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Friday, April 30, 2021

Furniture Makeover: Snow White MCM Dresser

A dated and damaged mid-century modern dresser gets a fresh update with new paint and hardware! 

I haven't been blogging much, but I have been cranking out some furniture makeovers. 

Recently, I picked up a little three drawer mid-century modern dresser from one of my favorite used furniture sources, Facebook Marketplace.  

I loved the style and fluted drawer, but it definitely needed some work.  It was missing hardware, had some damage and a bit of loose and missing veneer.  It was nothing that couldn't be fixed though, so I headed out to pick up the dresser and got started working on it right away. 

White painted mid-century modern dresser


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- 80/120/320 Grit sandpaper
- Chisel 
- Hammer
- Screwdriver
- 6" foam roller and tray (for applying primer)
- Inexpensive paintbrush (chip, foam, etc.) (for applying primer)
- Hardware
- Drill and drill bits
- Tape measure 

What do you think?  Would you have passed this little dresser up or do you see the potential like I did?

Dated MCM dresser before

I knew I wanted to change the hardware placement, so I started by filling all the old hardware holes with my favorite wood epoxy.    I used the same epoxy to touch up some damage on the corners as well as fill in a few deeper knicks and gashes.

Filling old furniture holes
There was some loose and missing veneer on the sides of the dresser, which I was able to easily remove with a chisel and hammer.   For the few stubborn areas, I used my Dewalt Orbital Sander and 80grit sandpaper to sand off the thin strip of veneer.
Removing damaged veneer

Sanding off damaged veneer

Once the damaged veneer was removed and the wood putty was dry, I sanded the top of the dresser and the drawer fronts down to bare wood then gave the rest of the dresser a light sanding. 

Sanding dresser
I wanted to paint the dresser white, so I primed the dresser with two coats of BIN Shellac primer.   Priming before painting furniture white not only blocks wood tannins from bleeding through, but also gives a good base and limits how many coats of paint is needed to get full coverage. 
Priming Dresser
I prefer to use a 6-inch foam roller to apply primer then sand with 300 grit sandpaper before applying paint with a good quality brush.  For this dresser, I  added 3 coats of General Finishes Snow White then sealed the paint with Minwax water-based poly.  

Primed mid-century modern dresser

Fluted MCM dresser drawers

You know I like black and white, so I finished off the dresser with flat black knobs and pulls from Home Depot.

Snow white painted mcm dresser

White painted mid-century modern dresser

White MCM dresser with black hardware

Dove tail furniture drawers

White painted MCM dresser with black hardware

The crisp white paint and new hardware placement completely changed the look of this once dated mid-century modern dresser.  What do you think?  

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Wow! The dresser looks awesome. I love following your makeovers. You give me the incentive to keep my dresser that I have had since I was 16. It is a keeper as it has the dove tails in the drawers. You go girl

  2. That really does look amazing! Great job! Can I ask how much you paid for it just curious?

  3. Beautiful! I have loved your style since I first started following you a few years ago. You never disappoint!

  4. Looks amazing!! I’m excited to tackle my own project-may I ask how much paint it took for 3 coats?