This red painted dresser and I go way back. We had a love/hate relationship going on in the beginning but I think we are quickly growing to be besties.
This dresser was my first great find. It’s a Broyhill and I picked it up at a thrift store for $12! Can you believe it? Solid wood (yeah it’s heavy) and awesome character. But this beauty gave me a run for my money. I am sorry I don’t have before and after photos for you but we went through a lot and I don’t like to dwell on the before. I had almost given up when on her and then I discovered making your own chalky finish paint.
So here’s how this little journey of mine began. My mom came to be with me for a couple of months after my first was born. A couple of months? – you’re probably thinking. Yes, and it’s a good thing too because we were in the NICU for 3 weeks being treated for meningitis. I stayed at the NICU night and day, only leaving when forced. After getting home it was like letting a puppy out of their cage. My mom and I did all kinds of fun things…. like grocery shopping! Yeah the little things. She helped me pick up this dresser and one other at a thrift store 50% off sale.
The Journey of the Red Painted Dresser
When I finally started working on it I had a few ideas of what I wanted. I decided to use primer and spray paint so I started sanding to rough up the surface. By doing this I discovered the surface was laminate so I had to be careful not to sand too much.
I sanded, primed, sanded, primed, sanded (oiy) and then I was ready to start spray painting. What an ordeal. The sprayer was flimsy and hurt my hand and the first spray splattered everywhere. And it definitely wasn’t the right color. Instead of being a dark red it was a bright cherry red. So I sanded that down a little and tried a navy blue spray paint. This time it was Crayola blue and I just about gave up altogether.
I’m so glad I didn’t though…
By chance my friend found out about my struggle and told me about chalky finish paint which goes on like a matte finish. She had been making her own paint for a while and she gave me a few pointers to get started. I was a little scared at first but I had already done so much to this dresser it needed a good ending.
Thanks to my struggle with spray paint my surface was already prepped but that wasn’t needed anyway. I picked out the deep red I had originally wanted in a flat paint sample (this dresser took two or three paint sample containers because I really wanted a good cover over my mistakes). I didn’t want to antique the surface so sanding was out. I used a fine steel wool, it can be found near the sand paper, to smooth the surface but not take off too much paint. I then sealed the surface with Minwax Finishing Paste.
For my first time using this paint I was shocked at how easy it was and how well the piece turned out! So if you’re wondering if you need years of experience to use homemade chalky finish paint think again! This red painted dresser is one of my favorite pieces I’ve done, and that’s saying something since we had a rough go.
Do you have a piece of furniture you’ve been dying to paint but don’t know how? Are you worried it’s going to be too much work? Do you have questions on how to get started, what you will need, and if it’s even worth the work?
Your Guide to Painting Furniture will take you through the process of finding furniture, making your own chalky finish paint, and how to use paint your furniture. Plus my tips on protecting your painted furniture, basic repairs, and tips for picking out paint colors!