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Modern Rustic DIY Dresser

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This modern rustic DIY dresser is a repurposed garage sale find! Combining stain and paint finishes can give it an instant updated look! I love partnering with HomeRight for these projects to show how easy these projects are with the paint sprayer!

modern rustic DIY dresser makeover

I bought this dresser maybe 13 or 14 years ago from a friend’s yard sale for $10. Money pretty well spent if you ask me, because it’s been used daily every day since!

I originally painted it green and added flower knobs when my daughter was barely a toddler and I still had a say in how she decorated (and dressed, but that’s a post for another day). I apparently did NOT have a say in how well she cleaned her room, though, so ignore the perpetual mess.

modern rustic dresser makeover

After 9 years or so, I repainted it white with a bold red striped down the front. We were giving my daughter a surprise bedroom makeover while she was away at camp and I thought this was a style that would get her through her pre-teen years.

modern rustic dresser DIY refinished

But now she is almost 15 (gulp!), and she has pretty strong opinions on how she wants her room to look for her high school years. This past winter, we agreed to rearrange her room while trying to repurpose what we already had.

She really wanted to go with a dark gray, rich stain and gold accents color scheme. She got a new desk and some other items as Christmas gifts, but we still needed to work on the dresser. The white with red stripe just wasn’t working anymore.

So earlier this month, it got emptied and taken down to the garage so I could get to work on what will be the final time I ever work on this $10 dresser! Somebody hold me to that promise!

I started by removing the drawer pulls and then coating the drawer fronts in a thick coat of paint stripper.

how to strip paint off furniture

I let it sit for about 25-30 minutes and then I came out and started scraping.

And scraping.

And scraping.

how to remove paint from wood dresser

Three coats of the paint stripper later and it was almost all off. Remember, I bought this at a yard sale and I had already painted it twice. Apparently the previous owner had painted it at least 3 times. There was a minimum 5 coats of paint that I had to scrape off.

Then I gave it a really good sanding and stained it a nice dark walnut.

how to strip paint off a wood dresser

This dresser nearly did me in. I swear. It is straight lines and seemed so easy, but between all the layers of paint, the non-stop rain and other issues… I almost threw in the towel a couple times.

The only thing keeping me going was knowing that as soon as I got to the part where it was time to paint, it would be smooth sailing. Once I did all the legwork of stripping, sanding, moving in and out of the garage 57 times for the rain, more stripping and more sanding… it would feel like a piece of cake to quick give it a coat of paint with my paint sprayer. You can check out the HomeRight site for even more great projects that were completed using the paint sprayer!

How to paint outdoor wood benches with a paint sprayer

So with the drawers done, I moved on to the actual dresser part. I gave it a nice sanding with my mouse sander. Then I got a damp rag to wipe it down and everything fell apart.

Some how, this damp rag started lifting layers of paint up. Like literally. Sheets of paint were just peeling off in my hands. I’ve never really seen anything like it!

But I knew if I wanted the finish to last, I’d have to get it all off. So a day later, I was finally to the point where I could pull out my HomeRight Paint Sprayer and finish off this project.

how to finish DIY dresser with paint sprayer

The paint I used was Sherwin Williams HGTV Web Gray. It’s actually the same color I used on our upstairs doors last year. So now her bedroom door coordinates with something else in her room.

I followed the instructions that come with the paint sprayer, started at the top of my dresser and worked my way down. Since I was putting a dark color on top of a light color, I ended up doing two coats.

modern rustic dresser DIY makeover

It looks gorgeous! I love the way it ties into her desk and the rest of her new room accessories now! It looks much more sophisticated and is perfect for a teen’s room!

Now we just have to work on that red cabinet in the corner and we’ll be nearly done with her room! What would you do with that cabinet? We had originally been thinking white with gold confetti dots, but after seeing the finished dresser she’s changed her mind!

We have an idea up our sleeves, but would love to hear your thoughts to see if you can sway us!

modern rustic dresser makeover

modern rustic dresser makeover

Supplies Needed for Modern Rustic DIY Dresser

Paint Stripper

Paint Scraper

HomeRight Paint Sprayer Finish Max Extra

Dark Walnut Stain

Disposable Plastic Gloves

Foam Brush

Black Drawer Pulls


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modern rustic DIY dresser refinished