The Dresser of Your Dreams.

This is what I started with. A cute, old dresser that my sister gave me when she moved and no longer had space for the piece in her new digs.

It's in great condition, but just not quite my style as-is. (And yes, there are knobs and drawer pulls for the dresser, I removed them prior to taking these photos.)

I really like the detail on the face of the drawers, but I decided this dresser needed some paint so it would 'go' better in our spare bedroom. I don't like things to be matchy-matchy, but there's so much wood in our house, that I don't like having wood furniture (unless I really, really like it). I also wanted to try out a glazing technique that I read about on one of my favorite blogs.

I'm a little hesitant to paint or 'mess' with antiques that are family pieces because the pressure is high to do a great job, or else I've just screwed up a family heirloom. Know what I mean?

This dresser is not a family piece, but my mom did purchase it for my sister a few years ago from an estate sale. The dresser belonged to S.M. Whitman, and it was delivered to his (or her) home in Fredricksburg, Iowa from the Springfield Furniture Company.

If any of you knuckleheads out there know this person or their descendants, let 'em know that I have their dresser and I ain't givin' it back.


My first step in this $0 dresser revamp was to sand down all of the visible surfaces with my palm sander.

(Before I go on, I feel the need to tell you that if you have any inclination to do any sort of home improvement project, you need a palm sander. NEED! You don't even need buy an expensive brand, and I guarantee it will be the best $30 you spend for your tool arsenal. Period.)

Ok, so I sanded the surfaces several times with different types (or grains?) of sandpaper to make sure I had a smooth surface on which to paint. The dresser had some type of poly finish on it, so the sanding took about an hour total.

Then, I used John's air compressor to blow off all of the dust and dirt before painting. I didn't want a speck of dust to ruin the paint job! Plus, it was a way more efficient use of my time to give the dresser a quick wipe-down with a shop rag then blow all the remaining dust off.

I also used the air compressor to operate a spray gun (!!!).

That's right. I painted the dresser and drawers in about 30 minutes with a air pressure spray gun. I have never used a spray gun before, nor even seen one be used. And John wasn't here to give me a tutorial, and he wasn't answering his phone to walk me through it. (You can be damn sure I blew up his phone and left him several messages, ranging in tone.) I should also note that I had no idea how to hook it up to the air compressor or put all of the pieces of the spray gun together.

Lets just say that my experience playing Tetris when I was a child have finally paid off. I made that spray gun my biotch, people.

The hardest part was finding the right ratio to dilute the paint with a thinner so it would pass through the gun easily.

I'm telling you, this spray gun made painting so easy. And the best part is there were no brush strokes or roller marks!

And to think, I thought John was stupid for investing in a $40 air compressor spray gun last year. I have a feeling that I'll be using this tool a lot in the future.

While the coat of paint was drying, I spray painted (with normal canned spray paint) the knobs and drawer pulls. Because the paint is an off-white/cream, I painted the knobs a walnut brown.

Then, I tinted my Dutch Boy brand glaze with an almond brown paint (4 parts glaze to 1 part paint) in a quart mason jar, gathered my supplies, and started glazing.

(If you ever glaze something, be sure to mix your glaze in a container with a lid, so you can save any leftovers for future projects! How's that for being frugal? )

Here's the result:

All you do to glaze is roll the glaze on in a thin (super thin!) layer and then wipe it off with an old rag - preferably a rag you can throw away when you're done.

Let the glaze dry, and touch up any areas you missed.

And you've got a finished piece, like this one!

After reinstalling the knobs, I think this dresser looks bangin' in our spare bedroom, don't you?


So let's look at the details to see how I accomplished this dresser revamp for $0, shall we?

Dresser: Free (hand-me-down from Stephanie)
Base coat paint: Free (1 quart leftover from other projects)
Glaze base: Free (3/4 gallon leftover form other projects)
Glaze paint for tinting: Free (1 quart leftover from other projects)
Spray paint for knobs: Free (I have a cabinet full of spray paint that I buy on clearance for projects just like these!)
Tools and materials: Free (I used everything I had at home, no new supplies were needed)

That brings my total to $0, friends. Granted, at some point in the past I had to purchase materials and paint, but I always have leftovers that I meticulously save and organize in our garage or basement. It makes sense for us now, more than ever, to be frugal and mindful of the materials we consume. The more we can reuse and repurpose, the better for our bank accounts and self-sufficiency.

Carry on.


  1. Gorgeous! Great job and kudos for figuring out the spray gun all on your own too.

  2. I have to say Kelli, I'm a little jealous! You are so talented! You know how to be handy with a spray gun, a sander, you are great at gardening, can you rub off on me some, PLEASE!!!?

  3. I love that; it turned out great! I haven't been brave enough to refinish anything yet, but I love blog posts about doing so. I hope you'll join us again this week at the HomeAcre Hop.

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  6. I have to say Kelli, I'm a little jealous! You are so talented! You know how to be handy with a spray gun, a sander, you are great at gardening, can you rub off on me some, PLEASE!!!?

  7. It is really good.I got new idea about my home making.You may need an air compressor ????if you want it this site is best option because you can buy here an air compressor is your bauget.

  8. Great job and you are lucky to have a sister with too much stuff but less space, LOL! I think you did a fantastic job on the spray gun, too.

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  10. This mangled manufacturer's paperboard label is Springfield Furniture Co. in Springfield, MO 1891-1942.

  11. amazing dressing table.. classic one!

  12. Finding practical storage solutions in a small bedroom can be tricky. Some spaces have limited closet space—some don't even have a closet! Check out this buying guide to find the best narrow dresser.

  13. I just found your post and I was so impressed! You made amazing work with the dresser! You have a talent!


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