Dressing up an old dresser is a perfect Saturday project.

Project before & after picture


  • KILZ® Original Primer
  • Paint
  • Drop Cloth
  • 4 Bricks
  • 1/4" Nap Paint Roller
  • Screwdriver
  • 100-150 Grit Sandpaper
  • 180-220 Grit Sandpaper
  • Paint Brush
  • Can Key
  • Stir Stick
  • Damp Cloth
  • Tape
  • Paint Tray


Step 1:

Use your screwdriver to remove drawers and hardware. It’s always best to put every screw back exactly where it came from. That will put the least amount of stress on the wood.

Put the screws back into the hardware, then seal the hardware and screws in painter’s tape and label it.

Step 2:

Sand the surface. Sanding everything well is the right way to do it. Sanding will create smooth surfaces on the drawer faces and dresser body, and that will help your paint look great. When sanding, do a first pass with 100-150 grit sandpaper then finish with a second pass of 180-220 grit sandpaper. Remember, the higher the “grit" number, the smoother the finish.

When sanding, move the sandpaper in the same direction of the wood grain. If you go against the grain you will end up with a lot of nasty scratches that will show through your topcoat.

Step 3:

After sanding, wipe down the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dust or residue. Primer and paint won’t stick to dust. After wiping, allow the surface to dry before moving on to primer.

Step 4:

Apply a primer. When painting wood furniture you should always use a primer first. Primer will help protect the wood, and it will also create a smooth best to help you get better adhesion and truer colour from your paint. When applying primer, just as you did with the sandpaper, move in the same direction as the wood grain for best results.

To get better coverage along the bottom of the drawer faces, raise them up off your work surface with bricks.

Step 5:

Allow 2 hours for the primer to dry.

Step 6:

Apply your paint exactly the same way you applied your primer. Always move in smooth strokes that go in the same direction as the wood grain.

For extra fun, try an accent colour on the drawer faces.

Step 7:

Allow 2 hours dry time*, then apply second coat.

Step 8:

Reattach your hardware and voilà! It’s time to take a break and totally procrastinate folding laundry and putting all your clothes away.

* Dark colours and high humidity areas may have extended dry times

Project result picture

Start fast and finish beautifully.