Saving Dixie the Dresser – Part Two: Paint

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Welcome back for the next installment of Saving Dixie the dresser. Paint! If you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, go catch up here:)

Now that the worst part is over (or is it?) it’s time for the fun stuff. Paint is where you get to see your vision come to life.  Dixie was now sparkly clean, and had wood filler applied to her damaged areas. I hadn’t worked with this product in some time, but never thought it would take so incredibly long to set up. After more than 24 hours it still felt soft and gummy.

picture of dresser with drawers removed and wood filler on top

Was it time to try something different? A visit to my local Home Depot seemed in order. There I discovered what I had messed up. The wood filler that I had smeared on Dixie was, in fact, a two part compound. I had neglected to mix in the hardener! Womp womp.

Needless to say, removing my mistake set me back in a big way. Getting sick during this project didn’t help, either, but trying to scrape the gummy mess off was the stuff of nightmares, no lie. After hours and of scraping, I was finally back to where I should have been in the first place.

Picture of top of dresser with scraper

Lesson 1: Always read the instructions – even if you think you know

Lesson 2: Sand first, then fill.

Picture of top of dresser, sanded

picture of drawer inserts, sanded

All of the residue finally gone, I could focus on would should have done first: sanding. The wood filler in its unhardened state cannot be sanded as it merely gums up on the sandpaper.

So don’t be me. Sand first, then fill in any remaining damage with wood filler (after reading the instructions), then sand a whole lot more. A sander sure makes this job a whole lot easier, not too mention faster. Since the wood filler does get quite hard = difficult to sand, I opted for spackling compound for shallow scratches and dents.

Now that we are at the fully prepped, smooth sanded stage, it’s time to move on to the fun stuff: paint.

One school of thought is to never use interior latex paint for furniture. I am here to tell you that you can, with proper prep and precautions.

If applied to a clean and well sanded surface, latex paint will give you a durable, long lasting finish. It is also the most reasonably priced option, especially if you already own the paint! Just be very sure to allow it to cure for the amount of time specified. Most interior latex paints will take 30 days to fully cure, so that is definitely something to keep in mind when planning a project like this.

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Since I knew I had time, that is what I opted for. Other options include Annie Sloan chalk paint ($$$), your own chalk style paint ($) find recipes here, or hybrid paints like general finishes or black dog salvage , a personal fave of mine ($$). Just know that all of these choices need sealing with either wax or special polyurethane, which adds to the cost.

Here is my choice:

picture of can of Behr Premium Plus Interior Latex paint can

Through the years this has been my favorite interior latex paint from Home Depot. Living a mile from the Depot doesn’t hurt;) For this project, a quart will suffice with paint to spare.

While I am saving my allowance for a decent paint sprayer, I am using a high density foam roller and my favorite angled cut in brush. To get into Dixie’s weird grooves, I opted for a straight and narrow art brush. Protect your floor by setting each leg on a piece of cardboard or placing the dresser on a tarp before painting begins!

For a project like this I find it easiest to:

1. Slightly thin the paint with water or add floetrol. A product like floetrol will help reduce or eliminate visible brush strokes.

2. Use the angled cut in brush to paint all of the hard to reach corners and details and in this case the art brush to paint the grooves.

3. Fill in larger, smooth surfaces by painting them with the high density foam roller. Be sure the roller is completely, but not too saturated for this step. This is where thinning the paint comes in handy. For best and even coverage, roll paint lengthwise for one coat, side to side for the next.

4. Repeat above steps until desired coverage is achieved. For Dixie, this turned out to be three light coats with additional touch ups in some areas.

picture of section of drawer painted teal and gold hardware


Looking good, eh?

Here is a list of supplies I used for this part of the project:

Wood filler/ spackling compound

Interior latex paint in eggshell finish or any paint specifically for furniture.

High density foam roller

Angled cut in brush

Small, narrow art brush (optional)

Small, disposable paint tray

Paper towels

After finishing all of the painting, it’s time for some fun stuff. Join me next time to see how I brought Dixie’s tired looking hardware back to life!

Here is one more glimpse for you!

Picture of painted dresser drawers and gold hardware

Have a wonderful weekend!


Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4

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Nothing brings me more joy than bringing a sad old piece of furniture back to life. Transforming a dresser is not difficult to do. All it takes is a little know how and you can makeover a sad before into an amazing after. Let me show you how to create a piece of furniture you will be proud of!

2 thoughts on “Saving Dixie the Dresser – Part Two: Paint”

    1. Wait until you see the full reveal later this week! I’m pretty proud of how it turned out! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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