Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spray Painting an Armoire Dresser

Hi Fabulous Friends!

Last year I picked up this great armoire/dresser off Freecycle and it cluttered sat in my garage for quite some time.  Then a few weeks ago my brother moved into a new place and was in need of some more clothes storage.  Enter: the dresser that has been living in my garage for a year!  I had put off refinishing it as I didn’t really have a place for it to fit in my house.  But I thought it had great potential, so I held on to it.  Also, I have been ready for a while to graduate from spray painting 101 to spray painting 201…I’ve done a mess of frames {see a tutorial here}, a huge mirror, and my mailbox!….but now it was time to try my hand at a piece of furniture {thanks to my willing brother}

So we did a little babysitting/I’ll-refinish-the-dresser-for-you exchange and my garage now has 6 extra square feet to fill with crap bikes.


It’s a very heavy piece, made almost exclusively from solid oak {or maybe something else?}IMG_9457

So that’s the before picture.  I just loved the vertical slats on top and kept thinking they look like board and batten if only they were white! It was hard to convince my bro of that…he even asked if I could pry them off and sand.  Nah!

After a good long sanding job it was ready for primer.


{Don’t stare too long at my messy garage!}

zinsser smart prime




I brushed on a coat of primer.  I used my usual go-to primer, Zinsser Smart Prime, and the same Purdy brush I have used for years. 



After the primer dried, I did a light sanding with 220 grit sand paper. I wanted a relatively smooth, flat surface to apply the spray paint and didn’t want my brush strokes peeking through.





Oh, I forgot to mention, take a look at these knobs!  The picture doesn’t really show them, but they are recessed and push into the drawer in order to grab on to the handle. Well, I’m sure that didn’t make any sense to you…but no matter, they had to go!






Once removed, I was left with this massive 2 1/2 inch hole in the middle of both drawers!





So I picked up some Presto Patch and got to try it for the first time {oh my agreeable brother…thanks for letting me practice on you!}






IMG_9472It actually worked quite well!  First I placed some tape behind the hole to stop the putty from just going right through.



IMG_9471And then I mixed up a batch of putty{only make as much as you can use RIGHT NOW}

and filled the hole half-way:


After it dried, about 45 minutes, I filled it all the way to the top and then some.  If I had filled the entire hole from the beginning, it would be so thick that the middle would likely never have dried. Once completely dry, about another 45 minutes, I sanded it down til smooth.


And now, the real fun begins! Cue: Cheering from side-lines.

I used 6 cans of spray paint to complete the dresser.  Initially I bought 4 cans of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch in Satin finish Heirloom White {which emptied the stock from that store}.  When I ran out, my brother came home with 2 more cans from another store. But these were Rust-Oleum’s American Accents product, also in Satin Heirloom White.


Same brand, same color, same finish, but different nozzles.  I’m still not quite sure what the difference is supposed to be between the two.  But without a doubt I preferred the”Painter’s Touch” product. 

I mean, no matter what, your finger can’t move after it’s pressed the trigger down long enough to empty 6 cans of spray paint {how do those graffiti artists do it?} but still the nozzle on the Painter’s Touch was preferable.

It’s wider, for one, which was more comfortable…and it didn’t clog up as much.

nozzles labeled

The American Accents product would spontaneously spurt out huge droplets every once in a while…the Painter’s Touch never did that.  

In between coats {I did about 6 coats, maybe more in places} I rubbed steel wool over the whole thing to knock down any high spots where too much paint ended up. And at the end I did a final, rather hard, “sanding” with steel wool.


I added the new knobs and drawer pulls…



And delivered it to my brother!



Oh, I forgot to mention, those doors on top open to a set of 3 more drawers and 3 shelves.  I actually ran out of paint to finish painting the inside backs of the shelves…..maybe we’ll add some contact paper? Or just fill the shelves with clothes so you don’t see the back?  But when my brother said that he bought out the spray paint stock from the 2nd store, too, I was done painting for the day!

It turned out so cute, {I think}

that I almost tried to steal it back from him!  Smile!!



PS..If you want to see the other dressers I’ve painted, just click on each picture below:

blue dresser  white dresser


  1. mavis E. ButterfieldSeptember 14, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    cool dude. . .i see you're back to your old tricks. i know painting is your first love. no tape needed!

  2. I love the before and after, wow! Very nice project!

  3. I know this post is a year old, but I am in the process of spray painting a piece of furniture and wondered if you painted ALL the inside parts of the drawers, etc....this is beautiful, and I hope mine turns out this nice ;)

    1. I did spray paint inside the main cabinet part but not inside the drawers. I've refinished several dressers and never painted inside the drawers. I have added shelf paper to them and also have glued fabric down on them. Or just left them the natural wood. It doesn't bother me at all when I open them.


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