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Painted Mid Century Modern Dresser Makeover


  • Mix the TSP according to the directions. Then, spray the piece using a spray bottle, and wipe it down with a rag. Make sure to follow the directions regarding applying any chemicals. After wiping the entire piece down, finish with a dry towel to ensure the solution is gone and there are no streaks of grime or grease left behind.
    Note: Vacuum out the inside of drawers and wipe them off. Adding cabinet liner is a nice touch if you can't get them clean.
  • Remove all paint and stain by applying Citrastrip liberally with a paintbrush in one direction. Wrap the wood in plastic wrap and let it sit for about an hour. You'll see it work as the old finish starts to bubble. It is helpful for beginners to strip small areas to not get overwhelmed.
  • With a plastic or metal putty knife, Be careful when scraping anything off your pieces of furniture. A metal scraper or putty knife can dig and gauge the wood if you’re not careful. Kasey has quite a bit of experience stripping furniture, so she is comfortable using a metal scraper.
  • Once the stripper is removed, clean any remaining stubborn stain or paint with mineral spirits and fine steel wool. If needed sand the top and front dresser frame with 150 grit sandpaper.
  • With sandpaper or a 5″ orbital sander with 120 grit sandpaper, sanding the sides and drawer fronts was a breeze. (I used the orbital sander instead of stripping the sides of the furniture and drawer fronts since the paint was coming off so easily.)
  • If changing the size of the hardware, you'll need to prep the drawers by filling in the original holes with wood putty, leaving a raised surface (it's called proud in furniture terms). Allow it to dry thoroughly, then sand until smooth.
  • Tape off the parts of the furniture that you want to leave natural. Used a foam roller to apply two coats of Kilz Latex primer to the parts of the dresser that will be painted. Sand with 220 grit sandpaper to ensure a smooth finish for the next coat to adhere.
  • Using a foam roller apply two coats of Home Depot Behr Ultra Scuff Defense Latex Paint in Satin finish. Make sure to allow time to dry between coats.
  • Apply three coats of Minwax Polycrylic in Matte to seal the entire piece of furniture. Make sure to let it dry thoroughly and sand with 220 sandpaper between the first two coats. After the third coat has dried, give it a final sand with 600 grit sandpaper for a smooth buttery finish.
  • Once the furniture has completely dried install the new hardware.