refinished multicolored dresser with turkey side dishes lamps

Multicolored Functional Dresser

Refresh an old dresser with a new coat of paint and pops of cheerful color.

5 col

Difficulty: Intermediate

Used dresser
Wood screws
Nail gun
Paint key (to open paint cans)
Neutral base paint color (we used tan)
Assorted paint colors
Painter’s tape (optional)
Paint rollers
Paint bins
220-grit sandpaper or electric palm sander (optional)
Assorted drawer hardware
Precut wood boards (cut to the size of your dresser’s missing drawers)


1. Remove drawers from dresser

Designer Tip: Assign a number to each drawer body and drawer front to ensure they are put back in the right places

2. Use a drill to remove drawer hardware, and place aside

3. Use a drill to remove the tracks of the missing drawers. The tracks will be replaced with wood panels for the functional open shelving design element. In our case, we removed the tracks where the top right and bottom left drawers were initially placed

4. Insert the precut wood boards where the tracks were initially. (Our boards were precut at the hardware store.) Secure with the nail gun. The length of the wood boards should reflect the depth of the dresser you are redesigning, and should reach the very front edge to create the functional open shelving element. Our boards were about 4" × 20" wood panels

5. Once all of your shelving is in place, paint the entire dresser and the drawers. Start by painting the dresser and drawers a neutral base color. Be sure to paint the newly installed shelves as well

Designer Tip: Sanding your dresser with 220-grit sandpaper or an electric palm sander before paint application will create a smooth finish.

6. Paint the drawer borders white to ensure the bright colors that will be applied to the drawer faces really pop

7. Apply assorted colors to the drawer faces as you see fit. Be sure to stay within the white border – painter’s tape can help keep your paint application clean

Designer Tip: To tone down the look of this piece, you can use stain or a uniform color throughout. To take it up a notch, mix and match the hardware.

8. Once the drawers are dry, apply new assorted hardware with a drill and wood nails. Insert drawers to finish the piece

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