Rosie’s Dresser Redo with a Little Paint & Marbled Paper

A couple of summers ago, there was an estate sale across the street from us where we bought these two great mid-century dining room pieces for $65.  What a steal, right?  The smaller piece we put in our living room for the TV, and the larger one I painted and put it in Rosie’s “big girl” room.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a “before” picture of that one, but the two are pretty much identical so here’s a pic of the other one for ya:


I felt bad for a minute painting over that pretty, antique wood, but the finish wasn’t in great condition anyway, and we already had Rosie’s headboard in a similar color picked out, and y’all know I’m not trying’ to be all matchy-matchy up in here.   At first I thought I would paint it a bright, solid color like turquoise or pink, but decided to go the more neutral route with gray.  The dresser is really great quality and figured it will probably stick around in Rosie’s room for awhile, so I wanted a color that would age well.

I took the drawers out and sanded them and the dresser with an electric palm sander, just enough to scratch up the top coat, and then painted on a coat of STIX Bonding Primer.  This primer is awesome and pretty much sticks to anything, but it’s kinda smelly, so I left everything in the garage for a few days to air out.  I then painted on two coats of a low voc paint, Benjamin Moore’s Aura “Smoke Gray” in a semi-gloss finish.

Okay, now for those doors.  Do you see the woven stuff on there?  Well, I ended up putting tons of paint on them to cover in between the little strips of wood.   When I went back a couple of hours later, the whole piece had totally bubbled up and was about to bust off of there.  Aaah, why did I do that? There was no saving that shiz.

rosie's dresser door before

Fortunately though, since it did bubble up, it was pretty easy to cut them off of the door.  I was able to get most of it off with a box cutter, and then used I used a chisel and hammer and lightly removed the “stuck on” pieces.  I took sandpaper and sanded down the little globs of paint to try and get a smooth finish.  Initially, my plan was to just paint the doors the same color and call it a day, but the surface was still a little rough and I figured it wouldn’t look that great. Then I thought about putting a sheet of metal on there, like copper or something, but the panel part isn’t very deep, so that wasn’t going to work either.

sand rosie dresser door

I “pinned” this really neat DIY marbled wastebasket from Little Green Notebook and this easy wall art project from House of Fifty using marbled paper, and realized the same kind of paper and a little Modge Podge would probably work on these doors.  I love, love this marbled trend. Remember I did an Etsy Roundup not long ago with marbled home accessories?  They had one marbled paper option at Paper Source that happened to work with Rosie’s color scheme, but there are tons of other colors on Etsy, or you could make your own with this tutorial from Martha Stewart.

marbled paper measure and cut

First I measured the panel and cut the paper to the exact dimensions, and then I used a foam brush and applied a thin coat of Modge Podge to the door.  Next, I lined up the top of the paper with the top part of the panel and working my way down, smoothed a little at a time to work out any bubbles or creases.  I let that dry for a few hours and then brushed three coats of the glossy finish Modge Podge (waiting 30 minutes between each coat) on top.

Marbled paper application

The cabinet knobs and pulls were pretty scratched up and discolored, so I spray painted them with Krylon “Metallic Gold” paint.  So far, they seem to be holding up, but I’ll keep you all posted if it doesn’t work out.  I love how the pretty colors of the marbled paper really pop on the gray dresser and add to Rosie’s modern, feminine decor.  Have you all refinished any large pieces of furniture lately?  How do feel about painting over antique wood, yay or no freakin’ way?

rosie's dresser after




4 thoughts on “Rosie’s Dresser Redo with a Little Paint & Marbled Paper

  1. Meggin

    It looks amazing! I didn’t realize that was the same piece. I’m wondering how you would suggest removing the woven part now? I have a chest of drawers and a dresser with woven panels on some of the drawers and I’d love to paint them over. What do you think is the best way to cover/ remove them?

    1. thepotatohouse Post author

      Thanks Meggin! For some reason, I’m just now seeing your comment, so I’m sorry for the late response. : / I think the best way, may be to take an exacto knife and carefully cut around the edge of the weaving. Depending on how it’s constructed, you might need to take some needle nose pliers to pull out the rest of the weaving. If you want, you could email a picture so I can see what you’re dealing with.


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