Before and After: This Trendy $130 Redo Turns a Dull Dresser into a Showpiece

published Feb 8, 2021
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About this before & after
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Before: dark brown stained wood dresser

Redoing your bedroom doesn’t mean you have to spring for all new furniture. In fact, redoing your existing furniture to match your new style is doubly beneficial: It’s more cost-effective than buying a new piece, and it means you’re wasting less, too.

For a prime example of a furniture redo done right, look to Melissa Filkins (@houseonparkway). “After making over our master bedroom last year, the dresser my husband and I have had for six years felt out of place compared to the rest of the room,” Melissa says. But rather than toss the plain, brown-stained dresser — which was still in good condition — Melissa decided to give it a new life.

“The fluted trend is hot right now in the interior design world and I was no stranger to creating the look in other areas of the home,” Melissa says. “It’s sleek, classy, and adds beautiful texture. I decided to recreate the look on my dresser in order to completely transform it.”

To start the transformation, Melissa removed the dresser’s old pulls and took the drawers out of the dresser. She purchased beaded trim boards from the hardware store, and cut them to fit the size of each drawer front; she says it took about four trim boards per drawer. Once she made all of her cuts, Melissa attached the trim boards to the drawer fronts using wood glue and clamps.

After the glue was dry, Melissa sanded any uneven edges and dusted the surface to prep the dresser for paint. She chose a flat black (Sherwin-Williams’s Tricorn Black) for the job, and matted the paint down even more by mixing it with a chalky finish. It took two coats to cover up the body of the dresser, and three coats for the drawers. Once dry, Melissa sealed the dresser with a matte polyurethane.

The final step: replacing the pulls. Melissa had recently replaced the hardware in her kitchen, so she used the old pulls from that space for her dresser project. All they needed was a couple coats of gold spray paint to look brand new.

Melissa was able to pull off the project in a week with just $130. “While this might not be the most cost effective way to transform a piece of furniture, I thought it was the most impactful way to make a change and it was still less than the cost of a new dresser,” Melissa says.

The best part? Melissa was able to create something completely custom that fits in seamlessly with the rest of her bedroom decor. “I am completely obsessed with the new look and it was worth my time and effort,” she says. “I can’t believe it’s the same dresser!”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.