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Bedroom Makeover (Part 4): Hand Painted Dresser

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So far in this Bedroom Makeover, we’ve turned a twin captain’s bed into a stylish day bed, and we’ve made our own upholstered headboard.  Now comes my favorite project in this makeover:  A Hand Painted Dresser.   It’s painted to combine my daughter’s love of all things vintage…and more importantly to capture her passion for music.  And, I have to say, I am positively in love with how it turned out.

When my daughter first asked if we could re-do her bedroom for her 15th birthday, she had not only grown tired of the blue pearlescent stripes on the walls, she complained that her room felt too cramped.  She had an oversized dresser that took up much of the space, yet, most of her clothes were hanging in her closet.  So, even  though it was a beautiful piece of furniture, I agreed to get rid of it.

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I then began searching on Craigslist for a smaller dresser, with lots of character.  When I found this 1940’s piece for $60, I knew it was THE ONE.  I loved the tall legs, all the details, and just the fact that it had some history to it.  

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Because I already had something else in mind for above the dresser, I removed the mirror and am saving it for a future project.  Thankfully, if came off easily.  As is the case with most antique furniture, the mirror was being held up with just a couple of slats of wood screwed into the back.

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I took off all the hardware and then got to work sanding.  This not only prepped the dresser for painting, but allowed me to get rid of all the nicks and scratches.

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Using my paint sprayer, I was able to cover the dresser with a couple of coats of semigloss charcoal black paint that comes with primer already in it.  I decided to hold off on the top of the dresser, and paint it the same antique white I used for the bed.

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I then wracked my brain thinking of what I could do to make it unique to my daughter.  Then, it hit me!  She loves music!  She pretty much lives and breathes it.  She plays piano, clarinet, guitar, ukelele, and marimba.  So why not hand paint the dresser with things related to music?  I just didn’t want anything overly obvious, like a treble clef or music notes, so I went through all her music sheets.  She’s collected hundreds over the years.  And I found things that stood out artistically.  I printed them in different size fonts on my computer, then taped them to the dresser to see how it would look best.

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I figured I could trace over the letters, using graphite paper to get the image on the dresser.  The problem was, because the dresser was painted black, you couldn’t really see it.  So I ended up following the slight impression here and there and doing much of it free-hand.  (Definitely keep graphite paper in mind if you ever want to paint an image onto something.  It works great.  Just not over black!)

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I then distressed the white top by rubbing dark paint along the edges, and I put new glass knobs on the drawers.

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I had found this mirror at Goodwill a while back, (even used a 20% off coupon to get it for $8!) and I spray painted it black to match.

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And, here is what it looks like all put together:

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This Hand Painted Dresser not only hits a high note with me, more importantly, my daughter loves it.  Be sure to check back in for the big reveal of this Bedroom Makeover.  I’ll show you some last-minute touches, and how everything came together beautifully in the end.

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One Response to Bedroom Makeover (Part 4): Hand Painted Dresser

  1. Sally V. Quevedo November 26, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    This is one of my very favorite pieces. It came out perfect!! Absolutely love it.

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Painting children's rooms, exterior murals, exterior paint, faux finishes, interior murals, canvases, holiday canvases, wooden plaques, beds, cabinets, dressers, furniture, party decorations, props, and other DIY crafts!