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Kyle and I decided we’re renewing our lease for another year, which means it’s time to get our act together and actually make the place feel like home. We’ve told ourselves we’ll finally splurge on “investment” pieces once we buy a home, but for now, we’ve got lots of cheap old furniture from a handful of prior moves on our hands. This brown particle board dresser, in particular, was one of the biggest eyesores. I’ve been wanting to paint it for a while now, but I honestly had no idea what to use or where to go to get it. I finally decided I’d go and do what I dread most– ask someone. Turns out chalk paint wasn’t an option, so we found a cost-effective alternative instead: acrylic eggshell paint for wood. I’m sharing the whole process (from start to finish!) in today’s post!
Step 1: Finding the Right Paint
The staff at Westlake Ace Hardware was painfully nice and incredibly patient with me. I knew I wanted to use the Magnolia Home by Joanna Gaines line, strictly because I love Chip and Joanna Gaines that much. I was bummed to find that they don’t carry their new chalk style paint, though. Chalk paint is ideal for furniture updates– or so I’ve heard on YouTube, so Westlake Ace helped me find an alternative instead: Magnolia Home Interior Paint in Shiplap with an eggshell finish. I haven’t heard anything really about the efficacy of acrylic eggshell paint for wood furniture (especially fake wood furniture), so I was curious to see how it’d turn out.
Also, I had no idea how much paint I’d need for a dresser, so they sent me home with two 8oz paint samples, just in case. Heads up– one would’ve been plenty!
Step 2: Sanding the Surface
One thing Westlake Ace Hardware didn’t tell me is that cheap particle board dressers can be incredibly tough to paint. The paint goes on perfectly at first and then separates into sparing blobs seconds later. So, after doing some YouTube research, I realized I needed to sand my dresser beforehand. Contrary to what I thought sanding furniture would look like, it was easy, relatively painless– aside from needing to carry the dresser outside, and only took an hour or so.
Anyways, just a realistic heads up! Depending on the dresser, you may need to sand it beforehand, too. It could be because it’s not real wood or because the dresser itself is too worn or dirty. Either way, this sander is under $30 and has nearly a 5-star rating with 1,250+ reviews!
Step 3: Painting the Dresser
Finally, for the pièce de résistance, I used a bristle paint brush to paint all 6 of the drawers and dresser base. The craziest part? It only took ONE coat. No priming required– just one coat of Magnolia Home Interior Paint in Shiplap. I can’t speak for chalk paint, but acrylic eggshell paint doesn’t need an undercoat. Maybe acrylic eggshell paint really is the best white paint for a dresser, who knows?!
After painting, I let everything air dry outside for a few hours and then brought it back inside, reassembled all the drawers, and voila! Brand new dresser!
Full disclosure– I’m still planning on updating the hardware, but the knobs I purchased from Westlake Ace Hardware aren’t the right size. So, I’m putting in an online order this week. I’ll update with new photos once they’re installed!
For now, though– how much better does this dresser look? It’s insane! I’ve had so much fun styling and organizing it since the update (blue and white ginger jar details here). Plus, I’m genuinely shocked that an $8 paint sample did the trick!
Let me know if you have any questions whatsoever about the furniture painting process. I’m happy to help! Also, in case y’all missed it, you can learn about how I fully customized my own closet organization system without going bankrupt here! I’ll put together a full closet tour once everything’s finished, too. Thanks so much for reading, y’all!
Linking outfit details and dresser decor below. Click any image below to shop!
I was reimbursed for the cost of these products as part of a sponsored social campaign with Westlake Ace Hardware. I loved them so much that I decided to feature them my blog, as well, although I had no obligation to do so. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Photography by Catherine Rhodes.