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I am in love with those adorable french provincial dressers. The flourishy handles are what really get my heart pounding.When I saw this dresser on Craig’s List for $35 dollars, I pounced!

 Disclaimer: I stole this picture from the previous owner’s Craig’s List Ad.

Oooo baby, don’t you just love that faux gold outlined accents and off white laminate top. Yes, I said laminate. But I wasn’t afraid of it. For $35 who cares if it gets messed up. If you never take the risk, you’ll never learn anything new, right?!

The drawers were still in good shape, but a little loose around the joints, so I squirted my new favorite Gorilla Glue into the joints and clamped lassoed them up!

Then I used newspaper to protect any of the areas I didn’t want sprayed.

After sanding all the surfaces to rough them up, I put a coat of primer on everything. Loving that crisp clean white, but the dresser told me to “Keep Calm and Carry On.”  So, I cooperated and continued on to another color.

Next, I sprayed Rustoleum Heirloom White and distressed the surface with a wood stain.

The drawer pulls got their own treatment of automotive primer followed by Oil Rubbed Bronze paint. Thank goodness they were happy with their new color because – I’m telling you – that dresser was certainly acting like a diva! She was still demanding a new color.

I have seen many Nantucket Fog makeovers and decided to make a run to Ace Hardware to pick up a small sample of that blue gray color. And I grabbed a can of artistic glaze.

After two coats of the Nantucket Fog glaze, that little dresser still wanted something else. Sheesh! So I pulled out some leftover blue paint from my dormer window shutters.

Finally, she shut up! It’s a good thing too, because I LOVE this color. I love it so much that I hauled my tired hiney back over to Ace to match the color just for you.

Does anyone else get starry eyed and entranced by all these fabulous colors?

The closest match is Buxom Blue from Benjamin Moore. Not too far off from Nantucket Fog, but you know those divas they want what they want!

Now, all important divas need something to wear that gets them noticed. Thus, I decoupaged some wrapping paper on the side (tutorial is here.)

And then because I liked the pattern so much, I blew it up and added it to two corners of the dresser top (tutorial for adding a sharpie stencil.)

I added some beachy blue glaze over the wrapping paper and the top graphic.

And I have to tell you that – halleluiah – I finally figured out the proper technique when using the valspar glazes (the tutorial is here.)

I finished up with three coats of a semi-gloss polyurethane.

And here is that stunningly beautiful diva of a dresser. Transformed from Cinderella to the Belle of the ball!

Isn’t it amazing what a little oil rubbed bronze can do!
 Hard to believe this was wrapping paper in a previous life!
 Peek-a-boo I see a cute stencil.

Now, I have to convince Pretty Handsome Guy that our master bedroom furniture doesn’t have to be all matchy matchy!

 Because I LOVE our Pottery Barn Sleigh Bed. 
But not the matching dresser.
 I love the new-old dresser! What do you think?

Any helpful hints on using Jedi mind tricks on unsuspecting Pretty Handsome Guy?

Update: Thank you to my readers that pointed out that I installed the handles upside down. They have been fixed now ;-).
64 replies
  1. Sue
    Sue says:

    Loving your blog. I need some tricks for convincing my husband too. If I buy something on the cheap, I can make it into a masterpiece, but our "nice furniture" ends up being shabby in comparison. Very ironic!

  2. Erin @ Two Story Cottage
    Erin @ Two Story Cottage says:

    WOW. Awesome job. The dresser is just beautiful. Can't wait to read more!! Our bedroom furniture was my hubby's before we got married so I have my work cut out for me too. He does not want my paintbrush or sander anywhere near it. SIGH. I've changed the drawer pulls more times than I can count. It is good stuff too so there is no hope in changing it out anytime soon either. 🙂

    SHEILA says:

    I LOVE this! I see the french provincial furniture at yard sales, love it, but always pass it up because I don't know what to do with it. I would love to use one for a tv stand, but not sure if I could remove the top drawers for electronic equipment- what do you think?

  4. michelle
    michelle says:

    I love the dresser! I actually had one exactly like that, the whole bedroom set, growing up. My mom still has it and my room is now a guest bedroom! 🙂 I love yours better, you did an amazing job with the colors!!

    [email protected] TALES FEATS says:

    When you find out the secret to changing hubby's mind let me know. I have a hubby who is totally traditionalist. I like a good natural oak too, but I'm not averse to painting pine or laminate. I have been showing him pics of things I like online, and maybe, just maybe he's seeing the light! There are so many wonderful projects out there that people have already done, that it takes the worry out of "Will it look good or not". Yours, BTW is one of those great projects.

  6. Midwest Cottage
    Midwest Cottage says:

    WOW! That was a lot of work but boy it's beautiful. I am speechless. I cannot wait to see your tutorials!! Please send me a link when you get them done.

    Great job. You are so talented.

  7. Caitlin Campbell
    Caitlin Campbell says:

    Thank you for this tutorial. I am getting ready (at some point) to refinish a bed for my daughter so these tips will come in handy. And what's wrong with that tall matching dresser…it looks pretty nice to me 🙂

  8. Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal
    Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal says:

    You ended up with a great color. Are you wanting to swap dresser in your room or paint your tall chest in the same way? Either would look wonderful.

  9. Adi
    Adi says:

    I love following your blog. I am a carpenter also and look forward to finishing my many projects like an Ohia post for the porch. Love the dresser transformation.

  10. Jo
    Jo says:

    Wonderful do over.. the dresser looks great, especially the wrapping paper. It's a trick I use too.. it's so much easier to manipulate than wallpaper, and way cheaper.
    There's a bit of the 19th century Swedish about it… I think that's the colour.
    I'm right with you on the high boy too Brittany.
    As far as PH guy goes.. is it painting over the wood that bothers him..? or the fact that the furniture than won't match the bed, because if its the latter then a dozen or so photos of the very best bedroom designs should be enough to convince him that matchy matchy is BAD !!!
    If it's the not painting the wood.. well then I can't help you.. it's in their genes you know !!
    Jo xx

  11. Just this... Alice
    Just this... Alice says:

    WOW! What a transformation! Your handsome guy has to realize that you have a masterpiece now for a dresser instead of the old furniture store cookie cutter furniture everyone else has. That is truly amazing. Maybe we all need to have a chat with him about appreciating your talents. Thanks for sharing it turned out great.

  12. Leen
    Leen says:

    love it so much! I can't seem to find anything good on Craigslist. Maybe I will have to check more often.

    Looking forward to all the tutorials you promised 🙂

  13. Laurie Jones
    Laurie Jones says:

    This is absolutely to die for, love the color, love the wallpaper and the dresser takes me back to when I was a little girl when they were all the rage, way to amp it up to 2010!!

  14. Its So Very Cheri
    Its So Very Cheri says:

    I love the color. It is fabulous.
    Thanks for linking up. We look forward to getting to know you and seeing more and more of your projects.


  15. Eliana
    Eliana says:

    I am so impressed. beautiful piece, your attention to detail is fantastic. I just found your blog, and I am in love! you have a new follower! 🙂

  16. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Funny I should come across this very tutorial today of all days. I purchased the exact set of furniture for my daughter (randomly finding each matching–yet OLD–piece for my daughter's room). I was just wondering how to paint the laminate? Did you do anything special with the top? Thanks! Love this site!!!
    [email protected]

  17. ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie
    ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie says:

    The color is divine! And the wrapping paper…clever and gorgeous!! Thanks for linking up to the DIY Project Party monthly contest! 🙂


  18. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    I love this project it is fantastic. You really did a gorgeous job on it. Thanks for joining me this week. I would love if you added lil ole me to the linky list above:) So others know as well about my partay! Have a great weekend. Debbie

  19. Jen @
    Jen @ says:

    WOW – gorgeous!! That dresser looks amazing. I love that you decoupaged wrapping paper on it. Genius!


  20. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage
    Courtney ~ French Country Cottage says:

    Love how that dresser came out!! Fantastic job!! The paint color and finish is perfect and the decoupaged sides are so inspired- coming over form Debbie's- nice to meet you!! 🙂

  21. Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming
    Stephanie Lynn @Under the Table and Dreaming says:

    Brittany – Your dresser is gorgeous! I love all the detail you have added – all your work shows. Fantastic job! Thanks so much for linking up! Hope you have a wonderful week! Stephanie Lynn

  22. Courtney {a thoughtful place}
    Courtney {a thoughtful place} says:

    BEAUTIFUL! I have a similar dresser that I had growing up. Hmmm! Really love the sides of it. Nicely done!

  23. SheilaG
    SheilaG says:

    I love your PB dresser. What if you do something similar to the country french dresser and just add a leaf stencil here and there to match your headboard? (Start with a little paint- maybe hubby will see the light!)

  24. hamiltonohio
    hamiltonohio says:

    Where is the mirror? It suppose to have a mirror. I had the same exact dresser. It was bought for me in the late 1970's when I was 12. I only have one photo of me standing in front of it. Your dresser looks nice. I wish I still had mine. I through it away in 1995. I regret it now.

  25. paige fuentes
    paige fuentes says:

    i’m not sure how you blog opened up to this tutorial but im soooo glad and grateful that it did!! I just got a new dresser (it’s actually a chest of drawers like your pottery barn one) for our soon-to-be-renovated bedroom and had NO CLUE how i was going to make it match and be pretty, but i know now!! Thanks so much! You made it look awesome and this is a fantastic tutorial!! <3 it!


  26. Candy
    Candy says:

    In the process of repainting an antique dresser of mine, which is about the same size as this one. Can I ask how many cans of spray paint you used for the primer? We live out in the boonies and I don’t want to not have enough.

  27. Carol
    Carol says:

    I have a nightstand just like this dresser (yep!) that came to me free as someone else’s cast-off. I’ve been wondering what to do with it, and your transformation has given me inspiration. Thanks!

  28. Grace
    Grace says:

    I have a dresser,chest and a nightstand just like this one but I really don’t know how to make this transformation do you have a video to walk me through the steps.

  29. Hannah Olson
    Hannah Olson says:

    Oh my gosh i own a whole set that matches this dresser including this dresser. My set is still in the off white and gold but also the dresser above has an attached mirror. The set also has a tall dresser and a twin sized bed frame all in the off white and gold. I must say i am blown away to see my dresser which i thought was pretty chic, possibly expensive antique and one of a kind was sold for only $35. Anywho i like the way you fixed this one up looks very nice and perhaps you should scour the web for the rest of the set since there is obviously more than one set.

  30. Katie
    Katie says:

    Is anyone who said they have a set like this willing to part with it? I’ve been trying to find a whole bedroom set but can only find pieces from different sellers. I want them all to be the painted the same and many sellers ahave already refurbished them, which tacks on a big price tag. Thanks for the help and ideas!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] is the decoupage tutorial I promised you from the Diva of a Dresser […]

  2. […] all off and ditching my efforts. However, I finally figured out the technique for using this glaze (on this project). The trick can be summed up with “less is […]

  3. […] other day I shared with you my french provincial dresser makeover. I dubbed her the Diva Dresser because of all the changes she pushed me to make. But, in the end I […]

  4. […] This tutorial will be fairly brief, if you need more photos and explanation, you can view my previous dresser painting adventure. […]

  5. […] @ Primitive & Proper And this Beautiful Dresser with wallpaper decoupaged on the sides @ Pretty Handy Girl    The details on this Carmel Metallic Dresser are exquisite @ LoveLeigh Again […]

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