Saturday, July 9, 2011

Painting an Antique Dresser for the Nursery (and Mirror)

The latest project to have taken over our house is work on the nursery.  (I'm expecting #2--a girl!--in August.) 

The dresser came from my husband's grandparents' house.  It is the perfect size and height to work as a changing table/dresser.  I decided to paint it white.  (Pregnant friends: please do not purchase a "changing table" for your child.  Simply buy a dresser new or used and attach a changing pad to the top.  It will look better and is probably better made than the changing tables marketed by the baby/pregnancy industry!)

First, remove all the drawers and hardware.  Then, I lighted sanded the dresser and used a Swifer wipe to clean the surface followed by baby wipes.  Let dry.

Once it was dry, I applied the first coat of paint.  It took four coats of semi-gloss white "trim"  paint (from Benjamin Moore) to cover the dresser.   Fortunately, I already had several cans of leftover trim paint, so I didn't need to purchase it. Note: This dresser already had a slick or sealed surface, which is why I did not prime it.  If you are painting unfinished wood or a piece that isn't very "slick", be sure to prime.)

I spent several days painting the dresser without the drawers then did the drawers separately at a later date though using the same process.  Remember to remove the hardware (pulls) from the dresser before painting.

Hint:  It is always better to do more light coats than fewer heavy coats.  The coats will dry more quickly and the paint will be less likely to run.  Always, check your work after you apply a coat and use your brush to wipe away and smooth-out any runs or drips.

After I finished painting my dresser, I noticed that the inside of the drawers were in bad shape.  I cleaned them out and put one light coat of paint (same as the wall color in the nursery Benjamin Moore OC-136  "Celery Salt.")  I will likely line the drawers with scented drawer liners as well.  During my last pregnancy, I purchased these at Crabtree and Evelyn.

As a final step, I replaced the wooden knobs with Lucite knobs from Lowe's.  These affordable pulls ($6.92) were featured in the most recent issue of House Beautiful "101 Things From the Hardware Store" (thanks for the reminder Kim!).

I am very pleased with the end result!

The mirror above the dresser is a bit of a DIY project albeit very simple.  I purchased the mirror from HomeGoods, and it was rather beat-up.  I decided to paint the geometric border green.  All it took was two coats of acrylic craft paint and voila!

Thanks to my friends and family, I have many hand-me-down and new baby girl clothes that have filled the dresser!

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