Shabby chic dresser rehab


here is a free dresser i stalked on craigslist.  it was curbside, was in really sad condition, and needed some tlc.  but i saw the potential! 
while i don’t have a picture of my sad piece (i need to get better at this), here’s a picture of a highboy dresser with the same paint job.  it just happened to be at Salvation Army yesterday.  what a coincidence!
a lovely white and gold veneer.  front right leg was busted.  none of the drawers worked.
in fact, as i was pulling up to the curb, i saw a neighbor try to open the drawer, shake his head, and walk away.  his loss!
i vacuumed the whole thing, wiped it down, re-attached the drawer glides, fixed the busted leg, and hoped it all worked.
it did.
since it was a lovely veneer, i used the Zissner stain cover to completely cover the old nasty white and gold veneer.

Zissner stain cover rocks.  It completely covers in a single coat…no sanding required!  Then I painted the whole thing with my Purdy brush in a light blue Valspar that I had mixed.  Can’t remember the exact color, but you get the idea.

I tightened this busted leg by finding the nut on the back and using my socket wrench.  not too tricky, thankfully!

 Nice applique detail at the bottom of the piece!
Then I sanded with an 80 grit trying to get the high spots and places where the piece would naturally get distressed.

Wiped and vacuumed.
Then used a mixture of Minwax water-based white tint base stain in winter grey + Behr glaze and applied all over with a foamie.  Paid special attention to the nicks, scratches, curves and creases so that the glaze would soak into the nooks and crannies.

Let sit for 5 minutes and wiped off with a dry rag (husband’s t-shirt).

You can see that I didn’t get close enough to the top edge in that corner.  Sloppy sloppy workmanship!
I tried to go with the grain as much as possible so that it would somewhat replicate real wood.  Then applied thick globs of Minwax paste wax and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Then buffed it all out, again, going with the grain.
I also used the wax along the drawer glides so that they’d slide more easily.  We’ll see how that works in the long run.
I painted the knobs and pulls in a cream oops color I had and quickly wiped it off with a rag to have some metal show through.

 And here is the final product!  A very cute shabby chic dresser in light blue with a gray glaze.  Drawers are working.  It’ll be perfect in the shabby guest room.  Final room reveal later this summer!
I love this piece so much that I can’t bear to even close the garage door!

i’ve linked to the following parties…
Transformation Thursday
About meesh

Meesh has a passion for people, creative projects, and technology. She enjoys painting furniture back to life, gardening, playing with her kids, and connecting people.


  1. >That is a gorgeous color! I wouldn't close the garage door either! Lovely!

  2. >Thanks, Allison! I'm pretty stoked considering this is one of my very first projects! 🙂

  3. >Growing up in the 80's it seemed like every girl had a piece similar to this in her bedroom, I thought they were ugly even back then! 🙂 What a great makeover!! I'm featuring you in my Flaunt it Friday Features, stop by and grab an I was featured button if you'd like. Thanks for linking up!!