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DIY Black and White Dresser Makeover

Y’all, it’s been quite the hiatus. But I’m back – and I’m so excited to share the progress I’ve made in my bedroom.

When I first moved to Florida, a family friend gave me a bedroom set. I loved the bones/structure of the dresser/nightstand and couldn’t wait to whip out my sander and go crazy. Despite my DIY enthusiasm, it took me nearly a year and a half to even start; I was so indecisive as to what colors I wanted for my bedroom. I originally started with a gray and gold theme (we all make mistakes) and then eventually went back to the drawing board. That’s when I saw it – the Pinterest inspiration photo that set my path straight. I chose a black and white theme and haven’t looked back since. I’m still debating on an accent color – your brilliant ideas are welcome in the comments below!

See the original Pinterest inspiration here. 


A before picture of the dresser. Ignore the suitcase and bin in the back, it took me a year living in my apartment before I decided I would unpack the last boxes.


In the mirror you can see a sneak peek of my nightstand. I practiced my technique on the smaller nightstand before I moved on to this big boy.

Because these are laminate pieces, I only sanded the top. I needed to sand the top because of the damage/scratches, but with laminate you can usually get away with just using a primer. For tips on painting laminate furniture, there is a great post on one of my favorite blogs, Live Love DIY. 

The dresser had a small burnt area. After lightly sanding the top, I applied a wood filler to the burnt area. To all my fellow DIYers who lack patience and just want to get this thing done – it’s important to let this dry all the way before sanding it down. It may also take several applications before you have a smooth, even surface to paint over. Apply, let dry, sand, repeat. Until that baby is smooth.

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Next, I took off all of the hardware, whipped out my paint brush and roller, and got to painting. I used Behr’s white painter/primer combo. It’s important to use a primer when painting laminate, so this paint/primer saves time and energy. I applied three coats using a foam roller and touched up the edges with the paint brush.

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I really loved the hardware that came on this dresser, so rather than buying anything new, I decided to spruce the pieces I already had. If you are looking for new hardware, here is a great site with unique, antique pieces that are affordable. (Once again, I got this from Live Love DIY, I’m telling you all – that blog is pure gold.)

I painted the hardware with Rust-oleum High Performance Enamel. The best advice I can give to you for this step is to be patient. The first time I tried painting the hardware with this, I tried to rush it. I sprayed way too much, ended up with a globby mess. (Yes, globby is a word. Judgment free zone, guys.) I had to wash it all off and start over. Spray short, even strokes, and allow ample time to dry between coats and you will be off to a much better start than I was.

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The next step was my favorite part – painting the top/mirror black. I didn’t use any tape on the sides of the dresser, only on the mirror. When painting the edges, I rolled the black paint slowly, careful not to get any on the bottom edge so that the lines were clean. I applied three coats of black paint.

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The final step was applying three coats of a water-based polyurethane – I only applied it to the parts of the dresser that were painted black. The top of the dresser will see the most contact, so I wanted it to have some extra protection. My research recommended using a water-based rather than oil-based with painted furniture. I also considered using a wax to seal the top, but felt more comfortable with polyurethane as I’ve used it in a few of my other painting projects.

After that, it was a matter of waiting for everything to dry (this involved a lot of deep breathing – is this the hardest part of the process for anyone else?) And, finally, we have a like-new dresser for oh-so-cheap.

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5 thoughts on “DIY Black and White Dresser Makeover

  1. Pingback: My Recovered Headboard and Puppy Obsession | thriftingpretty

  2. Pingback: 16 Easy DIY Dresser Makeovers | Top Inspirations

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