How To Paint Drawer Pulls and a Dresser

This dresser is a classic – you probably have one in your family  –  the classic  hand-me down that keeps getting handed-down one generation to the next.  It is not an antique, but so well made even after it takes a licking, it still functions perfectly.  Before it gets handed down once again to my daughter Mandy, I am going to tweak it to her specifications and transform it with paint to decorate her college dorm apartment.


 How to paint furniture

She is going to be a junior at the University of Vermont and is moving into a house with 4 of her friends.   She needs furniture + we had this + I can paint = DIY INEXPENSIVE TRANSFORMATION  TIME.   She was not into the brown and brass.  I can’t blame her, so I got to work.

How to paint wood furniture

 How to Paint Drawer Pulls

This is how the brass drawer pulls looked after I cleaned them to prepare for spray painting.  You can see the one at the bottom has a bit of silver on it.  I tried using RubN’Buff on that one, but I could not get it into the detail of the pull so I opted to use spray paint.

How to paint drawer pulls


Here is the desk that was currently in my daughters room at home.  She wanted it to match the dresser, so even though it looks pretty nice, I painted it.    I set up the two pieces in my garage, lightly sanded them and put two coats of Oil-Based Kilz on each piece.

Painted Furniture Tips and Tricks


Decorative brass pull on desk drawer.

How to change furniture hardware


Ready to unload  my daughters “stuff” into her house.  It has 5 bedrooms and she is in one that is tiny, tiny, tiny, but very bright and cheery.

College Apartment Decorating Ideas


If you have never been to Burlington Vermont it is definitely a destination to experience and explore.  It is right on Lake Champlain.  Gorgeous views everywhere.

Burlington Vermont Waterfront-Lake Champlain

Unique Shops

Storefront in Burlington Vt

And plenty of delicious restaurants that have outside seating in the summer months along Church Street.  This is my favorite place to eat.

Leunigs Bistro in Burlington Vermont

And a great place to study – The University of Vermont.

University of Vermont


The color of the Valspar paint my daughter picked was  Seafarer.  You will find the process on how I paint furniture by clicking over to this post:  How to Paint over Stained or Polyurethane Finished Furniture

Furniture painting ideas


I used Rust-Oleum Specialty Metallic Spray Paint in Silver for the drawer pulls.  I applied 3 light coats, letting each coat dry thoroughly before spraying on the next coat.  They came out so much better than I expected.  I just love this brand of spray paint.

How to paint a metal drawer knobs and pulls


It is amazing how modern the pulls look now.

How to Spray Paint a Drawer Pull


Her desk came out great as well.

How to paint a Desk


Here  is the dresser in it’s new home.

College dorm decorating ideas

The desk is across the room, which is only about 2 steps away.  I found a beach towel at WalMart  to cover her IKEA chair with.  If you decide to do this make sure you wash the towel first – or you will end up with a butt covered in lint. If you would like to see how I covered the chair you can find in my post: How I Transformed a Not So Pretty Desk Chair.

 I took these photos right before we left for the 7 hour drive home to Pennsylvania.  College dorm decorating ideas


She was having fun organizing and setting up all of her stuff.  I wished I could have stayed longer and helped her more, but I think she has my “decorating” gene and was figuring it out on her own.

College dorm decorating ideas


I did fashion a sheer window scarf for her that I found at WalMart.  I didn’t use a rod.  There were two plant hooks on the ceiling that if we removed would have left huge holes.

Easy no sew window treatment ideas


I painted the hooks white and draped the scarf on them.  Then on each side I tied ribbons in all the colors used in the room around the scarf and hooked the ribbon on a nail on each side of the window trim.  I had to play with the folds to get each side even.  She was very happy with the results.  It is one very easy no-sew window treatment.

Easy no sew window treatment ideas







  1. says

    I have a question. In have some latex paints in different colors my husband used on my walls. I like them, yellow, green, pink. Can I add a few drops of MICHAELS ARCYlC Paint to it to have a little difference to the color? Yes I use a Blender to mix my Plaster of Paris. Would I have to cut down on the water if I add arcrylic paint?
    I would love a response please. Doing it tomorrow.

    • says

      Hi Carol – If you want to make chalk paint by mixing leftover latex paint with acrylic craft paint, then I would say no. This is because the acrylic in the craft paint may bind the latex paint when Plaster of Paris is added. If you are not making chalk paint and just mixing craft paint into latex paint to alter the color – then yes – I do it all the time when I want to tweak a color.

  2. says

    Do you know the company that made the desk? I have one almost identical—I couldn’t find any markings on it.It was passed down to me by my mother and I would love to trace its origins.I have seen quite a few of that same style of secretary desk,just wondering if there were lots of companies who made them or just one or 2. Mine was from the 20s or 30s I think.


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