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Monday, January 15, 2024

Furniture Makeover: Green Mid-Century Modern Dresser

A basic laminate Mid-Century Modern dresser gets a beautiful, sleek modern makeover with new green paint and black matte hardware! 

A few weeks ago, I bought a couple pieces of furniture from a local auction.  One of the pieces was a very basic laminate top Mid-Century Modern dresser. 

The light stain color dated the dresser, and the laminate top lessened the quality, but it had dovetail drawers and was in excellent condition with loads of potential.  

When I saw the pictures online, I knew exactly how I wanted to give it a makeover.  Fresh paint and new hardware were what this MCM dresser needed! 

Green painted mid-century modern dresser


- Fusion Mineral Paint (I used Manor Green
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Drill
- Small drill bit
- Screwdriver
- Tape measure 


Many Mid-Century modern dressers have laminate tops and either veneer or solid wood bodies.  A shiny high gloss finish is usually a dead giveaway that a piece of furniture is made of laminate.  You will also notice that the wood grain is processed and often repeats.

Dated Mid-Century Modern dresser before


A shellac primer is required to achieve the best coverage and adhesion when painting over laminate furniture.  My favorite go-to primer is Zinsser Bin shellac primer.   It's expensive but worth every penny to avoid paint from chipping, flaking, and peeling. 

My favorite way to apply a shellac primer is with a foam roller.  It provides the best coverage with minimal sanding required.  I generally roll on two coats, lightly sand between coats then let cure for 24 hours. 

Bin Shellac primer

While waiting for the primer to cure, I began filling the old hardware holes. 

I've tried many wood fillers, but my favorite is J-B Weld Kwikwood Epoxy.  It's easy to sand, manipulate, and dries rock hard.  I filled the old hardware holes twice, sanding in between applications.  

After the epoxy wood filler was dry and sanded smooth, I applied a coat of shellac primer over the epoxy to ensure a smooth and even surface and fend off any possible bleed-through. 
Filling old hardware holes

Once the dresser was primed and the old hardware holes filled, I scuff sanded with 220 grit sandpaper, cleaned it well, and applied two coats of Fusion Mineral Paint in Manor Green.  Fusion paint doesn't require a sealer, but the paint should be allowed to cure for at least 24 hours.

Resource:  Read A Beginner's Guide to Painting Furniture for more in-depth information on painting and sealing furniture. 

Painted mcm dresser makeover

I prefer to keep original vintage hardware whenever possible, especially if the hardware is good quality or unique.  This Mid-Century Modern dresser had low-quality hardware that was better off being replaced. 

It was one of those times when changing the hardware and placement paid off! 

how to paint laminate furniture

Green painted mcm dresser

New paint and hardware are two cost-effective ways to make inexpensive furniture look expensive and helped completely transform this dated laminate dresser! 

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painted mcm dresser before and after


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  1. Great makeover. Are you keeping it or selling it?

    1. Thank you! Yes, this piece is available at Lily & Birch Market, 4051 Stanford Ct, Frederick, MD