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Refinished French Country Dresser

This dresser was just waiting for some love. Follow along and learn how to refinish your sub-par surfaces!

It started out like this:


It actually belonged to our landlord and had been sitting in the jam room for about ten years. Matt used it as an instrument/music stand. The drawers were filled with broken guitar pedals and picks. I inquired about purchasing the dresser and he said I could just have it. Sweet. (Thanks, Rick!).

It’s strikingly similar to the nightstand I got from Value Village, which has a very shabby chic thing going on. As you can see, this dresser was definitely more shabby than chic.

Step 1: Pokie’s Inspection


She’s so thorough, you guys.

Step 2: Remove Hardware + Wipe Down

After that I moved on to removing the hardware and giving everything a good scrub. The pictures are deceptive, but it’s huge! Using a standard scraper, I removed the chipping paint from the drawer fronts. There were three holes that I filled with Elmer’s Stainable Wood Filler. And sanded all the surfaces with 80 grit, then 150 grit, (then 320 grit just on the top) sandpaper to get the smoothest, buttery-est texture possible. Remember, most especially when working indoors, to use a respirator and cover everything you don’t want layered in sawdust, in my case that includes drums, guitars, amps and keyboards.

Step 3: Pick + Paint

The next step was picking a color. I struggled with the choice because white seems appropriate for the classic French country style, but is not conducive to my lifestyle. The dresser doubles as a vanity and putting on powdery brown makeup over a white surface is just asking for trouble. You know it, I know it, so it wasn’t happening. I decided on Timbermine in semi-gloss because it’s perfectly regal, but not overly dark or dramatic. It’s the Goldilocks of grays. The fine folks at Fred Meyer mixed it up for me.


Can we just take a second to thank whoever came up with the idea to put paint in screw-top containers? I wanna give a shout out to that homie, whoever he or she is. Because IT’S AMAZING. No waste. No questing if you’ve got a tight seal. They got it going on.

I painted two light coats of grey on the body of the dresser using a 3 inch brush, an artist’s brush for the inlays and a roller. Painting flat surfaces is always trickier than I remember. Using brushes alone creates streaks that can be cute, but weren’t here. To achieve even perfection, I used the brush to apply the paint, but then went over it with the roller to smooth things out. I tried just using the roller, but I found that left different streaks. Combining techniques made all the difference. I used two different polyurethane treatments to protect the paint.

From streaky mess to oh yes!

Step 4: Hardware

The hardware that came with the dresser was gorgeous enough to keep, but definitely needed a paint job. I opted for Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze. It’s like a metallic dusted black that looks perfect in person.


Step 5: Drawers

I opted for this ladylike contact paper inside to line the drawers. It’s the perfect little extra. ❤


Put it all together and what do ya get? Gorgeousness!



This dresser definitely classes up the place. And it’s so big, everything actually fits! I consider this whole venture a success and you can, too. Don’t go settling for sub par surfaces, switch it up!


Catfight Craft

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