These 17 Painted Dressers Are Dripping with Style

published Aug 30, 2023
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There are plenty of reasons to give a dresser a fresh coat of paint (or painted stripes or painted polka dots, or painted drawer fronts that pop — the list goes on). Maybe you found an old dresser on the curb and think it would look great in a different color, with a little TLC. Maybe you can’t paint a mural on your walls, so you’re turning to the other largest canvas in your room instead. Or maybe you want to make a dresser from a big-box store feel just a bit more special. 

Whatever the reason, if you’re ready to pull out your paintbrush and add a bit of color to your chest of drawers, there are plenty of stunning painted dresser ideas out there for inspiration. Here are 17 of the very best painted dresser ideas Apartment Therapy editors have spotted.

1. Dresser-Meets-Mural

You typically see murals on walls, but in this bedroom the showstopping paint feature is on the nine-drawer dresser. Designer Kim White painted the mural, which features organic shapes and the same muted color palette as the rest of the bedroom. White says painting a mural on a dresser is a great option for renters who want to have a little fun with a paintbrush and creative shapes but can’t paint the walls.

2. Black Paint

This black fluted beauty was originally a beat-up brown dresser, if you can believe it. By adding beaded trim boards to the drawer fronts and matte black paint (Sherwin-Williams’s Tricorn Black mixed with a chalky finish paint) all over, DIYer Melissa Filkins (@houseonparkway) made this six-drawer storage more sophisticated. If you’re looking for something simple and understated, go with a classic black paint job for your dresser.

3. Rainbow Checkerboard Maximalism 

On the other hand, if your vibe is more maximalist, take inspiration from the rainbow checkerboard painted dresser in Maya “Marty” Martin-Udry’s (@floristseatfree) studio in the Lower East Side. “I spent days combing through antique stores all over Brooklyn looking for [a dresser] with interesting bones,” Martin-Udry tells AT. “When I found this one with a curved face and spiral details, I thought, ‘Oh, I can make this funhouse mirror-y in a great way.’” Use painter’s tape or a stencil to create a similar checkerboard effect. Dealer’s choice on paint color(s).

4. A “Dipped” Dresser

This dipped-looking painted dresser by pro furniture flipper Courtney Weisel (@steelbirchstudios) is striking in a completely different way. Weisel sanded the dresser down to its original light wood tone, left the top unpainted, and painted the bottom dark green (Eventide by Melange Paints). She used painter’s tape to create the horizontal divide, and she says she loves “the depth of the color next to the beautiful natural wood.”

5. Vertical Stripes

Painter’s tape also helped add interest to a dresser on this vertical striped stunner. DIYer Charlotte Smith (@atcharlotteshouse) used Frog Tape to create the centered stripe detail. First, she sanded and painted a dated wooden dresser white, and then she added stripes in her favorite shades of blue and green. See more of Charlotte’s painted furniture creations in her house tour here.

6. One Bold Color

If you want to forgo the Frog Tape but still want a bold green (or any bold color) dresser, consider giving it all-over paint in an electric shade to make it pop. DIYer Jessica Salvacion (@yayitsjes) turned a very ’80s-style dresser with bamboo edges into a statement piece in her entryway by painting it head-to-toe in green (Backdrop’s Troop Beverly Hills). For another creative dresser flip from Salvacion, check out her pom-pom DIY dresser.

Credit: McKay Moody

7. Two-Toned Triangle

Another stunner with green paint, this two-toned redo by pro furniture flipper McKay Moody (@designsbymckay) features a large-scale painted triangle that spans all the drawers on the front. The sides are painted the same sage green to match. This elongated triangle look is an especially smart choice for a tallboy.

Credit: Lorna

8. Diagonal Drawer Color

This diagonal dresser paint job by Lorna (@laffsgaff) is similar — and nice for a horizontal dresser. Lorna used painter’s tape and Farrow & Ball’s Cinder Rose to give a pop of pink to this standard-issue IKEA HEMNES. Best yet, her pink paint color was left over from another project, so the project cost under $10.

Credit: Elissa Crowe

9. Ombre Drawers

While Lorna painted the drawer fronts and the spaces between the drawers of the dresser above, you can also add color by sticking to painting the rectangular drawer fronts. Here, homeowner Jag Nagra painted an IKEA dresser’s drawer fronts and left the body white. She painted hers in an ombre fashion, with the peachy pink color becoming subtler as your eyes travel up the dresser. (Hint: To do this, pick one bold paint color for the bottom and add white to it as you go.)

Credit: Reeves

10. White-Dipped and Angular

For more sharp angle inspiration for your dresser paint job, check out this project by Reeves of @theweathereddoor. Reeves covered up the weathered top of this brown dresser with a bright white paint that adds nice contrast. On the sides, instead of painting a straight line, she added little triangle cutouts for the dreamy walnut-stained wood to peep through.

11. Abstract

You could also paint something a little more abstract atop your dresser, like Meagan Tucker of Estuary Designs did with this pink and red beauty, which was once dated and teal. On her blog, Tucker calls this a “brush stroke-y ombre design,” and it certainly packs a modern punch.

12. Ombre All-Over

Another bold ombre dresser is Van Anh Langelaan’s in her 480-square-foot Dutch apartment. Her seafoam green starts at the bottom and fades all the way to white at the top. Langelaan refurbished and painted this dresser herself, and she says she’s “super proud” of the result.

Credit: Hippo Wong

13. Floral “Bone” Inlay

Another great option for giving a dresser a little vibrancy is to use paint and a stencil to create a faux bone inlay look for a fraction of the cost. Believe it or not, this used to be a plain IKEA RAST. Thanks to soft blue furniture paint, a stencil, and a white chalk pencil, it now looks like a one-of-a-kind piece.

14. Painted Rows

Create a striped look for your dresser by painting each row of drawers a different color, á la Linda of q is for quandie. Linda mixed her own chalk paint for this DIY.

Credit: Arwah Hamza

15. A Touch of Raw Wood

For a little bit of a rustic look, consider leaving a touch of raw wood on your dresser somewhere, like homeowner and furniture flipper Arwah Hamza (@saltandhoney_reclaimed) did with this IKEA HEMNES. The body of the dresser is painted with the color Fusion Mineral Paint’s Goddess Ashwaganda, and Hamza whitewashed the top drawer fronts a bit with white paint (Fusion Mineral’s Raw Silk).

16. Just the Knobs and Feet

The painted wooden knobs on this gray IKEA HEMNES belonging to interior designer Rydhima Brar are from PrettyPegs, but you could certainly paint your own to liven up any IKEA piece using wooden knobs and colorful paint. Find similar ready-to-paint knobs from Amazon or IKEA.

17. MCM-Inspired

If you’re working with a vintage, mid-century modern dresser that’s just a little more damaged than you’d like, painting over it can be a good option. Here, Carrie Waller (@dreamgreendiy) painted modular shapes on her four-drawer dresser. Other shapes that might work well for something MCM? Circles, squircles, or asterisks.