before & after: chevron dresser + fabric door cabinet

Much like Grace, I’ve never met a stripe I didn’t like, and the design on this painted dresser from Carol is no exception. Upon discovering that the wood was in very poor condition, Carol decided to give the mid-century piece a neutral stripe design. I love the use of such a wide chevron shape and in subtle, restrained neutrals. Great transformation, Carol! — Kate

Time: 4–5 hours

Cost: $50

Basic Steps: The steps involved were sanding, priming, painting the gray (two coats), applying the stripes and then using a furniture wax to seal and protect. The most difficult part was the calculating and measuring involved to make sure the stripes were all even and equally spaced. I used FrogTape, and it was super helpful in achieving the crisp lines.

I would definitely advise anyone wanting to create the same look to invest in a good tape. Lesser tapes would allow the paint to seep under the tape, and the lines wouldn’t be as crisp. — Carol

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

CLICK HERE to see Sarah’s makeshift cabinet organizer after the jump!

I notice so many pieces identical to this little storage unit tossed to the curb or crammed in the dumpster, and it’s such a relief to see someone use their creativity to revive one so beautifully. Sarah made one great decision after another: the dark walnut stain, the crisp white interior, the fabric covered door . . . brilliant! Thanks for sharing, Sarah!

Time: 3–4 weeks (working little by little)

Cost: $25 plus materials

Basic Steps:

1. We used an electric sander to sand off the old paint, as there were years of gunk to remove, but you can see that we got really lucky and the wood underneath was gorgeous.

2. I chose a walnut stain, wiped down the piece with a damp cloth and brushed on a rich coat of stain. Then I wiped off the excess with a clean cloth and let it dry.

3. I hate this part, but I had to carefully tape the edges where it was stained with masking or painter’s tape in order to get a clean edge to the white of the interior.

4. I had to paint three good, thick coats of white paint on the interior to cover up the weird mint green it had turned once we sanded it.

5. I removed the tape and cleaned up the edges with a paint scraper and stain pen.

6. I painted the backsides of the doors — which were a ribbed particle-board-like substance that I’m still not sure what to call — and decided to affix the fabric to the smooth unpainted side. I tested several glues and didn’t find one that worked that well, so I ended up “upholstering it” with a staple gun, wrapping the fabric around the backside of the door and stapling through. I then took a thin sheet and laid it over to finish off the back.

7. Smooth sliding. My dad’s father owned a furniture store, so he’s my go-to guy for these projects (and truth be told, did much of the sanding as a surprise for me!). The trick to getting this old piece of furniture to slide smoothly: running a bar of soap along the top and bottom of the doors. — Sarah


Loving both B&A!! The dresser is beautiful and something I would want in my bedroom! And the cabinet is perfect for storing and organizing things. Great job ladies :) You make it all look so easy!


I love both pieces, especially the storage unit. I too have see so many of these on the curb or for sale at the thrift store. I will definitely grab the next one I see!


I second the use of Frog Tape! What kind of wax was used on the dresser?


That’s a great transformation ! I have a lot of furniture that i would love to transform into something new!

Dodeline Fan!

All I have to say is the person who made the cabinet must be super awesome! Like the article said, everything she did was a wonderful choice. Here’s to wishing we could all be so creative and successful. If you like what she did with the cabinet click on her name in the article, she also sells cards and other stuff with some really great and fun designs!


Seeing the mid-century dresser painted over is heartbreaking.


A little known painter’s trick 4″lesser tapes” if u don’t have FROG is to use low lustre (any sheen is fine) clearcoat like B.Moore’s Staysclear or even Matte Medium (for acrylic canvasses) over the burnished down tape edge B4 painting.!! The clearcoat seals the crappy tapes edge B4 u apply ur colour of choice+voila, perfect hard line w/o bleeding.

furniture wardrobes

Those were amazing transformations. With just a paint and touch of creativity, the old dresser is turned into something stylish and cool. I also like the after look of the small cabinet. The painted flowers looks really good on it.