The Transformative Powers of Paint

dresser_beforeafterIt’s amazing what a coat of paint can do. This is a simple before + after as a vintage chest of drawers is transformed with a few coats of white paint into a sleek, modern buffet for a small (and I mean small) dining room.


  • Sandpaper
  • Paint (and primer, if necessary) (I used Behr’s Premium Plus Interior Semi-Gloss Enamel)
  • Roller and/or brush

The chest of drawers was a generous gift from my grandparents. I had received the matching dresser as a hand-me-down from my sister a couple years ago, (It is now painted black, holding sewing supplies in my office) so this piece had been collecting dust in their basement. I love the clean lines of this chest and knew it offered the perfect bit of storage for a small nook in our dining room.

Step 1: Prepare the Surface … All you need is some warm, soapy water. My mom taught me that, and it is amazing how effective a bucket of sudsy water is for cleaning. I scrubbed this inside and out four times – I wanted to get every speck of dust.


Step 2: Sand … Scuff the surfaces to ensure that the paint will adhere well. Once you are done sanding, it is important to wash everything again.


Step 3: Paint! … I used a roller to cover the large surfaces and a small brush to get in to the nooks and crannies. Don’t overlook things like the edges of your drawers – they will show! Since this was white, I actually did a coat of primer first followed by two coats of white paint. I used the same paint that we had recently applied to the trim in the house so the chest definitely looks like it belongs in the color scheme. I wanted to be sure not to ruin the smooth finish, so we waited at least a day in between coats and waited a couple of days before moving the chest.



It is a perfect fit! I hung shelves above the chest to store serving pieces and use the drawers to store silverware, table linens, and other entertaining essentials. The white was a perfect choice for our small, dark dining room and I love that there are unlimited ways to dress up this neutral piece.


Even better – this project was virtually free! The furniture was a gift and I used leftover paint and supplies. However, even if you are not fortunate enough to use leftovers for your own project, updating an old piece of furniture with a fresh coat of paint is a quick, easy, and economical way to bring a little life into your home! Happy painting!


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