Grandma’s Vintage Dresser Makeover

Hello, lovely Friends, and welcome to Themed Furniture Thursday! I do love a good furniture makeover, but adding a twist by following a theme makes it a fun challenge, and I love a challenge!

This month’s theme is “Knock Offs”, where we find a piece that inspires us to recreate the look, usually for much less.

You may remember me sharing this photo of my garage not too long ago:


(Show this to your husbands, ladies. You’re welcome.) Piled at the front there are four dressers, a china cabinet, a mirror, and a headboard that we acquired from my Hubby’s Grandmother’s estate recently, and the main reason I have been trying my hardest to avoid thrift stores and yard sales this Summer.

Today I’m sharing the makeover of this dresser:


All the rage at one time, but this one had seen better days…


Although the outside accumulated a little wear over time, the insides were immaculate, all the drawers were in perfect working order, and there was no musty smell. All things I look for in a potential makeover candidate.

I also have the taller dresser to this set as well as the headboard.

This set has a bit of a glam feel to me, so that is the direction I wanted to take it. I found this Pottery Barn Kids version and loved the simple white with the gold/brass hardware:


I decided to skip the shabby this time, and give Grandma’s piece a clean finish like the inspiration piece above:

Vintage Dresser Makeover from

I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I used.

White Painted Vintage Dresser Makeover from

I used Rustoleum Metallic Bright Gold spray paint for the handles and I love how they look!

The old handles had a ton of patina…but not exactly the good kind:


I gave them a good scrub down with an old toothbrush to remove any dust build-up and dried them thoroughly before painting. The bright gold really makes these gorgeous vintage pulls pop against the white.

Rustoleum Bright Gold Spray Paint really makes these vintage handles pop.

Since I had planned not to shabby this one up, I decided to use Ultra Pure White latex from Behr in a Satin finish. (The one that is paint + primer in one.)

Vintage Dresser Makeover from

To make this durable, I sanded well first using my rotary sander and 220 grit sandpaper to give the paint something to grab onto. Then I vacuumed all surfaces with my shop vac and wiped them down with a clean soft cloth before spray priming with Rustoleum Primer in white. (Although the paint has primer in it, I think that has more to do with coverage, than adherence.)

Some spray primers will leave a rough surface. If that happens, take a piece of brown craft paper or an old paper grocery bag and use it like a sandpaper to knock down the roughness. Then clean the surface again with the shop vac, followed by a clean soft cloth.

Finally I painted with the latex using a good quality brush, keeping a wet edge as I painted. (This Purdy is my favorite.) You could also use a roller if you prefer.

White Painted Vintage Dresser Makeover from

In my opinion, there is no need to seal latex paint that has a satin, semi gloss, or gloss finish on a piece of furniture that will not be a high traffic piece. Bedroom furniture probably won’t get abused like a coffee table, and surely won’t have to withstand the abuse a kitchen table will get. Plus you can easily touch it up any time if needed.

White Painted Vintage Dresser Makeover from


White Painted Vintage Dresser Makeover from

I like to line the drawers with pretty paper or fabric as a pretty finishing touch. For this piece, I already had the perfect fabric. I ordered this online a couple of years ago when I was looking for fabric to cover my dining table chairs, but when it arrived, the pattern was way too large and a bit bold for my taste.

Line the drawers of your dresser with fabric using Mod Podge.

But it goes perfectly with the gold pulls, and it’s such a pretty contrast to the bright white. SO happy I was finally able to use it!

I cut the fabric using my rotary cutter and straight edge, and attached it to the bottom with Matte Mod Podge, using an inexpensive chip brush to brush it on like a glue.

White Painted Vintage Dresser Makeover from



I redid the taller dresser as well that you can see the back of in that first photo of my very full garage. I’ll wait until your makeover amnesia sets in before I share that one since it looks exactly the same, well…only taller and thinner. 😀

I did the full sized headboard to match also. Such a perfect set for a sophisticated young lady, don’t you think?

White Painted Vintage Dresser Makeover from


White Painted Vintage Dresser Makeover from

This was definitely more of an “inspired by” piece than a true knock off, but those high end retailers are a great place to find inspiration!

See what my friends are knocking off today as well at the links below!

I’ll be back on Tuesday sharing how I gave these $5 yard sale bar stools a sweet update:


UPDATE: No need to wait…see the transformation HERE now! 🙂



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  1. Mary Kaiser says

    How lovely that turned out. How many cans of spray primer did it take for that size dresser? When you use the latex paint on a dresser do you have trouble with the drawers sticking? I painted one and I am having that problem. My dresser looks beautiful but it also needs to function, any suggestions to fix sticky drawers? I love all your inspirational make overs. Thanks.

    • Thank you, Mary! I believe I used one full can of primer and just a little of another for this dresser. I haven’t had problems with the drawers sticking yet, but I’m sure humidity could cause the drawers to swell a bit and result in sticking. Try rubbing a candle on the edges that are sticking to help them slide more easily. 🙂

  2. Janie Hayes says

    Really pretty!
    Thanks so much for always sharing your procedures!

  3. Love and especially with those bold bright gold handles! This is a different look for you without the distressing. Good job! I can picture how beautiful this will look in a bedroom. I’ll bet it doesn’t last long in your shop!

  4. Lovely, lovely, lovely!! You’ve done your grandmother’s piece proud. Another great makeover. Congrats. Susie from the Chelsea Project

  5. I love this makeover. The white and the gold are so yummy together and I love the inside of the drawers, but what I really want to touch on is the picture of your garage. Thank you for showing it! I don’t feel so alone. My goal is to get the cars in the garage before winter! We have a big fall sale to get ready for and I hope to get rid of a ton! 😉

    • Thanks, Lindsay! Now you understand why I have only hit up two yard sales this entire season lol! In my defense, all of that at the front was my hubby’s Grandmas and I worked very hard to make that space available for it ha ha! I’m hoping to get it down to where I only have a couple of pieces in waiting at a time. XOXO

  6. I love a good shabby-distressed makeover, but this piece looks perfect in crisp white. The gold hardware is so pretty too. I didn’t realize how yellow and dirty the original looked until I saw the last photo with both of them together!

    • Thanks, Amy! I’m with you…a little shabby is more my thing, but this seemed to call out for something a little more crisp. Yes, the original was very yellow ha ha!

  7. So, so pretty!!!

  8. Beautiful! You did an amazing job on this piece and the gold against the white looks amazing!

  9. I love this piece Christy, the crisp white with the gold touch looks so pretty!!

  10. Very pretty! I LOVE when you skip the shabby. I’ll bet the set together is quite elegant. Is it going in your shop or to a family member?


    • Thanks, Sheila! This pretty piece was meant to stay “pretty”, so no shabby this time! This will be for sale, and hopefully will be treasured for years to come. 🙂

  11. You really changed the look to a beautiful dresser. Love the clean white.

  12. I have to tell you that you are the only blogger that pulls me in every time you post because first of all, you’re stinkin’ awesome at what you do and secondly, I can quickly look over the before and after at the bottom of the page–which generally draws me in farther to read how you accomplished the transformation and what you used. Sneaky? Maybe. Great business tactic? Absolutely!!

    • Aww your sweet comment made my day, Christine!! Thank you!! And I don’t mind at all if you skip to the bottom first! 🙂

  13. Love this transformation. It looks so crisp and clean.

  14. I’m still laughing at (Show this to your husbands, ladies. You’re welcome.) Your talent and ability to transform worn/discarded pieces to beautiful objects is worthy of a clutter garage I’m sure. You have a true gift to see things for more than what they are worth. Love all your work.

    • Thanks so much, Connie!! At least my hubby can’t get too upset with me since all of those pieces belonged to his Grandma, but it is truly always never done ha ha! XO

  15. Cindy Pierce says

    Wow!!! I love how you made over grandma’s dresser. The gold was just the right touch of elegance.

  16. Hi Christy, I just discovered your blog and love it, love your dresser makeover. I read your blog about a vintage booth which Ive had one for 1 year and I’m not making as much money as I would like, your blog was very helpful, but, how much time do you spend painting and repurposing and prepaid to sell. I have lots of ideas but no talent in carpentry? What do you suggest, thank you soooo much j

    • Hi June…thank you! Did you get a chance to look at my tips for selling from a booth? If not, you can find them here: It’s hard to tell how much time I spend since I also stop to photograph along the way, etc for my blog, but I am working in my garage at least a few days a week. Also many of the projects I do that require a saw can be done with a jigsaw, which is small and very user friendly. Hope this helps…best of luck!

  17. The transformation is amazing! The dresser looks stunning ♥

  18. Annie (Canada) says

    Hi Christy, Beautiful job on the dresser! The gold handles against the pure white really pop 🙂 I agree with you that all we don’t need to ‘shabify’ (not really a everything we paint, so furniture speaks for itself! Happy Painting 🙂

    • Thanks, Annie! Most of what I buy says, “shabby me up”, but this little lady said, “no thank you!” lol. So she got what she asked for! 🙂

  19. Wow! It looks fantastic. At first, I thought you had replaced the drawer pulls. I didn’t even notice them on the “before” version, and they are so pretty. They really pop now! I think it is great to keep the set matching and together. I’m a new subscriber to your blog, and I look forward to following you!

    • Thanks so much, Karen! Don’t the pulls look amazing in their new gold paint? Thanks for choosing to follow along with me! XO

  20. Seriously! You rock! I love looking at all you projects and I am so thankful that you give all the details of each step. I love love love setting a booth up in Crown Point, In. It’s indoors and filled to the brim with amazing talent! I’m very grateful to be one of the 150 vendors. So I recently came across your tutorial for the tray made from an 8×10 frame. Genius! I love it and have been making some yesterday. I am only in one market and it occurs four times a year. It is in one week!! So I am trying to make several of these adorable trays. I am concerned about the pricing. I don’t want to overcharge. Would you mind giving me an idea of what to charge? Is 20 too high? Thanks a ton for all your hard work and sharing the technique with us!! XO

    • Aww thanks, Dawn! SO glad you find my step-by-steps helpful! I used to do shows for years and years and I really loved it as well, so I understand the excitement. I sell these trays for $36 each, but I also have a steep overhead for my space. At a show, I would start around $25 since you can always come down if you need to. Good luck! XO

  21. Gina Keysor says

    You did the style of this dresser proud. It totally fits the “glam look”. I also like the fact you didn’t do shabby on this set. Good call. I hope we will see all three pieces together? I admire your energy to get all three painted!! By the way, thx for the previous tip about getting rid of the musty smell on my picture frame, makes sense!!

    • Thanks, Gina! I agree that the cleaner look was the right call for this set, although I do love my shabby! I didn’t have the space to photograph all three pieces together here at the house, but I did take pictures of all of the pieces individually. Glad I could help on the frame! XO

  22. Christy,
    This is pure perfection! Grandma would be so proud! Some pieces just need to have that glam/not shab look, and this is definitely that piece. I can’t wait to see the rest of the set. I hope you took a group shot of the pieces together. Your blog is the best, keep it up 🙂

  23. WOW! You did wonders with this piece!

  24. That dresser is beautiful and I’m sure that the other 2 pieces are also!

  25. Spot of perfect as the inspiration piece, Grandma would be proud! I am also proud of your furniture stacking skills, definitely showing my husband!

  26. Christy, she is gorgeous. granni would be so proud.
    I love the lines on this set and I think you were right to not do the shabby on her and love, love that material you used in the drawers.
    She is perfect, another beautiful work of art.

    • Aww thanks, Patty! I think she would have loved it…it was a gorgeous set at one time. And yes, lucky that I had that fabric already on hand…it worked out perfectly!

  27. Marcie Lovett says

    Wowee wow. I’m dizzy from scrolling up and down, trying to convince myself that really is the same dresser!

    • Ha ha I know, right? It looks so fresh an updated now that it almost doesn’t look like the same piece! XO

  28. I’ve never heard of the paper bag trick instead of sand paper. Genius!! Can’t wait to try, because every time I do use sand paper I inevitably have to give another coat. I love the vintage dresser makeover!

    • Thanks, Heather!! I know some use brown paper or paper bags to replace sand paper all-together, but I like it especially for this purpose! XO

  29. As always, this makeover is beautiful! I love the combination of white paint and gold hardware and I agree that this set belongs in a lucky young lady’s room.

  30. You really did breath new life into Grandma’s dresser. So fresh and glam with the gold painted pulls. Thank you for the clever paper bag sandpaper tip! You’d never know the paint was brushed on – looks like a sprayed or rolled finish, nice job!

    • Thanks, Marie! Hopefully it will be loved for years to come! Hope you are enjoying your weekend! XOXO

  31. That was the perfect fabric for those drawers and I like that you kept the look clean instead of distressing or aging. Beautiful makeover as always.

    • Thanks so much, Kathy! I was so tickled when I pulled that fabric out it looked so pretty with those pulls! XO

  32. WOWIE~ZOWIE!!!!! That is a beauty!!!! LOVE it!!!! Love that it is not “shabbieifed” (I just made a new word!!!). Granny would be proud!!! Those roses are quite delightful also!!!
    Can hardly believe that is the same dresser.
    God Bless~

  33. Linda J Barnes says

    Hi Christy! GREAT transformation!! I recently was given 2 end tables from this very same set and although I love them, I have been wondering how to paint them! I am especially worried about how to handle the tops because they are laminated and I haven’t done anything with them yet. So sanding and just priming the tops will be enough to hold up? I was planning on using them for our home as bedside tables, so the tops would get a lot of use with anything that would be placed on them day after day. Would you also then suggest to seal the tops to protect the finish? Oh you can see I am still stuck on the fence! I just want to do these pieces justice! They are so lovely and now that I see what you have done with yours I HAVE to tackle them!! Help! LOL!

  34. Mariele Storm says

    Ahh, beautiful! I just found your blog via Pinterest and am going through your posts. <3 Your makeovers are gorgeous, but I'll admit, I vastly prefer these undistressed (happy?) pieces over the distressed ones. <3 <3 Great job!

    • Thanks, Mariele! I do have a soft spot for distressed pieces, but sometimes they just don’t need the distressing! XO


  1. […] are an inspiration to small DIY and home bloggers like myself. I especially LOVED this recent dresser makeover by Christy. A few years ago, I re-painted a similar dresser but it pales in comparison to this […]