Vintage Dresser Makeover

Today, in honor of #relovedmonday (have you checked out that hashtag on instagram? It’s a good one!) I’m finally posting our master bedroom vintage dresser makeover! This one is a long time coming, considering I purchased the dresser almost 3 months ago. Let’s get to it!

I found this baby on Craigslist for $60. She looked pretty rough, but I knew she had a lot of potential under all of that dark stain. Here’s a before picture, looking a little worse for the wear.


I began by removing the drawer hardware and sanding the entire piece… which was easier said than done. Oh goodness, this thing was an absolute pain to sand. The dark stain took a lot of elbow grease to remove, and I had to call in the big guns (ahem, Ryan) quite a few times to help me. Overall, I probably spent 2 weeks getting everything sanded down, working in small stretches.


Once the sanding was over, the real fun began. I knew I wanted the body and top of the dresser to be slightly different from the drawers, but it took me a bit to figure out exactly what look I wanted to go with.

I ended up staining everything the same color, and then adding a whitewash to the drawers. For the first coat of stain, I used Minwax Special Walnut. Once that dried, I used Rust-oleum’s driftwood stain for the second coat. When applying the driftwood stain, I worked in small sections, painting it on with a foam brush, and then immediately wiping it off with a rag. Here’s a closeup of the end result:


It’s definitely imperfect, but that’s the look that I love! You can also still see some of the original dark stain in the wood grain, which I think adds even more character to the piece. If you don’t like that look, then make sure your piece is completely sanded down before you start staining!

After the stain was dry, I took the additional step of whitewashing the drawers. I mixed flat white paint that I had on had with equal parts water, and brushed it on. This resulted in the drawers looking slightly lighter than the body and top of the dresser, giving me that subtle contrast that I wanted.


To finish off the entire piece, I used my favorite Minwax Finishing Wax in Natural.

After that, it was time for the icing on the cake - hardware! I had an idea of what I wanted, but didn’t like the prices I was finding. This is part of the reason this darn thing took me months to finish. Eventually, I bit the bullet and ordered the hardware. It ended up being almost as expensive as the entire dresser, but I L-O-V-E it!

I got these brass cup pulls for the top drawer, and these matching brass card catalog pulls for the bottom drawers. My trusty handyman (ahem, Ryan) drilled the holes for all of the pulls, and then screwed them all in with the tiniest screw driver known to man (Yes, he is in fact the greatest).


And <s> 3 months later</s> just like that, we had the after photo! 


I’m so happy to finally have this piece finished and actually living in the master bedroom! The wait was worth it.

What do you think of this vintage dresser makeover? Do you love the hardware as much as I do!?