before and after

before & after: elegant dresser redo

by Kate Pruitt

Furniture pieces like this dresser redo make me think there are tons of you out there who could live double lives running successful furniture design or restoration businesses. I’m still sort of amazed that Renee saw the “before” dresser above and had the vision to create the stunning two-tone piece below. I adore that dark sage-gray green she’s chosen, and the finish on the wood is the perfect tone. Truly wonderful job, Renee . . . can you come fix up my furniture? :) — Kate

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Read more after the jump!

Time: 7 hours

Cost: $200 (including dresser, hardware and supplies)

Basic Steps: To start, I removed the hardware and gave the dresser a good sanding. I wanted to keep some of the natural wood, so I stained three of the drawers. For the remaining two drawers and dresser, I put on two coats of latex paint and allowed it to fully dry. I then gave the painted parts a light sanding in the areas that would naturally wear out over time and applied a coat of stain on top of the paint. This gave the dresser an old and distressed look. Once everything dried, I put two protective coats of poly on the entire dresser. My advice would be to take your time and to be sure to allow everything to dry between coats. Be creative and have fun with it! — Renee

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  • I think she did an amazing job considering the heap it was before but I don’t know if I like the paint/gray – the color of the wood is beautiful (tho still a bit distressed) and idk if they go, but great knobs!

  • I love these dressers! The shape is so fun; I redid one earlier this year myself; I’ve seen them done so many different ways and this one is def a fav!

  • i love love love this! i have to admit, i get a little sad when wood is painted over, but this is the perfect compromise and it looks great too!

  • Love this project but I’m also loving the tiny little drawers on top of it! Where did you get those?

  • Oooh! I love that this is only partially painted…the wooden drawers look beautiful against the grey color and new drawer pulls!

  • This is so gorgeous I want to have one exactly like it in every detail. The combination of paint and restored natural wood is sophisticated and chic. This piece would be beautiful in any setting: modern, or traditional. Congratulations on a job well done.

  • this really is lovely and inspiring! and i’m with lorena…where did you get the tiny set of drawers on top of the dresser!?

  • I agree with the first poster; I don’t understand the gray/wood combo. It looks a little weird. I’d rather have all pretty wood–or maybe just the top painted–or all painted. Different strokes…

  • wow! Amazing job. I wish it were mine! I love the color combination.
    I also can’t believe it was all done in 7 hrs. Bravo!

  • I gasped a little when I saw this. Love the combination of paint and natural wood. Unexpected and so incredibly awesome.

  • This is so pretty! And I normally don’t even like this kind of two-tone. VERY well done! The pulls are so darn cute!

  • I really love this. I’m not a huge fan of the stark contrast between white paint and wood (I think it looks cheap) but this is beautiful! So glad the paint isn’t white or too distressed. Amazing job and great vision!

  • Lovely idea, and beautifully done! I love the crystal ‘knob jewelry’ on the dark background, it adds glamour to the low-key color palette. Also like the way you’ve aranged the refurbished chest with a mini-chest of drawers on top, and the white round clock face that mirrors the knobs. Nice touches, gorgeous composition!

  • I have a dresser that I’ve been thinking of redoing – this example fits the bill! Thanks Renee!

  • WOW- this is so creative! I never would have pictured this combination, but I love it for its uniqueness! This is a true statement piece.

  • Just gorgeous. I love the two toned with the natural wood on the drawers. Would not have thought to do it that way. Great job!

  • This is amazing! I would love to know what the name of the stain and paint color is?

  • I LOVE it ~ The contrast of paint and natural wood is an interesting contrast and the stain over the paint adds a patina that gives so much flavor to this vintage piece. Great eye

  • BEAUTIFUL!!!! finally a before-and-after that I really love! It’s so elegant and cool! Most of the times when I see a makeover I think the before was better, because people usually remove any original character of the piece and make it look rather silly or childish (in my opinion, of course). But this is just great. You kept the design but added interest and fresh air. Great job!

  • God this is just STUNNING. I love the natural drawers mixed with the painted. Very insipired!

  • This dresser looks awesome but familiar!Then I realized it is exactly like the one my brother used for a bathroom vanity in the renovation of his 200 yr. old house in Maine.He used a similar gray-green color with a hammered copper sink .

  • I love the makeover. The color combo is a bit unexpected but I like the take on industrial with the curvy traditional lines of the dresser. I really don’t like the knobs though. Cheapens it for me.

  • This is a great design that I want to imitate. What color paint is that?

  • Gorgeous and appropriate. It would have looked very ordinary all wood, and now it appears custom, blending with both the wall and small drawers on top. I would love to have this!

  • I have a chest like this and thought it a sin to paint it (mine in good condition) BUT after seeing this I am rethinking how light it makes the piece look! Great vision!

  • LOVE this! it’s just what I’ve been thinking of doing on a dresser of mine (glass hardware and all!)…but was having a hard time imagining the wood and the gray together! So glad you posted this! It’s gorgeous.

  • I have the exact same dresser, only mine as a mirror. I love what you did to this one, I may have to copy.. ;) thanks for the idea.

  • I have this dresser too! Almost sold it – glad I didn’t. Lines are great, aren’t they? What style is this anyhow?

  • I also love the grey and brown together! The only think I would have done differently was kept the top the natural wood and used rubbed bronze pulls. What color grey is this? I’m in the middle of my dresser project, and this has inspired me!