Chalk Paint Dresser Inspired by Pottery Barn

Yeah! What better way to start the week than with a a dresser refresh project I did for my son’s bedroom a few weeks ago.
Here’s the before and after of my dresser rehab. I die.
Keep on reading if you’re curious about how to use chalk paint for refinishing furniture, or in this case for refinishing a dresser with chalk paint. It was fun and super easy. Legit a skill level of 1 required.

Before I get started on my project, let’s take a look at my inspiration dresser. This Pottery Barn Reese extra wide dresser in Navy. You guys, I LOVE this dresser – the color, the legs, the handles, it was perfect. Except for the pricetag…$1200 = not perfect and not a necessary expense.

Sorry, kid I love you but I know you won’t appreciate this dresser, plus you might even color on it one day so I started searching my local Michigan antique shops and even garage sales. Then I found THIS baby hiding in the corner of my favorite little mom and pop junk resale shop!

Look how perfect it is…well, obviously it was dirty and the wood is terrible looking but the bones were good and it was ONLY $40 post negotiations!!! Yes, please! I loaded it up in the back of my SUV and this beaut and I were off to Lowes to get some paint.
Honestly, I wanted to see what all the ‘chalk paint’ hype was about. Why is every blogger and their mom using it? I had to find out and I knew that is what I wanted to use on this dresser. (My verdict is it is worth it but more on that later.) Now, this isn’t chalkboard paint, it’s just a matte paint and more of a nickname for this type of finish.
Anyways, after reading some reviews on chalk paint, I opted for the Valspar Chalky Finish Paint and tinted it to a dark navy color. (I can’t seem to find the exact name of the paint color but I think it was true navy or something.) I will search for it and update soon once I find it.
I also picked up some new hardware for the longer handles and some Valspar Brilliant Metals Gold Spray Paint. The handles on my new/old dresser are a super weird size so I didn’t have too many options for hardware, but I wanted gold to match some of my other things that I was putting in Henry’s room so spray paint was my best choice here. Plus, I actually liked the small handles on the righthand drawers and didn’t want to replace those so spray paint I did.
Once my new/old dresser and I were home, the refinishing project began. Here’s how it went down.
Step 1:
Really this was the hardest part. Washing and rewashing spider webs and dust off an old dresser. Yuck. But check it out. I just used a shammy and soap and water.
Here is pre-wash.
And post-wash.
I mean, I feel like it already looks a million times better. Just LOOK at the inside of where the drawers go. This amount of dust is just not ok.
Step 2:
So after I washed everything and let the wood dry a bit, I sanded all my drawers and the tops/sides of the dresser. Now, this chalk paint says that you don’t ‘need’ to sand, but I just have never NOT sanded before painting so I just wasn’t comfortable skipping this step. Plus, there were some areas I wanted to try to smooth out, so I used my mom’s Black and Decker handheld Mouse sander (because at this point, I was living with my parents for a few weeks and had access to all their fun tools) – you guys…my life is changed by this thing. Sanding furniture is a breeze!!! In no way is this required but if you like to refinish furniture, you need this hand sander. Like, I can’t wait to use it again. Sad, I know.
Ok so after I sanded, I rewashed to get the dust off and let the wood dry. Super easy. Hope you’re still with me.
Wow, what pretty drawers you have….lol jk
Step 3:
Now, this is another step that is just not required. Because I saw just how dusty this thing was, I wanted to paint the inside of the drawers. I just couldn’t put Henry’s clothes in there and feel good about it. I used a basic white paint that I had and it took 3 coats. My advice: splurge for the expensive paint (I will forever live and die Benjamin Moore paint from now on but more on that when we get into my new house remodel). Expensive paint covers more with less. It’s worth the extra $20. Trust me. PS Sorry it looks like I should be painting my parent’s deck next 😉
Step 4: 
Since I wanted to spay paint the bottom of the dresser gold, I taped it all off and covered the base with some taped on paper towel. Again, I used Valspar Brilliant Metals Gold Spray Paint. It was GREAT and covered easily in two coats. It went on so easy. No drips. The only advice I have is to maybe not do it in direct sun because it is hard to see where you painted but other than that, this is a great spray paint. Hold from a few inches away and off you go.
Now, one thing I do have to mention is that there were some scratches on the legs of my dresser and this spray paint doesn’t hide it. You can see them a bit closer in this shot below. But, once I put this dresser inside, the scratches weren’t really noticeable and I am still comfortable with using this paint without filling in the scratches before. But, if you just can’t handle it, get some wood filler and sand it off prior to painting.
I then spray painted the handles by screwing them into a piece of cardboard so I could spray all sides of the handles. Shown below. Again, took about 1 coat. Easy, peasy. No drips.
Final Steps:
After painting the insides of the drawers and spray painting the bottom/the handles, it was time to paint the actual dresser. I used a small brush and just focused on even strokes. I did one coat first, let it dry overnight. Then did a second coat.
My only advice is to work in straight lines and not let the paint dry in any one area before finishing that area. So, do the entire top of the dresser all at once. Then do the sides, then the back, then the drawers. You know, just complete one section first before moving onto the next. My verdict is the Matte Valspar chalk paint was amazing!!! Even coverage. No drips. No splash. I didn’t use a sealer or anything but I will be sure to let you know if I have any issues over time. The reasoning for this was mostly because I wanted this to be a super cheap project and if I added a sealer, total project cost would be over $100 and I just didn’t want that to be the case. Selfish perhaps, but all in all, I think I spent about $78 ($40 for the dresser, $30 for the paint and a few bucks in hardware).
And, honey, that’s all she wrote. Can we just take a minute and love on how great this dresser turned out!!! Once I finish Henry’s new bedroom, you know I will be sharing photos of his room with this dresser front and center 🙂
As always, please let me know if you have any questions!

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