Wood and White

Here’s the story about the wood and white.  You might remember the girls’ hand-me-down dresser:nurserycollagedeets 009

We went back-and-forth, from option to option, thinking of a bajillion ways we could update it.  We’re not huge fans of it’s ornate, curvy make-up so something needed to be done.  I even begged for your opinion of our final option(s) via Instagram, Facebook, and this post.  Well the landslide slid toward painting the drawers white, giving us a two-toned dresser.  Here’s how it all went on.

First we had to fill in some hardware holes with wood filler.  Put some tape over the backs of the holes, overfill, sand, fill a little more, and sand again for a nice flush finish.  We used Elmer’s wood filler from Walmart and a fine grit sanding block for the sanding. dresser 003 The two doors needed new holes that were centered between the door edge and the decorative groove and the two small drawers were just going to get knobbed instead of handled. 

Next step was more sanding.  I gave each of the doors/drawers a quick go over with a medium grit piece of sandpaper.  I seriously spent 30 seconds rubbing each door/drawer.  No big deal…thank goodness because sanding is not how I like to spend most ‘o my days. 

dresser 004The drawer 0n the left isn’t sanded; the drawer on the right is.  See the difference?  I roughed them up just the littlest bit to make sure the paint would stick.

Then it was time to protect.  I was planning on using spray primer and paint so I had to tape off and cover the insides of the drawers.  I also made sure to stick a little piece of tape behind each hardware hole to make sure no spray got inside the drawers through those.  The prepping was probably the most time-consuming part of this whole project because all we had on hand for me to cover with were magazines.  So I tape page-by-page-by-page…

Then it was outside with them where the real fun began.   dresser 006

I used Valspar spray primer in white, spraying two thin and semi-even coats.  I’m not too picky on how the primer goes on as long as every inch is covered and it’s nice and smooth.  That being said, my prime jobs are usually a little splotchy albeit smooth.

Here are the drawers all primed: dresser 008

Next up, the real stuff.  I scored big with the spray paint for this project.  While picking up some landscaping plants a couple of weeks ago at Lowe’s, I found this can of white satin Rustoleum paint-and-primer-in-one.  (Side note:  I still used primer even though I had a p-and-p-in-one so I didn’t have to use as much paint and because I had it on hand anyway.)  It was marked down to $1 because it was missing a nozzle. 
dresser 007

Vvell, if you know me you know I’ve got a stash of spray paint therefore a stash of nozzles.  I simply borrowed a nozzle from another can and away I sprayed.  HOWEVER, even though I grabbed a nozzle from a can of the same exact brand, I still managed to get paint allllll over my right hand as it dripped from the nozzle.  I learned that I had to press and hold the borrowed nozzle perfectly straight or paint would drip.  A little annoying but still totally worth the $1 investment.  I might also mention that this Rustoleum paint and primer-in-one is theee BEST spray paint I’ve ever used!  It sprayed smooth and covered so well!  I’ll definitely be using this kind next time!

Beside the paint all over my right hand (which I donned for two days afterward despite a shower), I had one more minor happening.  While I was inside waiting for the second-to-last coat of paint to dry, the wind whipped two corners of two covering magazines up and onto the wet paint.  Grrr…  When I went out to check for dryness, I found them and ripped them off only to have a little paper left behind. dresser 010

So, adding another step to my almost-done process, I had to sand the area where the magazines had stuck after the paint was completely dry (I was so annoyed I actually called it quits for the day and did the sanding and re-painting the next day) just enough to remove most of the paper.  I didn’t sand all the way to the wood because I didn’t want an obvious dip in paint nor did I want to re-sand the entire drawer.  So, I sanded until smooth and put an extra coat on the drawer while doing the last coat on the other doors/drawers.  All good.

After letting the drawers dry for a full 24 horas, we stuck hardware on them and admired our new beauty.
 dresser 041

Cost breakdown:
Dresser:  f-r-e-e (hand-me-down)
Primer:  already had
Paint:  $1
Sandpaper:  already had
Total:  One Dolla…Holla!

The hardware won’t stay, it’s only temporary.  I’m on the hunt for some so I’ll be sure to update y’all when I find it.  Until then, we’re loving the white-and-wood combo despite the needs-to-go hardware. dresser 044

So what about you?  Painted any dressers lately…or any furniture for that matter?  I’m always all eyes for pictures!  What about clearanced/oops paint?  Anyone ever score any?  I’m gunning for the “oops” paint section first thing next time I’m in Lowe’s to hopefully find more!


  1. Popped over to your blog from YHL and think your site and this dresser are great! Adding white paint to brown furniture really updates and modernizes it (heck, I just did that myself with some nightstands and can't believe I waited so long to do it). And yes, Rustoleum spray paint rocks. I look forward to seeing your new hardware!

    1. Thanks Brit! Thanks for stopping by! I'm being spoiled today with all these visitors from YHL and I love it! So cool you did the same to your nightstands! I will be checking them out!!!

  2. It looks great! I need to update some hand me down dressers and haven't been able to come up with an idea yet, but I will be showing this to the husband!

    Ps: nail polish remover is the answer to spray painted hands! I do a lot of art pieces that use spray paint and have rocked a hued palm more than once! :)

    1. Oh awesome! I'm filing that one away...nail polish remover!!!

  3. Sheena, I love it! The two-toned dresser is perfect in this room. And congrats on the YHL reader redesign!

    -Liz @life in projects