Thrifted Thoughts: Two-Toned Dresser

I see waterfall dressers everywhere I turn. They’re at thrift stores, vintage shops and antique shows. Like most vintage pieces, they are solid & sturdy and will last for years to come, which means that they are worthy of a makeover.

Their lines are lovely, but can be a bit boring at times. Let’s add a punch of personality to this one!

Can you take a dresser that swings to the traditional end of the spectrum and revamp it to swing towards the modern end? Why, certainly!

The key here is to create a polished, not distressed, look.

I’d start by giving the entire piece a good sanding to remove the existing finish. Then, set the drawers aside and apply a dark stain finish, like Minwax’s Onyx, to the entire outer shell and finish with a clear topcoat.

A rich, dark stain like this adds an instant hit of sleek sophistication.

Because the drawers are nice & flat and lack any detailing or ornamentation, they’re the perfect surface for a fresh coat of crisp, white paint, followed by a clear topcoat.

The last detail to take this dresser from trad to mod: gleaming chrome handles!

The existing handles are the perfect circular shape for the final look I had in mind, but in this case, the gold has got to go.

Freshen them up with a good cleaning. Let them dry completely. Then spray them with 2-3 thin coats of Krylon Original Chrome spray paint.

Voila! An ultra sleek, mod dresser from a traditional, dime-a-dozen dresser!

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3 thoughts on “Thrifted Thoughts: Two-Toned Dresser

  1. I usually love your suggestions, but this time I have to disagree. The idea of painting over what looks like lovely mahogany drawer fronts breaks my heart. I would instead provide the pop of contrast by painting the dividing lines of the piece, the front drawer divider, the front and top edges of the ends, and the top and bottom bar.
    Keep the ideas coming!

  2. I agree leaving the wood grain is my instinct too, but one could go with color stain and funky handles allowing the wood grain to shine and getting mod. That’s what I would do.

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