Dear Internet

I need your help. For quite a long time now, I’ve been thinking about painting an antique dresser I have. Currently, he lives in a small room off of our bedroom, which we call the sun room but really functions as a dressing room and storage area.

Joe has never been a huge fan of this dresser (and it’s brother, which you’ll see in a second) because they are so traditional looking — and I have to admit, with all the furniture additions we’ve made in the last few years, he’s right. But I’m convinced that with a good (and creative) paint job, I could make them really fabulous.

And that’s where I’m stuck. Do I go simple, and paint it a glossy black? Bright turquoise for something more fun? Or maybe gray, with yellow accents?

Here are some detail shots of the dresser:

One minor problem: the hardware on this is quite old, so the round plates that you see below cannot be removed — only the pulls can. But I thought maybe I could spray paint them?

I’d be up for experimenting with different patterns with painter’s tape, but nothing TOO crazy — perhaps just some simple borders? Also, this dresser has a brother, a five six-drawer dresser that’s taller (obviously I need to learn how to count).

What do you think? For now, these dressers will live in the sunroom, but in the future, they could go elsewhere (at one point, I envisioned the low dresser being used as a buffet/bar stand!). I would love your ideas and input on this. Painting these would also be my first major DIY project, so any tips you have on that are much appreciated too.


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  1. 1.12.11
    susannah said:

    I am sure they would look gorgeous if you painted them, but I do love antique wooden dressers like those. They’re not too formal, so I think they can easily fit into many different rooms as long as they’re not ultra modern. I am a fan!

    • 1.12.11

      Hmm, interesting. I guess that brings me to another question. Does the Internet think I’m crazy for wanting to paint these???

  2. 1.12.11
    Kelly said:

    First of all, they’re beautiful!

    You could do so many things to them:
    1. Sand them down, re-stain them, and do a few coats of polyurethane so they have a glossy look.
    2. I’m a BIG fan of painting though too. I’d go for a fun color. Maybe mustard yellow, hermes orange, raspberry, or turquoise.
    3. I also like your idea of using tape to create a pattern. Chevron stripes on the side could be easy enough.
    4. I love the hardware, and I think spray painting it is an excellent idea!

    Wow, I think that’s the longest comment I’ve ever left on a blog! I just love painting furniture though! If you decide to do it and need suggestions/pointers let me know!!!

    • 1.12.11

      Kelly, I was so hoping you would comment since you have done so many painting rehabs! I’m kind of loving the idea of Hermes orange. Thanks for all your input! I will definitely shoot you a note once I make a decision so I can get your pointers on painting.

  3. 1.13.11

    You might be a LITTLE crazy for wanting to paint – I think they look gorgeous how they are! Dressed up with a few colorful accessories or some bright lamps and they might look a little more modern.

    That being said, I painted a similar dresser & desk, both a boring white, but added fun drawer pulls and they look a bajillion times better.

    Wish I could remember where I saw it – but a blogger somewhere painted a chevron motif on the top of a dresser and it turned out great! Maybe you know what i’m talking about?

    • 1.13.11

      Okay, so the internet thinks I’m crazy. Maybe I should go Kelly’s route with just a little sanding, a darker stain, and some polyurethane!

      I agree, Jessie, that maybe with some new trays and a new lamp (which I HAVE been meaning to get), I could spruce them up.

      It’s very gratifying to hear you guys all say you like them! These are actually dressers that belonged to my great grandmother, which I inherited when I moved to California! Does that make painting them even more sacrilegious? Ehh…maybe.