{before & after laminate dresser makeover…drab to fab!}

We have been in dire need of dressers since we moved to Texas last year.  When we built our previous home, we had walk-in closets in every room with built-in drawers and shelves that completely eliminated the need for dressers.  Well–that wasn’t the case in this house, and I’ve been trying to track down dressers for each room since we moved in.  A few weeks ago, someone gave me this dresser, and even though it wasn’t my my style at all, I knew I could give it a dresser makeover and it would be just the thing for my girls’ room.  Plus…it was free, and who can argue with that? I can make anything work if it’s free!  ☺It happened to be a laminate surface, which is absolutely possible to paint and use–you just need to do it the right way!

Look at the before and after…

dresser before and after| oldsaltfarm.com

I love it!!!  It’s perfect in their room!  You can see in the before shot that the centers of the drawers were a little different–they had a thick plastic-y type material that I wasn’t in love with, and had to think how I was going to cover it up/use it.   I thought of several different options, but in the end decided on chalkboard paint, and I’m so glad!  It’s fun to write what’s on each drawer, although my girls are SO embarrassed that the word “underwear” is on there.   So…we may have to take it off, lol.  I used paint that I already had, and only had to buy the drawer handles, so the total cost was less than $15!  Woot woot!!!

This is what I did:

1.  The dresser was a laminate, which usually requires a primer.  I had some leftover white chalk paint (not to be confused with chalkboard paint–they are different! There will be a big post next week revealing my kitchen chairs makeover, and I’ll talk a lot more about chalk paint…) and since it sticks to any surface with no sanding or priming (which is quite fabulous in my opinion), I didn’t have to prep the surface.  If you’re not using chalk paint, you MUST ABSOLUTELY use a primer before painting on a laminate surface.  The paint will not stick otherwise, and will peel and chip right off. In fact, you need to use a primer that’s intended and designed for slick/laminate/glossy surfaces.  A good primer will make or break your project…so invest in a good one.  Cheap paint? Fine.  Use a good primer and it won’t matter! Zinsser makes a good one, and I’ve also used Bulls-eye 1-2-3 and liked both.  Zinsser’s oil-based primer is awesome–no sanding required–and you can use a latex paint right over it. Roll on your primer, and use a brush in all the corners. I use cheap brushes and rollers that I can throw away after I’m done, so there is very little clean up.  You probably want to keep mineral spirits on hand to clean your hands.

2.  Once the primer is dry, you need to lightly sand it, to get rid of any drips or bubbles.  If you’re going to brush your paint on, then I suggest using a higher quality brush–it will reduce the brush strokes. I’m a huge fan of spray paint, because it does go on nice and smooth, so I use it a lot.  Invest in a clip-on hand sprayer (about $6 at Home Depot), and it will help the dripping caused by a tired finger.  ☺  Put two coats on, letting it dry in between coats.

3. After the paint was dry, I taped off the drawer edges and applied the chalkboard spray paint. I did two coats, letting it dry in between coats. The handles went on next, and I was done!

I love that this was done in less than 48 hours–fast, easy, and FREE!

So…if you’re wondering about a piece of laminate furniture in your house, yes–paint it!  I’ve refinished many a piece of furniture either a laminate or slick surface, and it changes the look so incredibly.  Brighten it up with a fun color or crisp white…the sky is the limit!
laminate dresser makeover | oldsaltfarm.com

The girls had a fun time with the chalk…

laminate dresser makeover | oldsaltfarm.com

If you’re looking for an inexpensive piece of furniture to makeover, check out your local thrift and goodwill stores, and my favorite…the Habitat Re-store.  I have no fear when it comes to stopping on the side of the road if I see something with potential.  ☺ Some of my favorite things were acquired that way!  Check with friends and family…they might also be wanting to get rid of something that they might give to you for free, or for a small amount.  It’s worth asking!

Happy Painting!!!

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