The Best Way To Paint A Dresser

Oh you guys, projects take so much longer now that we have two kids. Also, since we are flipping another home, a lot of our creative juice is going towards that!  Its a rough combo:)  It has been so much fun designing and planning for the new flip, but sometimes it is just more rewarding working on your own home. We have been really slacking getting sweet little Winston’s nursery finished.  Not sure if its because of the busy time or the fact that he is still in our room, so we don’t feel to much pressure.  Either way, things are creeping along in there. We did however manage to get one of the big ticket items marked off the to-do list, which was giving our old Campaign dresser a beautiful makeover.

We originally bought this dresser at a local auction, and it was in great condition. We used it in Braylen’s nursery at the old house, and when we moved here we didn’t have a set spot for it. Because of moving it around so much, and it becoming the catch-all for random things {including dog leashes} it got beat up. Dog scratches all overrrr:

best way to paint a dresser

When trying to decide what to have for a dresser in Winston’s room, we didn’t even think of using this since it was so beat up and I originally wanted something non-painted for the room. But then my tune changed as the design of the room changed! We also figured out the BEST way to paint a dresser, so I wasn’t worried about totally messing up the quality of this beautiful campaign dresser.

Here is our fool-proof method for the best paint job ever:

First remove all hardware and put the pieces in a safe place.

Next, fill in any spots that are super damaged or broken with a sand-able putty. Once that putty dries, lightly sand the surface of the entire piece:

dresser sanding

Once its all sanded and wiped down, the fun part comes. We have tried a million and one different paints and rollers/brushes to try and achieve that perfectly smooth texture. The ONLY one that has worked every dang time, and always looks like perfection, is this winning combo: Sherwin Williams ProClassic paint and a Mohair roller.

best way to paint a dresser 2

We applied two coats of this paint, while leaving ample drying time in between coats. The main thing you want to be sure of is to not apply it to heavy. Simply put enough on for coverage, and don’t over-roll it. Two coats has almost always done the trick to get that perfect smooth surface for us! Cannot say enough good things about this combo of paint and roller!

While I originally was sad to see the wood go on this dresser, I am even more so in LOVE with the color of it now:

campaign dresser makeover-2 campaign dresser best way to paint a dresser

Now we just need to get off our butts and finish the rest of the room! For starters, we need some serious art up in this room. The walls are just screaming for it flanking the dresser.

I would love to hear your thoughts though on painting over wood.  We are normally 100% in the camp of keeping it unpainted, but this project totally has me swayed. What is your take? Wood? Paint?

the best way to paint a dresser 3

*Sponsored by Sherwin Williams. Opinions, photos, etc. are mine.



  1. says

    Have you worked with any oil based paints? Love this shade and considering if for our bathroom vanity makeover but wondering if an oil based paint would hold up better in a bathroom.

  2. judith lemons says

    My daughter and I just finished stripping two coats of different color paints from a chifarobe that was mine as a baby and then fell into the hands of my sister for her children. I acquired it back and was thrilled when Courtney wanted to restore it to its original wood patina.

  3. immy says

    I absolutely love this dresser, the color, and the finish. My favo are those metal stripes on the sides, would you mind sharing where I could get them? Thank you.

    • says

      Hi there. Thank you. The metal is actually part of the dresser, its a Campaigner dresser. I bet you could find some though and add it to a plain dresser and make it a Campaigner hack:)

  4. Cheryl Enns says

    Hi there, my husband is very concerned about painting wood furniture and not having the furniture crack and split. We live in Canada, and we have high humidity in summer and very cold and dry weather in winter. Have you had any issues with cracking and splitting wood that has been painted?

    • says

      Hi Cheryl,
      Unfortunately I just dont know. We live in Arizona, so we dont have cold winters, or high humidity..ever! Would the furniture be for outdoors then?

  5. Carol says

    Thank you for the recommendation of the mohair roller with this paint! Does this paint qualify as both primer and finish? Would you recommend primer if, for instance, you were painting over the wood with a light color?

    • says

      We didn’t find the need to prime at all. Just make sure the wood is nice and smooth by doing a light sanding, and then go town:)

  6. Chinelo I Nwankwo says

    I am in love with this color! Seems like it would go with every type of decor! I have a tall dresser I got from Craigslist that of like to paint and I’ll definitely take your advice on the paint and tools. QUESTION: where did you get the books?? They are the prefect combination of colors and I love the gold lettering on the spines!

  7. Michele says

    How do you prep the roller? I’ve used foam rollers, and they always seem to leave bubbles! UGH!!! I would really appreciate your advise on how to use the mohair roller properly! Thanks!!

  8. Kade says

    I know this post was a while back but I have a dresser just like this with the metal detailing on the outside. I want to paint the dresser but am trying to figure out how to remove the metal on the outside without damaging it! How did you remove it before painting? Thanks!

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