How to Transform a Dull Drab Dresser with Glorious Grey Paint


Full admission! We are now in recovery mode! My little and only brother married the girl of his dreams last night – so we’re spending some quality time with our family celebrating this wonderful time 🙂

Annie Sloan Dresser BEFORE
Updating a dresser with chalk paint and white wash stain

Which is exactly why I have got this post to share with you today. I’m dialling it back to a project inspired by a rainy afternoon by the coast… when I was walking Buddy and happened upon a solid wood dresser just left on the curb.

This dresser checked all my boxes for a curbside rescue candidate. It is solid wood, it has an interesting shape, and it had really cool legs.

How to Transform a Dull Drab Dresser with Glorious Grey Paint

Look at her now! She once lived in our sunroom for a while, but as we endeavour to spiff up our living room, I thought she needed a new opportunity to shine. So we’re now using this dresser as the anchor to a vignette behind our couch and in front of this planked wall.

Pounded metal hardware on a whitewashed dresser
Metal hardware on whitewashed drawers

As awesome as they are, I decided to remove the legs on the dresser for now. I kept them though! They are in one of the drawers. I just found the high legs made the dresser a bit too high for this little nook.

In terms of the finishings – this dresser was the very first makeover I ever did using chalk paint. The outside is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey. I used two coats and then finished it with clear wax.

Update drawers with special feather motif paper
Drawers lined with feather paper

To remove the finish in the drawer fronts, I soak them with damp rags and steamed them a bit -then I went at them with my palm sander – this one is my all time favorite for small jobs like this. It stripped the finish right back to the bare wood.

Grey Distressed Dresser with Whitewashed drawer fronts
Grey Distressed Dresser with Whitewashed drawer fronts

I gave them a driftwood feel by applying a couple of coats of Minwax’s Pickling Stain – it is SO great for lightening wood tones. All you do is slop it on with a brush, let it soak in for about three minutes and then wipe it off with a clean rag. Repeat that process until you get the bleached-out look you are going for. As you can see, I also finished off the drawers by decoupaging some gorgeous feather paper to the sides! The hardware is faux pounded-wrought iron; here are some that are very similar.

So this dresser is sentimental for me… it’s my first rescue and will always have a special place in my heart 🙂 

Here are some other Roadside Rescues I’ve done over the past while! 

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