Today I’m sharing the good, bad, and ugly of this dresser makeover that I did when I tested out the HomeRight paint sprayer.
I went back to my roots and used homemade chalk paint, I made my share of mistakes, and I had some bleed-through issues that I had to fix.
Get more DIY Dresser Makeover Ideas here!
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This is what the dresser looked like before. We bought it from Facebook Marketplace for $50, which is a steal in my area.
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- Krud Kutter
- Kwik Wood to Fill the Old Hardware Holes
- Orbital Power Sander
- 100 grit, 150 grit, and 220 grit orbital sander sandpaper
- Shop Vac
- Tack Cloth
- 1 Spray Can of Clear Shellac
- Almond Wisp from Behr Paint
- Calcium Carbonate Powder (for the homemade chalk paint)
- Plastic Bowl to Mix Paint in
- HomeRight Super Finish Max Paint Sprayer
- Paint Filters
- Wood Filler
- My Favorite Water-Based Polyurethane
- 400 Grit Sandpaper
- Blue Painting Sponge
- New Knobs
Homemade Chalk Paint Dresser Makeover
- Prep for Paint
- Prime to Prevent Bleedthrough
- Paint with Homemade Chalk Paint
- Topcoat with Polyurethane
- Fix Bleedthrough
- Topcoat with Polyurethane
- Add New Hardware
Step 1: Prep for Paint
First things first, we did all of the boring prep work.
Hardware and Cleaning
We removed the hardware, cleaned it off, and filled in the old hardware holes.
I recently did a tutorial comparing the most popular ways to fill hardware holes in… I thought it was super interesting!
Sanding Out the Scratches
The top had a lot of scratches, so I decided to sand it down and get all of those scratches out of it.
I started with 100 grit sandpaper on my orbital sander to eat through the finish fast.
I did really good and didn’t blow through the thin veneer at all on the top. But when I got to the sides, all of my luck was gone. Oops
I blew through that thin veneer in a few spots. I probably shouldn’t have used such a coarse grit on the sides huh?
Or I should have stuck with what I do best and strip it down with a chemical stripper so I didn’t have much chance to sand through the veneer.
Oh well. You live and you learn right?
Anyway, so I continued sanding, and did the whole move slowly through the different grits of sandpaper until you get to where you want it to be.
So I sanded everything with 150 grit. And then I hand sanded with 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it a little bit more for paint.
Then, since I had the sander out, I sanded the filler in the hardware holes down so it was flush, and I took a minute or two to lightly sand the rest of the dresser’s surface with 220 grit sandpaper.
Since this dresser was pretty flat, I was able to use the orbital for most of the scuff sanding.
Cleaning and Repairs
Then my husband vacuumed out the inside of the dresser.
And I glued a drawer back together that was falling apart.
Step 2: Prime to Prevent Bleedthrough
The next day, with the repair done, and the drawers all taped off, I sprayed clear shellac all over the dresser.
Have you used this stuff to block stains on your painted furniture?
Why Do I Prime with Clear Shellac?
If you’re wondering what in the world I’m talking about… Hi, welcome to my furniture makeovers. Haha
I like to use clear shellac to block stains from showing up in my painted finish.
It also makes paint stick really really well, which is weird because it’s mostly known as a topcoat.
Someone out there, please explain why it makes paint stick so well to even really slick surfaces.
I don’t know why it does what it does. I just know that it works.
And I love the spray can version because it’s easy to spray on. It does stink a lot though. That’s its downside.
Anyway, I sprayed 2 really good coats of clear shellac all over the dresser, letting it dry for at least an hour between coats, and then overnight before painting.
Step 3: Paint with Homemade Chalk Paint
And then the next day I made some homemade chalk paint to spray onto the dresser.
How to Make Homemade Chalk Paint with Latex Paint
I used the color Almond Wisp from Behr.
I personally really like this homemade chalk paint recipe that uses 1 cup flat latex paint and 5 Tablespoons food grade calcium carbonate powder.
I mix together a little bit of water, maybe a tablespoon or two of water… and the calcium carbonate powder.
Then I put that mixture into the flat latex paint and mix it together really well.
Homemade chalk paint is a super cheap alternative to regular chalk paint, you can mix it with any color or brand of flat latex paint, and it sticks really well!
Have you made homemade chalk paint before??
Using the HomeRight Super Finish Max Paint Sprayer
Then I sprayed the homemade chalk paint onto the dresser.
Check out this HomeRight paint sprayer review to see how I thinned the paint, the settings I used, and all the tips you need to know when using the HomeRight paint sprayer.
After the first coat was dry, I noticed a lot more scratches that should have been filled or sanded out, and I even noticed a slight paint drip.
Since I sanded the top down to bare wood, there was a lot of wood grain that needed filled in on the top.
So I took a break from painting the next coat, and worked on covering those things up.
I filled the wood grain on top, and filled in the scratches and blemishes everywhere else.
When those things were dry, I sanded them all down flush, and even sanded out the paint drip.
Then I cleaned up my mess.
And then I sprayed more clear shellac over those repairs.
I know, from past experience, that filling in wood grain tends to bring out bleedthrough issues, so I didn’t want to give it a chance to give me issues.
The next day I sprayed another coat of paint all over the dresser.
Actually, I think I ended up with 3 coats of paint on this dresser by this point.
This paint dries so fast though, so the painting part didn’t actually take long.
Everything else was taking forever. Haha
Step 4: Topcoat with Polyurethane
So after that last coat of paint was dry, I lightly sanded the dresser with 400 grit sandpaper to make the paint finish feel smoother.
Then I sprayed a coat of waterbased poly onto the dresser.
After the poly is dry, I like to sand it lightly with 400 grit sandpaper again to make it feel really smooth again.
Step 5: Fixing Bleedthrough
And that’s when I found a few bleedthrough stains coming through.
This is such a common thing. You don’t see any stains coming through the paint and think you’re almost done.. and then once you put your topcoat on, the stains show up.
It’s SO annoying. Basically, you’ve just gotta start over.
Thankfully it was just on one drawer, so I pulled that drawer aside and I sprayed it with a couple of coats of clear shellac.
And then I let it dry overnight again.
Then the next day I just wiped on some paint all over that one drawer, because I didn’t want to get my sprayer dirty for such a small area.
Step 6: Topcoat with Polyurethane
After the 2 coats of paint were dry, I sprayed the dresser again with topcoat, so I ended up with 3 coats of topcoat on all of it.
Did you keep track of how many coats of everything I used?? I lost track haha.
Step 7: Add New Hardware
To finish it off, we put new hardware on each drawer.
I really wanted to put the edge drawer pulls on, but since the bottom drawers really are one drawer and not 2 drawers, I couldn’t pull those off.
So I ended up going with simple knobs.
And I love them! It looks so sleek.
Watch the full makeover video here!
I had such a hard time deciding on what hardware to put on this piece.
These knobs weren’t my first choice, but because of how the drawers were, I couldn’t use my first choice.
I love these knobs though, so I think it worked out in the end.
The bleedthrough was a bit of a pain, but it could have been so much worse. I’m so glad it was only a few spots on one drawer!
And the homemade chalk paint went on like a dream. It sticks super, super well too…Actually I forgot how good homemade chalk paint is. So I’m so glad that I tried it again.
Anyway, what do you think??