Oak Dresser Makeover


March Madness: 31 Days of Thrifty Makeovers

Hi friends! Welcome to day #23 of my March Madness, 31 Thrifty Makeovers in 31 Days series!

Today I’m excited to be sharing part of my parent’s surprise bedroom set makeover. It’s an oak set that they’ve had for as long as I can remember. My Mom has been trying to sweet talk me into painting this set for the better part of the last year. Of course I would do anything for my Mom, but this set was going to take time, and it just never seemed to be the right time. Then a couple of weekends ago when she announced that she and my Dad were going to my brother’s house in SC to help watch their cutie pie five month old while they move, I knew I had the perfect opportunity to surprise her!

I headed over to her house on an icy/sleet filled Thursday night to get started. They left that afternoon and I knew I was going to need all the time I could get.

I painted four pieces: her dresser, my Dad’s dresser, and two night stands.

First up is her dresser:


This entire set was still in perfect condition and they paid good money for it, but it was just not the look my Mom wanted any longer in this space. (This picture makes this dresser look much better than it actually looks in person!)

It’s nothing that my good ole Cottage White DIY chalk paint couldn’t fix…

This was a dated oak dresser that was brought to life with DIY chalk paint!

It looks like a totally new dresser! (The piece in the background is the true before color.)

Adding the feet really helped with this update also:

This was a dated oak dresser that was brought  to life with DIY chalk paint!

I purchased these at Home Depot for $10 each. Later I learned that Lowe’s has ones very similar, but a bit slimmer for $7 a piece.

I changed out the dated brass and wood handles for these that I found at Hobby Lobby:

These pulls were perfect, but they had a brassy finish. Spray paint took care of that!

They originally had a brassy finish, but I spray painted them with Rustoleum’s Heirloom white, and sanded each one a bit to age them. Would you believe they had all but one that I needed to complete this makeover? I had to add the final pull later. Now they’re perfect!

This was a dated oak dresser that was brought  to life with DIY chalk paint!

The center doors got simple glass knobs. I kept the brassy plates that had been there, just spray painted them.



This was a dated oak dresser that was brought  to life with DIY chalk paint!




This was a dated oak dresser that was brought to life with DIY chalk paint!

I only sanded lightly as my Mom is not a fan of overly distressed pieces. I followed up with a coat of Annie Sloan’s clear soft wax to seal.

This was a dated oak dresser that was brought to life with DIY chalk paint!

It really turned out better than I thought it could.

This was a dated oak dresser that was brought to life with DIY chalk paint!

There are too many photos to fit everything into one post, so I’ll be keeping you in suspense for one more day before I share the rest. I know, I’m mean…Sorry! I’ll also tell you how my plans got derailed and my Mom’s reaction to the surprise!

Hey! Guess what? See the rest here now! 🙂

If you missed any posts in this fun March Madness series, you can catch up here:

March Madness Week #1 of 31 Days of Thrifty Makeovers!

1. Today is a Good Day

2. Fancy Chalkboards

3. Flea Market Swap: Fabric Covered Basket

4. Lamp to Memo Chalkboard

5. Sewing Cabinet Side Table

6. Stool Revived

7. Cigar Box Upcycle

March Madness Week #2 of 31 Days of Thrifty Makeovers!

1. Headboard to Organizer

2. Weathered Grey Caddy

3. Faux-Drawer Tray

4. French Linen Server

5. Three French Trays

6. Rosette Picture Frame

7. Planter Box from a Thrift Store Throw-Away

March Madness Week #3 of 31 Days of Thrifty Makeovers!

1. Basket Upcycle

2. Paris, Table for Two

3. Owl Figurine Refresh

4. Paint a table & Keep the Beautiful Wood too 

5. Mason Jar Blue Headboard Bench

6. French-Inspired Coffee Table

7. Fabulous Bulletin Board from Thrift Store Parts

Here was my share from yesterday if you missed it:


Reclaimed Wood Tray





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  1. Maureen Provost Ryan says

    Christy, I’m overwhelmed. What a beautiful job! Can’t wait to see the rest and your Mom’s reaction! What a talent you have! — Maureen

  2. I love the transformation of this, just looks beautiful now!

  3. This looks gorgeous, Christy! I absolutely LOVE those handles! What would the world be like without Hobby Lobby? Beautiful update! So happy for your parents…I just know they’ve gotta be so proud of their extremely talented daughter:)

    • Thanks, Heather! Hobby Lobby is the best place for hardware. We used to drive two hours to the nearest one to stock up, before we got one here 15 minutes away! Have a great day!

  4. Sue Farmer says

    Hey Christy!! Been on vacation and that is why I haven’t complemented your posts for a week!! Your mom had to have been soooo pleased with the new look . The dresser looks beautiful. What a change. You are a very good daughter and your mom is a lucky woman to have you.:)

  5. Ed Temple says

    love the dresser sis. now do something about those wires hanging down your wall…lol

  6. Oh My Goodness, that is SO GORGEOUS!!! I LOVE it!

  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE!! Awesome transformation…looks like a totally different piece!

  8. Your parent’s must have been tickled pink when they saw their refreshed furniture! What a difference the legs make and the new hardware is perfect, especially adding the glass knobs to the original back plates. Beautiful! Thumbs up to restyling the top for them too – so much better now 😉

  9. Gorgeous! I have a dresser very similar to this one, handles and all. I love how it looks, and the feet are pure genius. I’m printing this post out and filing in it my “Thing To Do When I Build Up the Nerve” folder.

  10. Patty Jones says

    Oh Christy, I love, love, love your amazing transformation of the dresser! Your work is truly inspiring!

  11. Very nice! I bet she loves it!

  12. Lovely! I’m sure your mom is thrilled!!! Can’t wait to see the rest. 😉


  13. beautiful. I love a clean white finish on large furniture pieces. I noticed you didn’t paint the screws that hold the handles white. Was that on purpose? Can’t wait to see the rest!

    • Thanks, Kathryn! Two reasons for that, I was attaching them at 3:00 in the morning in an effort to finish the set before my parent’s returned home. And #2 is that their bed, which you can see in today’s post, is black wrought iron and so I thought they looked okay with that. I kind of like them that way too, but it would be easy to add a touch of paint to cover them. Great question. 🙂

  14. Great job! I couldn’t tell from the photos how much if any of the normal oak grain is still present. Can you discuss that a little? Did this version of chalk paint just cover the grain better? Did you wax it too?

    • Thanks, Dee! I was really expecting to see the wood grain through, but it is hardly noticeable as you can see in one of the clos-ups. I’m not sure why that is. Maybe the chalk paint filled it in better? I also sanded the surface smooth with 220 grit sand paper before waxing. I used Annie Sloan’s clear soft wax.

  15. The dresser looks great and such a good idea with the legs and painted hardware. I just finished a similar sized pine dresser in Lamp Black for our bedroom makeover in progress. Gotta love the power of paint.

  16. You always inspire me when I visit your blog and today is no exception. I steer away from pieces with flat bottoms and no legs or feet. Now I know what to do with them! Thank you again.

    • Aww thanks so much, Paige! Honestly if my Mom had decided to buy a new set (before I painted this one), and she offered this to me, I probably would have said no thank you. This transformation really surprised me as well!

  17. The feet add such a great touch! What a sweet daughter you are:) It turned out fabulous, Christy!

  18. Has there been any of the oak’s grain showing through the white chalk paint? I have an oak dresser that I have been wanting to paint. Did you have to use a grain filler?

    • Hi Robbie! I did not use a grain filler. I went straight to painting, but honestly, you have to be right up on it to even notice any grain. I included a few very close-up photos in that post and you can barely see it. The difference with it painted as compared to the before is so profound that even if you could see the grain through it, it would still be 100X better than it was. Good luck!

  19. Hi Kristy! I really love this update especially the feet. How did you do that? Thank you 🙂