How To Paint A Wood Dresser

Okay, let’s face it: painting can be a daunting task. Whenever I have to apply paint over a curvy surface, I tend to feel exhausted before I even get started. However, I think that painting alone is not that painful. But all the sanding can make you want to scream and cry.

Personally, I dislike the dust and I dislike the mess. So when I was trying to figure out how to paint a wood dresser I had thrown in the basement for several months, I was happy to find a way of avoiding the process of sanding.

Finally, I had my wood dresser repainted and refreshed while saving a few hours (and some sweating) over the coarse-grit to fine-grit sandpaper scenario. Do you want to learn how I did that? Check out the step-by-step tutorial on painting a wood dresser (without sanding) below.

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

  • Drop cloth (or plastic sheets)
  • Foam brush
  • A small-sized and a medium-sized paintbrush
  • Paint tray
  • Wood primer
  • Latex paint
  • Polyurethane varnish (optional)
  • Tape measure
  • Rag

Pro Tips

1 – Work like a pro, store your supplies like a pro

Placing all your supplies in a single box is a game changer. I have a medium-sized plastic box for this purpose.

Storing all my instruments and materials at one place, instead of throwing these on the shelves in my closet has made my job as a DIYer much easier and much more enjoyable. That’s because a box is also portable so when you start working, you have everything you need by your side.

2 – Go for oil-based polyurethane

Water-based polyurethane has certain strong points, such as emitting less of an odor. However, it can’t beat the glossy, amber-hued finish you can achieve with oil-based polyurethane products.

Plus, oil-based polyurethane is better suited for the beginners as the coats you apply will become even and smooth by layering. With water-based polyurethane, improper application can be disastrous.

Nevertheless, oil-based polyurethane is extremely durable, being highly resistant to scratches, as well as heat and even chemicals. On the other hand, if you like to experiment with refreshing your furniture often, then a water-based polyurethane can be a wiser option because you can remove it easier than an oil-based one.

Step By Step Instructions For Painting A Wood Dresser

Step 1 – Prime, prime (and prime some more!)

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Priming is the first step of preparing the surface of the wood after you have cleaned it thoroughly with a clean rag. But before you get down to work, you need to protect the surroundings from blotchy spots of paint. Cover the floor with a drop cloth. Wrap the doorknobs of the wood dresser with a tape measure. Make sure you tape any ornaments on the dresser to keep them away from the paint, too.

Now, it’s time to prime the wood dresser. Apply an even coat of the primer with a foam brush. After you are done with the first layer, let it dry out for 30 minutes and up to an hour. Proceed with applying a second, and a third layer by following the same steps as with the first layer.

Step 2 – Paint the wood dresser and finish with a coat of polyurethane

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When painting the wood dresser, you want to start with covering the large parts first. Apply long, even strokes following the grain of the wood with a medium-sized paintbrush. For painting over corners, edges, as well as curves, use a small-sized paint brush.

Wait for the first layer of paint to dry out and apply another one (if needed). When the paint is fully dry, you can finish by applying a coat of polyurethane.

Ultimately, if you are the type of person who is not fond of any brushing-related parts of the refinishing furniture process, then some sanding will do just fine. But if you have never tried out priming instead of opting for sandpaper to smooth a wooden surface, I encourage you to give this method a shot.

Not only did I end up with a wood dresser which looks like a sparkling new one but I also saved myself the muscle fever from sanding over and over again. Did you like this tutorial? Comment, like, and share! By doing so, you can help us reach out to more fellows DIYers out there with easy and useful tips.

  • January 5, 2019
  • DIY