DIY: My $20 Dresser Gets A Makeover

I found this dresser at a garage sale last month and immediately knew I had to have it! Our new bedroom is pretty small and doesn’t have space for the lowboy dresser we had in our old room so I knew I’d eventually have to replace it with something more practical for our setup.  I’ve always loved the look of campaign dressers, but buying them brand new was never an option (tbh, buying anything brand new is rarely an option for me cause I’m forever #ballinonabudget).  After a couple weeks of searching, my appetite for a bargain was satiated when a couple in our neighborhood was selling this dresser for only $20! I knew it would need a little TLC (I’m referring to both tender love and care AND tboz lefteye chilli cause that was blasting on the spotify when I spent my Saturday doing this), but with all of the remodeling we’ve done on our home I already had all of the supplies to give this thing a quick makeover!



The first thing I did when I started the makeover process was take the drawers out so I could begin the prep work.  Upon doing so, I realized the bottom drawer’s wood slide was broken.  This is honestly an easy DIY fix as well, but the lesson here is to share that often times vintage/used furniture is going to have flaws.  Luckily for me, this didn’t really affect the overall performance of the drawer so I wasn’t bothered by it.  And for $20 I was still ecstatic about  this find!


Next I used a flat head tool to take all the hardware off of the dresser so I could clean it.  The hardware came off really easily and I kept the nails to reuse afterward.


After the hardware was off, I used my Black & Decker sander to sand everything down.  This makes it easier for the paint to adhere to the wood.  As you can see, before this dresser was painted green it had a rainbow color scheme which is semi sui generis and semi obnoxious.  With all of the dark colors being used on this dresser set, I knew it would need multiple coats of paint.

I thought about painting the dresser every color from a dark grey to pale pink because it would have added so much character to it, but ultimately I went with Behr’s Ultra Pure White because 1) it was the color we had painted our bedroom so I still had a lot of extra paint leftover and 2) because our room is quite small, I wanted the dresser to visually blend in with the walls to make the room more spacious.  After wiping everything down, it was time to paint!


Luckily for me, it was a beautiful day out and everything dried outside pretty quickly.  I used a 3″ roller to paint everything and ended up using 3 coats of paint.  Alas, the finish product….



I love how this project turned out!  Its perfect for all of my undergarments and t-shirts which had previously been ransacked and heaved into disarrayed gobs on the floor of my bedroom by an unknown culprit! Tommy finds it peculiar that this culprit only targets my closet and not his, but I can only say that I am a victim and nothing else! P.S. The baroque mirror is a Goodwill find I bought for $7!

Sander: Black & Decker
3″ Paint Roller: Home Depot
Brass Hardware: Vintage (DIY: similar here)
Paint Color: Behr Ultra Pure White
Mirror: Vintage
Nesting Baskets: Ikea

17 comments on “DIY: My $20 Dresser Gets A Makeover

    1. Thanks Jolli! I actually just prime things by painting them a flat white – I never actually use a primer because it’s just a watered down white paint. So in this case – because the “White” I was using was a flat, I just utilized multiple coats. But even when I paint walls or furniture a bright color, I just paint them a flat white first and then cover it with my end color 🙂

    1. Hi Luann!
      Unfortunately I’ve never been able to find TRUE campaign dresser pulls that are frugal enough for my budget. However, with that being said, if you’re willing to spend a little bit more on hardware – you can find them on Amazon, Etsy or Wayfair. Just search “campaign pull” or “brass recessed pulls” and you should have a bunch of results!! There are great dupes or alternatives you can use with Campaign dressers though. Before I found this one with the original hardware, I thought about DIY’ing an entire dresser and using these pulls or these! Hope that helps 🙂

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