Vintage Grey and White Wood Dresser

This dresser makeover came with a few lessons for me and it was headed for the trash more than once. I finished it this week and now I'm glad I didn't give up on this four drawer solid wood vintage piece.

My 14 year old son and I found it at a busy yard sale this summer and lesson number one is to check a piece over carefully no matter how busy the sale is or how anxious I am to claim other pieces before they were scooped up. The finish was in quite good shape for the age of this solid wood vintage dresser and I really liked the turned front legs. Lesson number two is to always take the time to check the legs of pieces placed for sale in tall grass. We didn't realize until we got it home that half of one of the back legs was badly damaged and rotted.

This is a before photo. It is also before our 16 year old son cut the damaged area off the back leg and then cut the rest of the legs (including the shapely front legs) to match in height. This tallboy lost about 4 inches in height.

Lesson number three is to not give up on a piece after the first coat of paint. At that point it was now shorter and with one coat of homemade chalky paint was looking pretty bad. So I walked away from it, again, and it sat in the garage for a few weeks while I waffled on keeping it or getting rid of it. I probably told my husband to take it to the dump at least half a dozen times only to change my mind. Poor guy!

Then last week I decided I already had the purchase price of $30 invested in it so I might as well try to finish it. Using leftover Ben Moore Origins Mercury Glass paint I finished painting the body white.

Getting lots of inspiration from blogs and Pinterest I decided to paint the drawer fronts grey using Behr Premium Plus Ultra (paint and primer in one) in a $3 can of mis-tint gray. I also added my usual Plaster of Paris to make it more of a chalky paint. Once the charcoal grey went on the drawers I started really liking this piece again. A light distressing of the drawer edges, Minwax poly in satin and new brushed chrome knobs I had on hand finished it off nicely.

Now it is finished and I really like the grey and white together. I have it listed for sale but if it doesn't sell I could easily find a spot for it in our home. 

This is our last week of summer vacation before heading back to school and work next week. I wish you a great week ahead and thanks for stopping by.
Edited to add: It sold within a few hours to the first people inquiring. I'm going to have to use this colour combo again.
I am sharing this at the following parties....


  1. It turned out great, Elizabeth! I love this look, too, with the main part painted one color and the drawers another color. I think it was good you walked away and then came back to it. I find that sometimes helps me, too. Glad you didn't give up on it!

  2. what a transformation

  3. So glad you didn't throw in the towel on this one, it turned out beautifully! I love the grey and white color combo! Enjoy your last week of summer!


  4. Wow- Wow- Wow. That was so worth all the effort, Elizabeth. I love how it turned out. Nicely done!!!! xo Diana

  5. Elizabeth...Good thing you didn't let that chest of drawers go. Solid wood is hard to come by. $30 is a little bit of an investment but it looks like a million bucks now!

  6. Just proves that it is worth following through on your projects huh? Congrats on the quick sale! It turned out very pretty.

  7. Love how it turned out. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  8. That's now a gorgeous chest of drawers, I'm not surprised that it sold. That's a great way to make an extra dollar.

  9. I love the way it looks. I just finished a small piece but it is in reverse of yours. My drawers are white and the cabinet dark gray. Stop for a look. Dianntha

  10. That looks really beautiful! I love the two tone colours. Great job. You have inspired me to perhaps redo an old dresser in our basement that we use for storage. It was originally that dark tiger stain when I used it in my first apartment many years ago. I painted it white but it is very chipped now and the veneer is lifted on one side. After 36 years in the basement it's no wonder. We'll see if it gets a new coat of paint. No one sees it but me. LOL

  11. Oh my goodness, what a beautiful classic piece Elizabeth - and the transformation was amazing!! I love what you did - and would be super thrilled if you have the chance to share it at our new mega-party Work it Wednesday if you haven't already. Each link will be shown on 4 blogs! Work it Wednesday

    - Krista @ the happy housie

  12. I love the color combination and those legs won me over instantly too! Sometimes you just have to get though the ugly phase of a project to get to the pretty end result!


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