August Thrift Challenge Reveal: Dresser Makeover

This month Dina and I asked you to choose our August Thrift Challenge projects. Since I had Baby B at the end of July and wouldn't have too much time to be out thrifting, we chose project choices for me that used items I had already thrifted but hadn't done anything with yet. 

1 - Upcycle an old dresser
2 - Sassify an old lampshade
3 - Turn a vintage bicycle into garden art

The votes were close between choices 1 and 3, but in the end, upcycling an old dresser was the final winner.

I was given this dresser for free by a neighbor who was getting rid of some furniture. It's a big piece so I was hesitant to take it because I am known for bringing stuff home and never doing anything with it. And sadly, that's exactly what happened with this. It's been sitting in our garage for a year!! 

I'm not exactly sure where this piece will end up (family room? bedroom? basement? for sale at the  flea?) so I kept it simple by painting it white. I used Annie Sloan's Pure White chalk paint and wax. I've used DIY chalk paint on other, smaller projects, but for big pieces (like this hutch I painted last year) I go with the good stuff!

I've heard that with Annie Sloan you sometimes only need one coat of paint. With the Pure White I've always done two. Here's what it looks like with just one coat:

And if you can tell the difference with the drawers missing, here's what it looks like with two coats. 

What I LOVE about Annie Sloan chalk paint is how well it sands and distresses. By using just a fine grit sanding sponge you can easily (and quickly!) get the paint smooth and silky. When I've used the DIY chalk paint recipes I've noticed that the sanding step is nowhere near as easy.


The sanding creates a TON of dust, so the best way to get the entire piece clean before applying the wax is to dust it off using a clean, dry paint brush. It works especially well in all the nooks and crannies.  

Once its free of dust, I apply a thin coat of the Annie Sloan Clear Wax using an old t-shirt. Look at how smooth and glossy it is! 

For the hardware I simply spray painted it using a satin black spray paint.

I love how it turned out!! It feels great to be back at it after taking a little step aways this last month. Thanks for choosing this project, readers!

Dina's readers chose this  sweet yet edgy outfit for her to recreate. (I voted for that one too!). Let's go see Dina's thrifty version


Click here to catch up on previous Thrift Challenges

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  1. There's nothing more I love than a clean white piece of furniture. Incredible job, Katie! If you have no use for this dresser, I'm sure I can take it off your hands when I move next spring (he he he). And excuse me with the clock collection, I was unaware of this mini collection of yours. You are truly a DIY genius!

    1. Thanks girl!! I was unaware of my clock collection too because they were spread all throughout the house. But since I have 4 of them does that take it from being a collection to being a hoarder?? :)

  2. Wow! That is incredible - it was so dated before and now it's not! So happy you are up and around so soon after the baby and all is well with you!

  3. Your posts always make me wish we were neighbors. I could get a little baby holding could help me tweak my decorations around the house. Everything you do is perfection and the way you style it is even more so. I'll be adding clocks and cool books to my thrifting list :)

    1. So why don't you just move to Cleveland!? There are a few houses for sale on my street :)

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