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80's Dresser Makeover

I inherited a bedroom set from my mom that she bought back in the 80's when she was very into an Asian-motif style of decorating. Although the pieces are very high-quality, solid wood, and in amazing condition after 30+ years, they didn't match anything in my home. I was very hesitant about refinishing it, first because of the sentimental value, and also there is a varnish finish and I was nervous about destroying it with a sander. But then I was introduced to a product called Beyond Paint, and the transformation that came from this little can of magic was nothing short of amazing!

Read below for the in-depth tutorial, and check out how the matching armoire came out on TikTok!

This is what it looked like before:

a wooden dresser with etched panels

What sold me on using Beyond Paint for the dresser makeover was that there is literally no prep work! Knowing that I could paint the furniture without having to sand, strip or prime made this overhaul so much less intimidating. They even has these little sample size containers so you can test the color before purchasing the full size. I went with Off-White so there would be a greater contrast with the grey walls in the room.

testing paint colors on a dresser

I removed the drawer pulls and filled with Dap wood putty because the replacement ones I bought were a different size. The center of the dresser panels are etched with a design that no amount of sanding was going to remove, so I decided to remove them all together using a crowbar and a hammer.

a dresser with the handles removed and the holes filled with Dap wood putty

Let the painting begin! I found a cute little all-in-one kit on Amazon that had everything you would need for a painting project: rollers, brushes, painter's tape, scraper, drop cloth and sandpaper.

painting supplies

Here's the dresser after one coat of paint. I used a roller instead of a brush to eliminate any brush stroke marks. Beyond Paint is super thick and adhered surprisingly well.

a wood dresser being painted with Beyond Paint

After a second coat, you could really see what a difference it made. A few spots required a third coat, but the coverage was great.

a wooden dresser being painted with Beyond Paint

Because the panels have etching on them, I didn't even try to sand them down. Instead I decided to cover with fabric for some texture and contrast. I knew I wanted grasscloth, and found a grasscloth table runner from Amazon that worked because I only needed a small amount of fabric.

etched panels removed from a dresser being recovered in grasscloth

I turned the panels face-down and used a staple gun to attach the fabric to the wood.

using a staple gun to cover etched panels from a dresser with grasscloth

Next, I applied Loctite adhesive to the backs of the panels to secure them back on the dresser.

Loctite adhesive being applied to wood panels

I used clamps to hold them in place while the adhesive dried.

clamps being used to hold wood panels in place

The last step was to install the new drawer pulls and knobs, also found on Amazon, and the transformation was complete. I absolutely love the finished product!

a painted dresser after a makeover


Staple Gun


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