If you are trying to furnish your place on a shoe string budget, there are ways to work with the money you have to create a very unique space for you! Paint a dresser.
If you own a old style dresser that is still functional, but is that old brown varnished style, with ugly knobs, but otherwise in good condition, then you can paint a dresser, bring it back to life, modernize it, and recycle at the same time!
If you don't own a dresser, then you can put on your running shoes and your most comfortable jeans and head out this weekend to the re-use center or the second hand shop or the thrift store. You can find the most amazing solid pieces of furniture in the these places, that no one wants.
They are usually scratched or the varnish has been water damaged etc. I personally found the thrift stores best for all of this, as many people literally dump these pieces in front of the place on the weekends after cleaning out their basements, or grandma's place, or just garage sale items that did not sell.
So whether you have your own dresser or you purchase one for cheap. You can paint a dresser, even if you say you have no talent. This is totally possible!
Things You Will Need
Here is what you need
degreaser or good cleaner
medium to light grit sandpaper
screwdriver to remove hardware
lots of newspaper and plastic to protect the floor or area you are working in
high adhesion primer, such as zinsser brand or equivalent (it has to be high adhesion)
paint color of your choice. This can be latex paint. (As long as you have used a high adhesion primer, you can use latex paint on top)
paint brush and rollers
new hardware if you can afford it
Use a High Adhesion Primer Such as Zinsser
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What to do:
To paint a dresser, you need some space where you can do this. If you do not have a garage, or area, then at least put your dresser on the plastic and paper to protect the area.
Take the drawers out, and take off the hardware.
To paint a dresser it has to be perfectly grease free. So give it a good clean with a good degreaser and rinse and dry. Give it a light sanding and then wipe down.
Once dry, take your high adhesion primer, and if you are painting a light color, then the natural white that the primer comes in is perfect. But if you are trying to paint a dresser a dark color, then you should get your primer tinted dark.
Put on two coats of the high adhesion primer. Let dry.
Now take your small roller and roll on your paint color. Using the brush in the smaller areas. Put on two coats, letting it dry in between coats.
Now most paints are pretty tough once they have really cured, which is 30 days. This doesn't mean you can't use your painted dresser for 30 days! You just have to be a bit careful about sitting things on top of it just yet. You should let it sit empty on top for at least a month if you can. You can still use the drawers as you don't usually paint them inside.
Another choice, is to put one a coat of clear varnish for that added layer of protection.
Once you have painted your dresser and you are happy with the result, and you have painted your drawer fronts. Then put either the old hardware back on, or put on your new purchased hardware.
You now have a beautiful painted dresser, and a great accent piece for your place. Once you have seen how much difference just painting that old dresser can make, you can tackle a coffee table or end tables the same way. If you paint a coffee table, it would be a great idea to get a piece of glass cut to fit the table top, so that your painted surface does not take a beating!
If you are creative, you can paint a dresser or end tables or coffee tables, with a scene or decoupage or a faux paint effect. There is so much choice out there now in paints.
If you don't mind putting in the time and effort, you can furnish your first place with thrift store finds, and then update them with paint, and save a bundle of money.
Another great find for your bedroom, is a headboard. I have seen people take old doors and use them as headboards. Or if you do find an actual headboard you can paint it the same way you paint a dresser. As long as you use a high adhesion primer on a clean and grease free surface you can then paint it any way you want.
The best thing to do, is to head to the hardware store and really get a good look at all the new paint products that are out there now. You don't need to strip varnish and stain anymore, unless that is the look you want. You can take dark old scratched up furniture and bring them back to life with beautiful neutral colors or bright colors, what ever your decorating style is!
Paint a coffee table, and you can use a stencil, or decoupage a design you like. There is so much personality you can put into painted furniture, and make it yours! The newer paints are not as smelly and toxic, you can have a lot of fun.
So, take that old fashioned dresser of grandma's and update it. It is amazing the difference a dark old brown dresser can make when it is a butter color with some new drawer pulls! All for the cost of paint and some hardware.
So, go shopping and find some thrift store finds, and then head to the hardware store and research those paints. Paint a mural, paint it solid, paint it what ever you want and you will have a unique piece of furniture, so go ahead and paint a dresser. Also see How to Paint Wooden Drawer Pulls for more ideas with your dresser and to create little works of art!
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