Distressed Dresser Project

I have been wanting to distress a piece of furniture for awhile now. We have several pieces in our home that we purchased already distressed but the process always intimidated me.  After getting this gorgeous dresser from Ashley’s folks I decided to give it a try. Oh, did I mention that this dresser actually belonged to Ashley’s Grandma? No pressure to not screw it up!

I wanted to get this project done rather quickly but I also wanted to make sure I did a good job. I started out by doing a real light sanding over the entire dresser. I followed this up with a coat of my favorite primer: Zinsser Water based

After the primer dried, I again went over the entire dresser with some 220 grit sandpaper. Not a huge sanding but enough to knock down any bumps and runs in the paint. After the priming process I covered the dresser in a black paint that I had lying around the garage. The point of these layers is to allow different colors to shine through at the end when I start to really sand it down and distress it.

After the black paint was dry, the real fun began. I was a bit nervous to begin the blue color because I didn’t know how it would go over the black. I could see me doing 4 coats before I finally got the color I wanted. I started out using a foam roller but quickly realized that it wasn’t getting the coverage I wanted. I wanted brush strokes that the glaze could adhere to and enhance. A foam roller’s finish is just too smooth for that look.

The paint I used for the blue is Behr Premium Plus in Interior Flat. I think it might easily be my favorite paint. It went over the black easily and with only two coats! I am currently working on another project using a different style of paint and after 3 coats, my black is still showing through!

After two coats of the blue, the real fun was to begin. This was also the moment of truth. I could easily screw up the last week’s worth of painting with a quick rub of my sanding block in the wrong spot! I ran upstairs to check out the other pieces of  distressed furniture we purchased and it looked like they just sanded randomly but in spots that would be susceptible to wear and tear.  So that is what I did too.

I began by sanding down edges and then did a few strategic spots on the top, front, and sides. After awhile, my nerves settled down and I really began to have fun with it. After the sanding was completed, I brushed the entire dresser down with some glaze I had left over from a Rustoleum Cabinet Transformation kit that I had. A quick wipe down with some cheese cloth to take off the extra glaze and I was done!

Ashley and I originally were going to replace all of the original hardware with new pieces but because of the varying hole pattern on each drawer and some custom “key” holes, we decided to just repaint the old hardware with some Rustoleum aged bronze spray paint.

After everything was painted and dry, we brought the dresser upstairs (with the help of a great neighbor) and staged it into the new nursery (which is also going to be a project post soon).

The finished product looks amazing, especially in the nursery, and I think I have found a new DIY love. Distressing furniture is fast, easy, and really hard to screw up which makes it perfect for me! I am not the best painter.

Here is a full visual recap of the process.

Project featured below!

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