayer. I used it for 3 years on all of my painted furniture before I finally upgraded to a professional sprayer.
This dresser (with my paint sprayer) used a pint of paint. If you’re brushing it on, you might use a little less than a pint for a dresser of this size.
Optional Step: Distress the Edges of your Dresser
This is obviously totally up to what your style is!
I personally love a good distressing around the edges, so I distressed this dresser just a bit.
Step Three: Topcoat your Painted Dresser
Chalk style paint needs to be top coated for extra durability, especially if you want to wipe it down or it not collect as much dust.
You could wax it, but I don’t find wax as easy to use, and the whole process takes a long time.
Instead of waxing chalk paint, I use a water – based polyurethane. This brand is the best stuff out there! I haven’t had yellowing issues, it’s cheaper than name brands, and most of all, it dries to a very durable smooth finish!
The best way that apply poly by hand is to dampen a Country Chic Paint painting sponge, and brush it on (not too thick, but not too thin either). Make sure to only wipe it once, maybe twice and then leave it alone to dry. The more you touch it, the more streaky it gets.
My favorite way to apply poly onto my painted furniture is to spray it through my paint sprayer.
Learn ALL of my tips and tricks on How to Spray Polyurethane here!
Poly has the best durability once you apply 3 or more coats, so don’t just apply one and be done. Take a few more hours to apply a couple more coats before being done.
Step Four: Attach the New Hardware
Yay!! You’re basically done!!
Now just screw the new hardware into the new holes you drilled!
Step back and admire your work because you did it!!
Get the Secrets!
Grab this super convenient Ebook with all of our secrets on how to repair furniture for only $5. You can print it out and have instant access whenever you come across damaged furniture, and know exactly how to fix it!
Click on the picture of the book to purchase!
Happy painting friend!!