In the Navy: The Tale of a 30 Year Old Dresser

About two months ago in my Fearlessly Finding Awesome Challenge #3 post I expressed that while my bedroom isn’t awful, it isn’t exactly special either. It’s just average. So I’ve been going back and forth in my head about what to do and I came up with a few ideas. The first on the list: give my hand-me-down dresser a facelift!

The dresser belonged to Matt’s mom when she was a teenager and has since been moved around quite a bit. It’s HEAVY and it’s sturdy, but at this point in time it has (had!) a lot of dings and scratches and marks on it from being so well used.

I absolutely do not hate it, it was just plain jane and in need of some loving. Further, the wood tone does not match the wood tone of our bed and tv stand.

I don’t know why, but I am so so hesitant to paint over original wood and I sat on this project for a while. To be honest, since we’ve moved in I’ve wanted to paint it, but a year ago I didn’t know how and I didn’t know where to start. My, I’ve come far!

First things first once I decided to commit:

  • Remove all hardware and put it in a safe place
  • Lay a gigantic tarp out in my yard
  • Move the whole thing out onto the tarp
  • Sand down any necessary areas that had nicks, stains, oddities

Once it was all laid out I spaced things to account for overspray, and also so that I could weave in and out of each section as I painted.

With my handy dandy Home Depot gift card I picked up RustOleum spray primer and spray paint in Navy (gloss finish). I used Kilz primer on my last project and RustOleum spraypaint, and I liked the spray of Rustoleum better so that’s why I decided to give the primer a chance. It worked great and the coverage was awesome.

Everything got 2 coats of primer spray, it wasn’t perfectly even but it was good enough for a piece that was going to be painted a very dark color.

An hour later, everything got several coats of navy. I found spray painting such a dark color to be much more challenging then the silver on my last project, because it didn’t have the sheen of being metallic flaws showed up much more easily.

I gave all the hardware a little facelift with some metallic RustOleum, not to change the color but just to even it out and shine it up a bit.

Then, Matt checked the weather and wouldn’t you know scattered thunderstorms were expected for about an hour after I finished? The whole thing, which couldn’t be pieced together yet, had to be moved into the house to dry and cure up. GAH.

The boys were uninterested in the physical labor portion of this project.

At least I got to paint the whole thing before it had to be moved inside. I can’t imagine lifting that thing any more then twice. But if I did, oh boy would it have been worth it.


It’s hard for me to capture on camera exactly how awesome this piece looks, but trust me, it looks awesome. I will be adding other navy accents to the room, and new curtains as well, but for now it plays off the lighter blue in the comforter and the teal and mustard colors of the accent chair.

Something needs to go on the other side of the dresser too of course, to balance things out, but I don’t know what yet so that spot is staying empty.

I love how it looks in the room, how it takes things from average to unique. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for me!

There are definitely spots that need touching up and a few areas that are slightly uneven, and I’ll fix of that what I can but honestly I’m not stressed about it. I’m proud of how this big mumma jumma turned out and so glad I finally went ahead and painted it.

So what do you think? Love it or hate it? Any advice? What have you painted lately?

{This post is linked up with Liz Marie Blog and the Shabby Creek Cottage}


How to Spraypaint and Glaze Furniture !!!

We’ve been living in our house for almost a year now and I’ve done some pretty crafty projects, like my kitchen art and living room shutters (here and here), but nothing super crazy- nothing where I had no idea what I was doing- UNTIL NOW!

We shifted some living room furniture around to accommodate the fact that we actually have furniture now and in doing so I needed an accent piece for our entryway. I immediately knew that whatever we got I wanted it to be a DIY project, so I went looking around at the Salvation Army but I didn’t find anything. Then we went to the Restore (a store that sells Habitat for Humanity project remnants) and we struck gold:

night stand nightstand to endtable upcycle

Ignoring the super dark color (ahem and the blur), the height and width were perfect and I really liked the extra little molding detail on the top.

Before doing anything I thoroughly read the info and watched these videos on how to spray paint furniture and how to glaze furniture.

Here’s the supply list:

  • Spray paint primer and silver spray paint
  •  Furniture glaze and tint color (1 pint of each is enough for about 900 projects)
  • Foam brush, rag, and mixing container

Home Depot did not, and does not, sell furniture glaze- wtf – but a chain paint store will AND Sherwin Williams was awesome. They gave me 10% off for being a first time customer and another 20% off because there was a sale going on (even though I didn’t have the coupon).

rustoleum silver spray paint kilz primer sherwin williams glaze

Every blog I read swears by Kilz spray primer so I made sure to get that. I went with Rust-oleum spray paint because they had metallic silver (and have since decided they are my go-to, the spray nozzle works great and doesn’t clog). The glaze and paint were shockingly more expensive then I thought, but I’ve already used them on about a dozen projects so it was a solid investment.

did not sand down the piece before painting it because with glazing you want to have all the nooks and knicks you can get. I did however have to drill a new hole for bottom draw hardware because I couldn’t find anything that matched up with the drill holes that already existed:

I had the wood filler on hand from another project, and it didn’t matter what color it was because it was going to be painted anyway. Basically you just squeeze it in the holes you need filled, let it dry, then sand it smooth and drill your new hole wherever you need it.

AND THEN THE FUN BEGAN! I spread out a hugeeee tarp in my yard because over spray will happen, and I primed the whole thing:

spraypaint furniture spray paint how to

SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE that can of primer because if not it’ll leave a very gritty texture on your furniture. Then spray light thin coats from left to right until it’s done, starting and ending off the furniture. The whole thing was primed AND dried in under 10 minutes. I love you, spray primer.

It took me a little over a one can of primer for the whole thing, but that is absolutely because I used too much. It should have taken less then one can. I know this because by the time I got to the second coat I had calmed down with the laying-it-on thick and had much better, smoother results:

silver and black funiture glazed

Ba-zam! Look at that shine! NOTE: Clearly metallic furniture isn’t for everyone. You can use any color one the furniture and any color for the glaze (black and brown are most common). So if you wanted an antique looking dresser, you could paint it a nice cream and glaze it with brown.

Again, slow, thin even coats from left to right. And again, under 10 minutes to dry! However, I suggest leaving it for an hour just to let it cure up a little before you get to the fun part: THE WONDERFUL GLAZE. The glaze itself is white (kind of like Elmer’s glue in color and consistency) and then I got the blackest black paint I could. Use three parts glaze to one part paint: for this piece I used one cup of glaze and 1/3 cup of paint and it was plenty for me to go over it twice.

I don’t have pictures of the glazing step because I was horrified to stop and take a picture and risk it drying, but basically you paint it on there thick with a foam brush taking care to work it into the nooks and edges then you wipe it off with a wrung out damp rag and wipe again with a dry rag. Pay particular attention to leave some around edges, grooves, and dents. Remember you can always do more layers if you want to be conservative the first time around (I did).

After the glazing was done it was time for new hardware:

metallic furniture update upcycled silver painted

I bought the hardware at Home Depot. Because this was such an old piece of furniture the wood was really thick and I had to use the screws from the previous knobs because the new ones were too short- always save your old hardware, people! Also, note how I let the glaze settle in edges and cracks.

And now, VOILA!

I love this thing. The pictures don’t do it justice- it really looks distressed and beat up (in a good way!) and I’m super proud of it. My spray paint and glazing days aren’t over.

Before it looked like this in its’ little home:

Totally doesn’t match, but works shape-wise. And oh, what a sad looking living room.

Now it looks like this:

silver spraypainted and glazed furniture

metallic glazed furniture

Overall thoughts:

  • I would only spray prime projects  if I was in a hurry or if it was a bigger piece, like this one or larger, because spray primer add$ up fast.
  • I will absolutely, on the other hand, continue to do the top coat in spray paint because it gives you a much more even, professional look.
  • Glazing is so super easy! Don’t be afraid of it!

diy metallic spraypaint and glazed furniture

So what do you think? Thoughts or suggestions? Have you ever glazed furniture before?!


Like this post? Then you may like:

DIY Glazed Sunburst Mirror__