Distressing Your Dresser

Quality furniture can and should last you a lifetime. Your furniture is extremely versatile in looks. The entire look of a chair can change just by being reupholstered. Old mirrors can become art pieces. Dressers can become something you never thought you could own. Let us add character to that old dresser that you have always hated. The one that you cannot seem to find a spot for, yeah that one. Distressing the piece will make your dresser a chic, timeless piece.


Supply List:

  • An old dresser
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack Cloth
  • Paint Base Coat
  • Polyurethane (Finishing Coat)
  • Paint Brush 


1.  Prepare your workspace.

Distressing your dresser involves sanding and painting so consider moving the dresser to an area that can get a bit messy (your garage, backyard, etc).

2.   Begin sanding 

Grab your sandpaper and begin gently sanding the dresser. 

3.   Wipe down your piece

After you have sanded the dresser, take your “tack cloth” and wipe down the dresser.

  • Tack Cloth is a cloth that has been processed with a sticky adhesive in order to pick up any leftover particles, dust, etc. (This can be purchased at any home improvement store).

4. Apply the base coat

You will begin to paint your entire dresser with the base coat paint. You can choose whatever color you would like for this step. 

  • Make sure to buy a satin latex paint for your base coat.

5. Let the furniture dry

6. Grab your sandpaper

Once the dresser is completely dry, you can begin sanding areas that you would like to look distressed. 

  • Note: Distressed dressers are meant to look like they naturally became that way. Think about the places that would have become distressed over time and begin sanding those areas.

7. Wipe it down

Grab your tack cloth again and wipe down your dresser to get rid of the leftover particles. 

8. Apply a paint finish

You can use Polyurethane to finish off your dresser.

You have now created a timeless piece of furniture from an item you once hated. Remember, you can distress a wide variety of your furniture items and we hope you love your “new” old dresser.