Dresser Re-Do

Or.. experimenting with chalk paint…

The “before” story:

I am somewhat reluctant to redecorate my kids’ rooms too much.. they tend to put stickers on the wall – door – dresser drawers “make it their own” no matter what I do, but when the pediatrician suggested that Dav’s cough could be due to allergies, I knew I had to do something about the toy storage in his room. We had a GREAT unit in there – with drawers, cupboard and shelving, with ample room for all his toys and treasures. The only problem was that there were too many open shelves, inviting all sorts of collections. to start with I made Dav “edit” his collections down so that they would only fit in the closed spaces. (He was actually happy to do this, because he wants to hold a garage sale, to make money!!)

dressert before after

Chalk-Painting Furniture:

I have been really intrigued by this phenomenon sweeping Pinterest and decided to take the plunge, especially after reading my friend Kirsta’s blog post with her super recipe. Other Crafty-Lady-Friend, Naomi, also gave me some advice as to the wax on? wax off? Thanks CL!


  • paint (I used a sample size: 490 mL – and I still have some left-over — my plan is to do a lamp for on top!)
  • plaster of paris
  • minwax (optional)
  • sand-paper (optional?)
  • foam brushes – I found these broke quickly, but gave the best finish.
  • asst. rags, screw-drivers, etc.
  • atlas & modpodge (optional drawer liners)

dresser prep



  1. Start by cleaning the dresser.. I hate stupid “prep” jobs like this, but it’s fairly obvious why you need to do this.
  2. Take the hard-ware off the drawer fronts (involved child labour for this part).
  3. Spray the handles, if desired.
  4. Prepare 1 part plaster of paris : 1 part warm water – mix, add 2 parts paint – mix.
  5. Slap the paint on. (I took that too literally, and still have a couple of blue toes)
  6. Make lunch.
  7. Paint coat two.
  8. Deliver fresh salsa to friends (my hubby bought 5x the quantity of tomatoes on the list).
  9. Paint coat three.
  10. Go buy some more foam brushes.. and a few other odds and ends at the dollar store.
  11. Paint coat four. – Now I only did coat 4 on the top and sides of the dresser. Ie: not the drawer fronts. Lazy? maybe.. but I really didn’t feel like the drawers needed a 4th coat.

dressert paint


  1. I sanded just a little bit on the top. Lazy? yes. (but see #9 above)
  2. I waxed the top and sides of the dresser. A side note about the waxing… I HAD to do the top of the dresser because the feel of the unwaxed chalk paint gives me the heebie jeebies. HOWEVER, it left a white-ish residue which, at my most critical, looks like it’s covered in dust. I think if I hadn’t used such a dark colour it might not be such an issue. (There’s a cool grey-ish paint in the mistint section of walmart that I’m going to go back for to test this theory on another project!)

Drawer Liners:

Just to complicate matters a wee bit, I decided to line the drawers (a necessity if you saw the weird stains and cleaned these drawers!). After looking at all the pathetic-designed-challenged options at Walmart and the dollar store, I decided to do my own. I had this big leather-bound atlas that I salvaged from the recent school-library book cull. Because the drawers were just a titch larger than a 2-page spread of the atlas, I was originally going to use the index at the back of the atlas to create a border.. but as I’ve already stated, I’m lazy. Soooo I just left the wood and I like it! I think it looks like a wood frame around the maps.

dresser drawer

  1. Modpodge bottom of the drawer.
  2. Place maps.
  3. Use a straight-edge (a fake credit card works GREAT!) to smooth out the bubbles.
  4. Modpodge on top. (and I went right to the edge of the drawer, so the whole bottom has a slight sheen to it.)

Let’s Talk Money and Time.

As you may have gathered, I’m more of a 4F’ Craftin’ kind of gal: Frugal and Fast being fairly essential Fs of that equation. It was really tough for me to have this project drag over 2-3 days (!) Also, I kind of choked when I was spending over $5 at the hardware store on the supplies.

dresser done

HOWEVER…. When I think about that it cost about $50, (the dresser was $20 at the Sally Ann), (the rest was on supplies), and the minwax, plaster of paris, even the paint will do me for another project – or 10.. it’s not so bad!

Now I’m looking for a lamp under $5 to finish off the room!



2 thoughts on “Dresser Re-Do

  1. Pingback: Desk re-organize-o-rama | The Craft Fairy

  2. Pingback: Nautical Lady Lair | The Craft Fairy

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