There’s something about thrifted furniture that just makes it so much more special. Maybe it’s the history behind each piece, or the unique imperfections that make it one-of-a-kind.
This week we tried painting furniture with Lilly Moon Paint for the first time, and here’s how it turned out.
Get more tips and ideas for painting furniture here.
We found this antique dresser on Facebook marketplace. It didn’t come with the top 2 drawers… and I’ve debated about what to do with it for about a year… until just recently.
If I removed the top 2 drawers, you would see that the top wasn’t 1 solid piece. If I kept the drawer cubbies, I would have to do something with them… but what?
Well… check out what I ended up doing.
Painting Furniture with Lilly Moon Paint (Opulent)
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- Electric Screwdriver
- Vacuum (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order)
- Krud Kutter
- 100, 150, and 200 Grit Sandpaper (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order)
- Surfprep Sander (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order)
- Plastic Wood Filler
- Foam Sanding Sponges (Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order)
- Wood for the Top
- Router Bits
- Wood Glue
- Brad Nails
- Nail Gun
- Painters Tape
- Pre-Taped Plastic
- Aqua Lock Primer in Black
- Mohair Paint Roller
- Wagner FLEXiO 3000 Paint Sprayer
- Lilly Moon Paint Opulent in Wilderness
- Paint Filters
- Kreg Hardware Jig
- Staalmeester Paint Brush
- Wise Owl Furniture Salve
Just like with every furniture makeover, I got started by removing the hardware. Look at the gunk behind these things!!
I personally don’t like the pulls…. So they aren’t going back on.
Get a detailed tutorial on how to prepare furniture for paint here.
Remove Top Drawer Boxes and Remove Top
Then I removed the drawer boxes on the top. They were attached with a couple of screws in the front and in the back.
But then that left us with a top that had 2 large holes in it.
So we pried that off.
And it didn’t want to come off… at first. Haha, we eventually got it off though, and it was just held on with some old glue and nails.
Cleaning Before Painting Furniture
Then we sprayed everything with my favorite furniture cleaner, Krud Kutter, and wiped it all down to remove any dirt, grease, or grime.
All of that gunk from behind the hardware didn’t budge at all though.
Learn more on how to clean furniture before painting here.
Sanding Before Painting Furniture
So when the Krud Kutter was dry, we used 100 grit sandpaper to sand it off.
I went through so many sheets of sandpaper on these. I have no idea what it was, but man it didn’t want to come off.
Eventually, it all came off, and then I sanded it all with 150 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it out.
Fix Furniture Damage
My husband took over for a bit to scuff sand the dresser for me and then filled in the scratches and dings with wood filler.
Check out this post to learn more about the best wood filler for furniture.
We let the wood filler dry overnight, and then he sanded the wood filler down and finished scuff sanding everything the next morning.
Learn the importance of sanding before painting here.
And then he cleaned up all of the dust with the vacuum.
At this point, I realized that the keyhole on one drawer was damaged, so I fixed that with some KwikWood.
Check this post to learn more about repairing furniture.
And then I realized that we needed to fill in the hardware holes because I wasn’t putting the old hardware back on… and the old holes weren’t evenly spaced either. Haha
So Taylor filled those hardware holes in with more KwikWood.
Check out this comparison post on the best ways to fill hardware holes.
Cut a New Top
While the KwikWood dried, we cut a new top for the dresser.
We measured twice and used the table saw to cut it to the right size…
But when we put it on the dresser, it was an inch too big.
So we cut it again! Thank goodness we cut it too big and not too small!
Then we taped the edges so we could router the edges and get a clean cut…
And tested out some different router bits. Good thing we tested them because we didn’t go with the first option!
Then Taylor routered the edge of the new top and I did the most important job… removing the tape. Haha
We attached the new top to the dresser with some glue and brad nails. Nothing too complicated here!
Here’s another great post about replacing a dresser top.
And then, I filled the nail holes and knots with some plastic wood filler.
Sand Furniture Repairs
After the wood filler and KwikWood were dry, we sanded them down smooth and cleaned up all of the dust.
Prime with Aqua Lock Primer
We lined our paint tray with some tin foil. And filled it up with some Aqua Lock Primer in black.
The more I use this stuff, the more I love it!
Learn more about the best primer for painting furniture here.
I brushed and rolled it onto the dresser, hoping to fill in the open wood grain that I created by sanding the drawers down to raw wood in some spots… And to fill in any open wood grain texture on the top.
If I would have sprayed it on, it wouldn’t have filled in any wood grain.
So even though I don’t care for rolling paint on, this was an exception to my rule. Haha
It went on really well with the roller though! I love that it’s black, it’s water-based, and it has excellent adhesion properties.
Hide Wood Grain When Painting Furniture
When the primer was dry, I could still see some wood grain texture on the drawers where I had sanded to bare wood.
So I filled those spots in with some wood filler and let it dry overnight.
Check out this post to learn how to hide wood grain when painting.
The next day I sanded everything down smooth with 220 grit sandpaper… though I probably didn’t need to sand everything.
The primer went on really smooth, but since I was already sanding, I just hit all of it.
Then I primed the drawers and the top of the dresser again for good measure.
And when the primer was dry an hour later, I sanded it down smooth again and cleaned up the dust.
How to Spray Paint Furniture Without Making a Mess
Since I wanted to spray paint onto the dresser, I taped off the drawers with painter’s tape and plastic so the paint wouldn’t get inside the drawers.
We also laid down plastic on the walls and floor.
Learn how to prevent overspray here.
Spray Painting Furniture with Lilly Moon Paint
And then I mixed the paint into the sprayer. I used Lilly Moon Paint’s new all-in-one paint called Opulent in the color Wilderness.
They were a sponsor at a conference I went to, so I got it for free to try out.
And this color is gorgeous!
I added about 15% water to the paint because you know me… I don’t like spraying paint without thinning it out.
I tested the spray out on a cardboard box and then sprayed it onto the dresser. It felt thicker than I like… It sprayed slower and I was worried that there was going to be a lot of texture still.
But an hour later I checked out it, and it looked so good! No texture left behind! And the paint had really good coverage too!
It did feel slightly rough to the touch, which happens to me with my favorite topcoat a lot too when it dries too fast or overspray gets on it.
Not shown here, I did add a splash more water to thin it out just a little more…
And then I sprayed a second coat of paint. I liked how it sprayed on better this time.
Updating Dresser Hardware
I let it dry for 4 hours, and then I drilled new holes into the drawers with my Kreg Hardware Jig. And I put new brass knobs on.
Watch the full video of this makeover below…or scroll down for the after photos and additional chalk painting furniture tips!
First, I absolutely LOVE this color! Isn’t it such a good shade of green??
I love the new look overall. The details on the side of the dresser stand out more now, and I think it looks so much better without the drawers on the top.
Lilly Moon Paint Review
As far as the Lilly Moon Opulent paint… overall I think it’s a great paint. But I wouldn’t say that it’s my favorite ever.
It’s very durable! I brushed some on a scrap board, with and without sanding beforehand, and no priming.
Only a few days later it’s not budging when I scratch at it.
I didn’t get any bleed-through stains at all, which I thought I might get some bleeding… but there’s absolutely none.
Read more about bleedthrough and what else we use to block it.
The selection of colors is fabulous, and the coverage was great!
Since it’s an all-in-one paint, I didn’t think it would be matte, where it scratches, scuffs, and gets dirty really easily… but it is definitely matte.
That’s the biggest bummer about this paint for me…So if you love a matte paint finish though, this paint is excellent!
I ended up putting some Wise Owl Furniture Salve all over the dresser to help reduce how easy it is to scuff and get dirty.
And then I also added some salve inside the drawers to freshen up the wood, and on the wood drawer tracks to help the drawers go in and out easier.
And… now I’m thinking I might just keep this dresser instead of selling it. We’ll see!