(Not so) Ombre Dresser

If you haven’t ordered it already, I would highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of John & Sherry Petersik’s (from the famous and ever-inspiring blog Young House Love) DIY book. You can get a copy of their book here for under $20… trust me, you’ll thank me later! In the meantime, check out their blog for some hall-of-fame DIY inspiration. #theworldseriesofdiy

Young House Love Inspired

This book and the lovable YHL duo inspired Matt and I to complete our very own Ombre Dresser (page 304 in the book).

Ombre = color fading from dark-to-light OR color fading from light-to-dark

Photos credits here, here, & here.
Ombre can be incorporated into everything and anything! We set out to incorporate Ombre into a dresser Matt brought over from his parents’ house.
Before Dresser
This dresser is full of more than Matt’s socks, underwear and old T-shirts; it’s full of lots & lots of history for Matt. His mom and dad refinished this exact dresser for Matt’s nursery back in the day. When they offered to send over this treasure full of Matt’s childhood secrets, we couldn’t resist! We were honored and excited to have the opportunity to start our new house by refinishing the same dresser that awaited Matt’s arrival years and years (and years) ago.
How to Paint a Dresser

To get started, we took out all of the drawers and removed the hardware. (Philip’s screwdriver needed)

Dresser Before and After

We plan on adding new hardware eventually and even if we didn’t, we need to take off the hardware in order to sand and paint. Here’s a closer look at the original knobs.

Dresser DIY

DIY Dresser
With the hardware removed, we were ready to start sanding. We grabbed our power sander and we Matt got to work.

How to sand
Sanding Furniture

After some serious sanding and quite a few pieces of sandpaper later, we were done with the sanding process and moving on to washing. It’s important to wash the dresser down and remove all the dust particles in order for the paint to stick to the surface later on. To wipe down the dresser, use a damp cloth full of soapy water and get as much excess dust off as possible. (Make sure to focus on the corners or awkward spaces). This is also a time to look at the original surface and be sure that you sanded evenly throughout the entire piece of furniture. To ensure the dresser has dried completely before painting, allow the dresser to sit overnight. We waited about 7 overnights to ensure the water was very dry (or because we were far too busy to focus on this project).

In the meantime, it was my responsibility to pick an ombre color scheme. As much as I hate to admit it, I am one indecisive, scared-to-commit lady. Painting an old dresser with this much history was quite the commitment when it came to colors. I was not about to ruin Matt’s childhood dresser without finding a color combo that I was in looveeee with. After lots of searching… I just wasn’t feeling any of the groupings I found. So… we decided to stick with pure white for now. We promised ourselves that once we had more of a vision (and when the weather got warmer) we could add ombre drawers to the white dresser. And that’s how the ombre dresser quickly turned into a very white, very plain, very not so ombre dresser. On the bright “white” side, we were able to save some serious dough by doing that.
Painting a Dresser

With a LOT of tape around each drawer, we grabbed some paint and got to work. Here’s a picture of me tearing off the last of the tape post-paint job.

Painting a Dresser
Dresser Re-do
DIY Dresser
White Dresser DIY

Now all we needed was some new hardware! I was ready for this decision and determined to be far less indecisive! #yikes!

Trash to Treasure Dresser
Thanks to a sale on hardware at Menard’s…
Dresser After
Refurnished Dresser
DIY Dresser Tutorial
Can you believe the transformation? I absolutely love it! Although it is not what I set out to paint, I think this dresser worked out perfectly! I love that it fits perfectly into our space, I love the hardware, I love the storage it offers, I love the it’s price (FREE), and most of all, I love that we have a piece of Matt’s nursery right here in our new home. I put a few accessories on it for now, but I will definitely keep you updated on this gem’s progress.
Because this ombre dresser turned out very not-so ombre, I’m craving ombre and need to try it out! Do you have a DIY ombre idea that I can take a chance on? I think I’m ready to commit…. =)

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Leave a Comment

  • love the different hardware! so cute! make me one?!

    • You can do it… I swear its not as scary as it looks! =)

  • Kath

    This is beautiful. Was it done with a sprayer?

  • Thanks @Kath! It was done with a good ‘ole sprayer. I love the white, but once I build up the confidence, I want to add a little something to it. We’ll see…