Hello amazing friends! Today, I’m back sharing THE BEST way to paint furniture WHITE using this gorgeous dressing table I shared back in 2020:
I figured y’all are on Holiday content overload already, so instead, I’m sharing this beautiful makeover how-to in case you have any project pieces of your own in mind for the new year!
This dressing table belonged to a lovely local reader, Ms. Mary, who blessed me with my Mother’s Day haul that you may remember if you’ve been hanging out with me for awhile.
If not, it was this lot of furniture goodness:
Most of these pieces had been in her family for generations, but she was downsizing and just could not keep them any longer. She reached out to me the day before Mother’s Day right at the height of the pandemic to see if I would be interested in loving them back to life. Of course, I jumped on the chance!
As we were loading up the items she was giving me, Mary asked how much I would charge her to paint this dressing table. I rarely paint for others. I just don’t like the pressure that comes with bringing someone elses vision to life. However, in this case, I was more than happy to paint this piece as a thank you, and she was requesting one of my favorite finishes: a simple white makeover!
I’ve included a few affiliate links so you can find the products I love.
This piece needed some serious TLC. Before I could get started on this makeover, I needed to address the top:
Mary just wanted a simple paint job, but if I painted over this top in its current condition, you would be able to see all those imperfections in the final finish.
Proper prep is key to a perfect final result!
Once I had all the sanding done, I gave it a good vacuum with my shop vac using the brush attachment. If your surface is in good condition, you can skip the sanding!
Next, you’ll wnat to clean your piece well. I like to use White Lightning. I just mix one TBSP with a half gallon of warm water:
Use gloves with White Lightning since it is also a deglosser. After cleaning, rinse away any residue, swapping out your water for clean water and giving it another wipe down.
The Best Way to paint furniture white
I paint a TON of white furniture, and I’m sharing everything you need to know to get great results!
Prep for Possible Bleed-through
Any older cherry or mahogany pieces have a chance of the tannins bleeding through your paint finish, no matter what kind of paint you use. If you are unsure if your piece will have bleed through, it doesn’t hurt to prime first just in case. Bleed through looks like pink splotches or streaks.
To prevent that from happening, I reach for my favorite product to combat bleed-through: Dixie Belle’s BOSS in white:
The wonderful thing about BOSS (also available in clear and gray) is that not only does it seal in those tannins, it has no harsh odors, and if you use the white formula, it saves you a coat of paint!
The key to using BOSS is to allow plenty of dry time!
I allowed this to sit overnight.
In most cases, one coat will do it, but if you get a stubborn piece and are still seeing bleed through after allowing it to dry overnight, give it one more coat and allow it to dry overnight again.
If your project piece is newer, you can skip this step and get straight to painting.
Time for Paint
You are now ready for paint! I painted this piece in two coats of Dixie Belle’s Cotton. You can see below that I taped off just inside the drawer area so I would have a nice crisp line, using FrogTape:
I hadn’t yet made it to the top with paint yet, but I kind of like how it looked as-is!
You can see in the background of one of the above photos that I removed the mirrors to paint the frame.
I almost always do this so that I can paint the back side of the frame. That way the mirror will reflect white instead of the brown wood.
Here is what was holding the mirror in place:
I removed those wood pieces with a flathead screwdriver and saved them so I could secure the mirror back in place with them when I was done.
And can you see the layer of dust along that one edge? That was reflecting in the mirror and I knew I needed to clean that out…another good reason for removing the mirror!
I knew this set was old, but it is actually over one hundred years old!
By the stamp on the mirror, it looks like it was made in 1917!
I love that so much!
Sand to distress
With chalk paint, you want to lightly sand the surface to make it buttery smooth. If you like a distressed finish, sand a bit more heavily over all the edges and details…anywhere normal wear might occur. I do this with 220 grit sandpaper wrapped around an old sanding sponge. Vacuum up any sanding dust with a shop vac and wipe down with a clean soft cloth.
Seal and Protect
You can see how I apply the Clear Coat to a table using the sponge applicator in this video:
If you have trouble viewing, find it on YouTube HERE.
If you cut one of the edges of the sponge straight ( I just used scissors.), you can get right up under edges easily like I did with this dresser:
I love a simple white makeover so much, and it really suits this beautiful piece!
It highlights all those gorgeous details so well!
I just love how this piece turned out!
I grabbed one of our dining room chairs to pair with it here…
One of the original drawer pulls was bent, so I opted for these simple glass pulls instead:
The drawers also had some wear on the insides:
I knew I was going to line them, and I chose a dark fabric so I would not have to BOSS and paint them first.
Here’s a video on how I cut my fabric and add it to the drawers if you’re interested:
If you have trouble viewing, find it on YouTube HERE.
I just brushed matte Mod Podge on like a glue with a cheap chip brush:
This table has been through a lot. It is actually missing the front of one of its legs on the right side…
Part of the ball claw foot is missing:
On the right side, it is also missing the pretty detail on the inside corner that you see here:
You might never know if wasn’t pointed out, but I love that it has a story to tell!
The center area might be my favorite:
I feel so fortunate to have been able to redo this special piece for Mary!
I really enjoyed working on this gorgeous piece, flaws and all!
Here are all the pieces that Mary gave me:
Visit any of the afters of these piececs at the links below:
She ended up being reunited with two of them after their big makeovers!
I love a happy ending!!
I know y’all are super busy this week, so thank you so much for taking a minute to stop by! I’ll see ya Thursday with this piece that I have found and redone three times:
Update: See all three makeovers hERE now!
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