About two years after my living room furniture project, I found myself hunting for that same shade of chalk paint to makeover a dresser.

This piece was my great-grandmother’s and came to me recently. It had a lovely shape but, the finish was in poor shape after being stored. Also, it was musty. So, painting it and adding it as a storage piece for my living room became the perfect solution to reuse this piece.





  • Paint Brushes, Large and Small
  • Sand Paper
  • Screwdriver
  • Tarps and Towels
  • Paint Brush

For this project, I divided the work over four days. On the first day, I cleaned the dresser, sanded, deglossed, and painted the first coat. I added a second coat of paint on the second day and did touch-ups. On the third day, I waxed the piece. Finally, I put the hardware back on the fourth day.

Step 1: Prepare the Piece

With a chalk paint project, the prep is easier than you may expect. First, you need to clean the furniture. Make sure you get all the sides, the bottom, and even inside. I took all the drawers out and sprayed them down with antibacterial spray to remove the musty smell.

I set out each drawer on its own towel in my garage. I also placed the dresser on a tarp.

Then, I sanded the damaged areas. This particular dresser had wear and tear from a wheel chair on the sides and legs. There was also a burned spot on the top.

After sanding, I wiped everything down to remove dust.

Then, I began deglossing. You wipe the piece and the chemicals in the wipes break up the shine on the surface. It will feel kind of sticky to the touch instead of smooth.

This allows the chalk paint to adhere properly to the furniture’s surface without priming.

Step 2: Paint in Layers

Next, I added 2 coats of paint and 1 touch-up. I kept the layers thin and applied them carefully. This helps the paint adhere smoothly and cleanly.

During this phase, I also decided to paint inside the dresser and drawers. Normally, I wouldn’t bother but, this helped cut the musty smell.

Step 3: Clean the Hardware

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I cleaned the hardware. First, I soaked it in the sink with a mix of water and Barkeeper’s Friend. This breaks up the patina on the surface. Then, I scrubbed and rinsed. It only takes a few minutes for each piece and the resulting shine brings them back to life.

Step 4: Wax and Wipe

After a full day of drying, I applied furniture wax to the surface. You can wipe it on with a brush. Then, blend it in with a rag. Personally, I prefer a jersey knit fabric but, any lint-free fabric will work.

Step 5: Reattach Hardware

After allowing the wax to cure for 24 hours, I reattached the hardware. I also slide a few fabric softener sheets inside the drawers to finish off the musty smell. After a few days, it was ready to use as a new storage piece.

I’m still deciding how I want to style it but, it fits perfectly in my living room. Overall, it was worth the effort and I’m pleased with how the new finish matches my other living room furniture.

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