Welcome back, beautiful friend! Today I’m celebrating Furniture Fixer Uppers day (a week early this month) by sharing this thrifted dresser makeover. It was plain but had a lot of potential.
It had quite the transformation, and I’ll show you how to paint stripes on a dresser to give it a punch of personality. (There’s also a short video tutorial included AND a fun giveaway below!)
First, make sure you clean and prep the dresser for painting. You can read all my tips for How to Prep Furniture for Painting here.
Prep the Dresser for Painting
Since this dresser was a little glossy, I lightly sanded it with 220 grit sandpaper so the paint would stick better.
Then, all the drawers had this faux-wood-looking contact paper inside. Thankfully it pulled up pretty easily, and the drawers were in great condition underneath! (Learn how to easily remove sticky contact paper here.)
Next, pull the drawers out and number them on the back so you know where they go. (Sometimes drawer sizes are slightly different and you might have trouble getting them back in place if you switch them.)
One more tip: Tape the inside of the handle holes so that paint won’t drip through inside.
For this dresser, I did end up filling one hole on each side with wood filler before replacing the pulls.
Before we continue, I must thank Purdy for sponsoring this post. I’ve used Purdy brushes for many years and they are definitely my favorite! They were founded in 1925 in Portland, Oregon, and are trusted by both professional painters and home-based DIYers.
*Click here to learn more about The Purdy Difference and Purdy products.
- Purdy Clearcut Elite paint brush
- Dutch Boy Dura Clean in White
- Dutch Boy Dura Clean in Snuggled
- Dutch Boy Platinum Plus sample size in Black
- Painter’s tape for stripes
- Stencil for numbers
The Purdy ClearCut Elite brush helps you cut in with crisp lines (great for trim, corners, and ceilings so you don’t need to tape off edges). Also, you can see below that every Purdy brush is handcrafted and then “signed” on a sticker by the person who made it, proving they’re proud of their work. Pretty neat!
Paint the dresser in your base coat – in this case, white. You might need to do 2-3 coats for even coverage. Lightly sand as needed for smoothness.
How to Paint Stripes on a Dresser
Next, tape stripes on the drawers with painter’s tape. Try to center the drawer pull holes in the middle of a stripe. Use a shorter piece of tape as a placeholder for where to lay the next piece of tape (see below). Experiment with the placement to try to make everything evenly spaced and symmetrical.
Paint over the untaped areas on the drawers with taupe paint (“Snuggled”). Don’t use too much paint or it might glob up under the tape – or make the tape harder to remove later.
Apply a second coat of paint as needed.
Don’t let the paint sit too long before removing the tape – right when I was finished painting, I started pulling the pieces off. Even my boys helped! There’s something satisfying about removing the tape and seeing crisp stripes appear.
Then I lightly sanded over the drawers with 320 grit sandpaper for an imperfect, vintage look.
I also bought plain wood knobs and painted them white to match the stripes.
Finally, I stenciled black numbers on the drawers for a little something extra. I sanded over them also to keep with the slightly-worn vibe.
And here’s how this thrifted dresser looks now…
Honestly I had a few doubts when I brought this home because it started pretty ugly, but I love it now!
The curves on the top drawer make it kind of feminine, but I think with the painted stripes it can probably go either way now.
Friend, I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial for how to paint stripes on a dresser. It can really give a fun punch of personality to a plain piece.
Please feel free to pin or share any image in this post to bookmark it for later.
*Purdy Tool Selector: Click here to find the right Purdy tool for your next project.
*Where to Buy: Click here to discover where to buy Purdy tools for your next project.
And now it’s time for a giveaway!
One lucky person will win a 3-pack of Purdy paint brushes for upcoming painting projects.
Giveaway open to US residents, 18 years and older.
Next let’s have some Furniture Fixer Upper fun with my friends…
Below are the Before photos – visit the links underneath to see the amazing Afters and to learn how they did it:
1. Vintage Secretary Desk – Confessions of a Serial DIYer
2. Two Color Furniture Makeover – Petticoat Junkion
3. Antiquing with Glaze – Salvaged Inspirations
That came out really cute! Bold with some curves. 😊 It makes me want to jump in on my long delayed sideboard re-re-re-painting project! 😁
Mother Deer says
I have a breadbox that I’ve been wanting to paint, but wasn’t sure about which brush to use. Thank you for this opportunity to win a nice selection of brushes!
Carla Erickson says
I love the stripes and numbers!
I would paint walls and furniture with Purdy brushes! We have several we use all the time!
Sue H Mellette says
Love the stripes. What a difference it makes to the piece. Adding the numbers makes the dresser drawers pop. Thanks for the great instructions!
Such an improvement! I worried a bit reading that you weren’t re-centering the drawer pulls after filling one, but it looks great and with the numbers stenciled it looks like that’s the way it always was! I’m entering for your giveaway: I’ve used Purdy brushes for years with success! Thanks for the opportunity!
My husband is the paint supervisor at a major chain of home stores. He always recommends Purdy brushes. That said, I don’t own any myself, but I’d love to!
Susan Verbaan says
I love the stripes! Color is perfect. I look forward to trying this technique
in a future project. Thanks for the inspiration.
Mary @ The Handcrafted Haven says
Oh it’s so cute!! I just love it. Love the design that you chose, Jen 😊
Karen Jones says
Very cute re-do and I love the stripes!
Your project really raised the bar on a plain dresser. I can see this in any kids room, or a hallway, or a mudroom, or a . . . You get the idea! Very adaptable anywhere! Great job. Thanks for the give away. I have a few Purdy brushes, but would love to throw out my old cheap brushes for some nice brushes for every type of job.
Denise Zdziennicki says
Looks fresh and updated Jen! And I love that your boys helped with all the tape. 🤗 have a super day my friend! 💕
Wow, I’m impressed. This really turned out cute! I have to admit, I had my doubts, but I really like it!
Dixie Lee says
The first piece I ever painted probably 20 years ago was this identical dresser, which came out of my DH’s frat when it was shut down. Painted it the same color as the walls of the room, no prep, no primer (what did I know?) Except for wear on the top where he kept a ton of stuff stacked, it’s still in great shape in a new house!
Now I paint a lot of furniture, mostly found by side of road or thrifted, and could use some good, new brushes.
Jenny B says
I’m getting ready to paint the legs on some upholstered chairs and also trying to paint a desk that got dinged up in our move.
Talk about paint dressing up a dresser. Great job!
Love, love, love the stripes! And the off center numbers are so fun. Great job. 🙂
Christy James says
Beautiful makeover, Jen! I love stripes on just about anything, so this is right up my alley! XOXO
Very nice job!! It could go in a girls or boys room!
I love the stripes on this dresser and the numbers add that last finishing touch! I have an end table that I’ve been wanting to refinish. New brushes would be lovely to motivate me to complete this project!!! Thanks for the opportunity to win this giveaway!
Very nice! I’m happy to have the recommendation for the brushes, too. That dresser reminds me of a set of furniture my parents gave me when I was quite young. It came from Sears. I still have two of the three pieces. You have inspired me to do something with them.
That turned out so good!
I’m starting on a small footstool. The feet need painting and then I’ll re-upholster the cushion.
I love the dresser. The stripes really make it stand out.
What a stunning looking dresser. Love them strips which gives it a whole new look.
I do have a bed frame that could use a new coat of paint along with a couple of heavy, wooden bread boxes.
I sure could use some new brushes.
Thank you for this wonderful
W.Jean Sisk says
I’m going to have to try that paint. I love the way this turned out.
That dresser is a total transformation! I love the stripes!
I’m always on the lookout for something to paint at the thrift store. New brushes would be a big help!
I have a project brewing to get some Ikea Ivar cabinets and make my own DIY sideboard. I need lots of storage in the kitchen/dining area. I’d definitely use my Purdy brushes to paint them.
Can never have enough Purdy brushes!
I have a dresser that I have been wondering what to do with. This dresser really got my attention; especially the numbers you added. I am going to paint my dresser like yours, except with navy strips, amd I think yellow numbers. Thank you for the inspiration
Patrizia Boszko says
Great job…what patience!
Mary b says
I’ve got an table that’s a great shape. Paint would modernize it
Cheryl r Atkinson says
Hi Jen, I like that this would look good in a girls or boys room. Black numbers really was a great idea. Thank you for the opportunity to win some bruses.
Susan Cox says
I wouldn’t have thought of those numbers, but they really give the piece a great personality.
Looks great! I already own a couple of Purdy brushes and agree that they are great quality. And you can never have too many. I would paint a coffee table and two end tables that have been sitting around just begging for my attention!
Janet Schen says
I love the stripes! They look so crisp and clean. Clever way to get evenly spaced stripes!
looks great! wonderful transformation!
Painting stripes is my favorite thing!
I have a very plain pine dresser that I’ve been wanting to refinish for years but haven’t been able to decide what to do with it. You’ve given me some inspiration. Thank you!
Robin Hardison says
Not having the right “equipment” always gives me a convenient excuse to not start any of the projects I have. Looks like the brushes excuse won’t work anymore!
I’m digging the stripes! Very nice
I’ve used Purdy brushes for years! Love the Purdy Pail too! The numbers on the dresser really make it. Great makeover!
Jeanne V. Barrett says
I’m going to try stripes. I appreciate how you share/teach us. It’s very helpful.
Kathy from Jax says
What a transformation. Really cute and so practical. It would look great in any room. I think about storing beautiful linens in it. I’m a little behind in responding. Wishing you and all who follow a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thankful for old friends and new ones, family who we might not be able to see this year and thankful to those we can.