Two Tone Dresser


At long last, two weeks behind schedule, I am ready to share our two-toned dresser project. I know I say this all the time, but this is another one of those projects that has been a long time coming. We bought this particular dresser about two and a half years ago at a local estate shop for $150. It wasn’t in the best shape, but it was our first big furniture purchase as a couple, and I was willing to see past the scratches at the beautiful mid-century lines and original brass hardware.


But ever since then, I’ve ended up staring at it critically, wondering what direction I wanted to take it in. Do I sand the whole thing down and restain it all over? Do I paint it all over? Ultimately, I settled on something of a compromise – A few coats of crisp white on the outside of the dresser, with exposed, refinished wood on the drawer fronts. What I’m sharing today of this project I’m calling “Phase 1.”


First step? Remove the drawers. Then John and I hauled the dresser out to our front yard where I was able to sand the frame down using an electrical hand sander. With a dishtowel to wipe away the debris, I then brought it back inside where I worked to prime (2 coats) and paint (3 coats) the exterior of the dresser.


Once the paint was dry, we slipped the drawers into place and pushed it back against the wall. Happily, it’s everything that I had been dreaming of and more. The white helps to cover the worst of the dresser’s defects, and by painting those two inner support pieces white as well, it accentuates the unique asymmetry of the piece. It feels modern and fresh, and well on its way to being a showstopper in the house.





It’s certainly not finished yet (those drawers are in desperate need of a refresh), but I’m taking it one season and one phase at a time. For now, I’m happy to see real progress – and free progress at that! Thank goodness for DIY…

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