Inspiring Painted Dresser Projects

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I came home after a day of looking for furniture to paint… empty handed. 

 I do have one project for the weekend, but if I’m hauling out the drop cloth I don’t want to stop at one project (I guess I’ll also get the house cleaned and the laundry done).  I went to two different Value Village locations, both places had furniture pieces I loved, but for $250 & $295 no way, not for me.  I saw a dilapidated dresser with broken drawer slides for $100?  I guess it’s back to free Kijiji for me.  You can get the same stuff there, and save yourself a couple hundred sweet ones.  That means more money for new drawer hardware, and that’s an area where I’m more than happy to splurge.

I’ve posted some of the inspiration images, that I found this morning, that got me looking for a dresser to refurbish in the first place.  Follow the links for the how to instructions, and to see more projects.

refinished dresser, interior design

Found this at Gypsy Barn they have lots of great before and afters.


yellow dresser, refinished furniture, interior design

Found this at Mallory Makes Things.

painted dresser, interior design

Found this at VintAGE Before Beauty lots of inspiration there.

refinished dresser, interior design

Found this on Pretty Swell and we think it's pretty swell.  We need to find ourselves a baby so we can make one of these too.


The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Friday, September 21, 2012

painted dresser, interior design

The weekend is coming and I need some painting project inspiration, so I’m surfing the net, again.  I found this beauty and was shocked to follow the link and see the before image.  It’s a perfect example of what not to do.

painted dresser, interior design

But it’s also a perfect example of what you can do. Check out the how to on Road Kill Rescue. Everything has potential.  Admire the shape of furniture and the condition, the rest can be reinvented with a little imagination and inspiration.

dresser, interior design

Look at the shape of this beauty, it’s easy to see the potential here.  Love the Scandinavian influence.  As much as I try not to sand / strip a piece of furniture, stripping stained wood is WAY easier than painted wood, usually.  This piece does not have intricate details, which adds to the stripping ease.  You can also tell by the condition of the finish, it’s not that thick.  Unless your hiring someone to refinish your piece, consider the effort required to transform it before you buy.  I love the blue dresser, but depending on how thick the red and blue paint job was and whether it was Varathaned or not, I might not have bought it?

painted dresser, interior design

I love the white painted top.  Check out Young House Love for the how to.  Lots of people actually have solid surface tops made for furniture, which is much more expensive than painting, but then again it can be worth the expense.  Try going to solid surface or granite suppliers if it’s your thing.  Ask them what they have for off cuts kicking around, you might be surprised at what you find in the castoff pile (usually suitable for smaller projects like side tables and night stands).  Or check out renovation sites, if I was able to collect and store all the things I have seen torn out of homes and taken to the dump, I would be a very happy girl (with a lot of projects to keep me busy). 
It can be hard to find a countertop supplier willing to cut and finish the edges of a used solid surface countertop, but it can be done.  You just might have to work a little of your magic to get the job done : )

Alex: the 9 Drawer Unit

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Racher Interior Design, painted furniture

Ta Da my weekend project Alex.  I bought 2 quarts of paint, Benjamin Moore 2048-50 Tropicana Cabana and 2146-10 Dark Celery, 9 label holders from Lee Valley, and new sanding disks for my power sander.

Racher Interior Design, painted furniture before

I didn't realize how bad my filing cabinet looked before, now that my drawers are beautified I think my filing cabinet needs replacing.

refinished furniture, Racher Interior Design

The weather was beautiful, but I choose to refinish my Alex in the living room.  I started with drilling the holes for the new hardware, measure twice drill once (break your 2 smallest drill bits).

Racher Interior Design, refinished furniture

I drilled the holes first so I could clean up the evidence without marring my new paint job.  I sanded the smooth shiny finish on the drawer fronts.  Then I used painters tape to trim the drawers.  As you can see I didn’t take the drawers out of the unit.  It’s from Ikea and requires disassembly to remove the drawers.  As convenient as it is to put Ikeas furniture together, it is not meant to be taken apart, so I didn’t.

Racher Interior Design, painted furniture

I mixed the green paint and the blue paint I bought, with white paint left over from another project, to create an ombre effect.  Putting my mixtures in little containers I pulled out of the recycling.  I sealed them in ziplock bags between coats of paint.

painted furniture, Racher Interior Design

To finish the project I lightly sanded the drawers to give them a weathered look and attached the label holders.

Racher Interior Design, painted furniture


Geometric Do-It-Yourself

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

interior design, bedroom, geometric

I’m a big fan of stenciling.  I’ve done it on furniture and backsplashes.  Entire walls, in a pattern that needs to line up perfectly, I have not tried.  I spotted this bedroom makeover on Vintage Revivals.

geometric wall stencil, interior design

I thought the wall paper was funky… until I realized it was stenciled.  I can’t imagine doing a stencil project of this magnitude, check out Vintage Revivals for the how to.  If you’re up for it.

I’ve also never wallpapered a wall (we have a guy for that).  Furniture however is another story & technique (we'll save that for another day).  I suppose if you’re up for wallpapering you could consider it a Do-It-Yourself project.

green geometric wallpaper, interior design

gold geometric wallpaper, interior design

We found these wallpaper images on Well Manored.

geometric wallpaper, green lamp, interior design

You can buy geometric wallpaper from Jonathan Adler.  Notice he reinvented the pattern on that shelf from his store (the one we copied / reinvented from Value Village).

bamboo wallpaper

One person’s wallpaper is another person’s…

interior design, library, office

chair!  Just Kidding, those chairs are from Jonathan Adler too.  We found a great article on Jonathan Adler and design influence, along with this image on Dear Ada, written in 2005.  Exactly how long does a trend last anyway? (according to the article it’s more of a movement)

closet doors

How about, one person’s closet doors (image: Apartmentf15) are another person’s…

painted furniture, global village, interior design

painted dresser.  It always comes back to the painted furniture.  Check out Design Sponge for instructions on painting your own geometric inspired treasures.  This dresser definitely has that global village look going on.  Come to think of it so do Jonathon Adler’s bamboo chairs, and those closet doors.  Perhaps we’ll blog about the global village trend another day.

geometric furniture, interior design, living room

If you’re really handy it’s entirely possible, 3-dimensional geometric is your thing.  Can you believe they made this with PVC pipe?  Check out Vintage Revivals for the how to, they’re sure reviving a lot of vintage over there.  Gotta love it!

Dresser, Dresser against the wall... Who is painted prettiest of them all?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Whether you’re buying a new dresser, or refinishing one you have, here are a couple of ideas to help you make it a fabulous work of art.

dresser, Ikea Rast Side Table

Aubrey and Lindsay’s blog is a wealth of delightful Do It Yourself projects.  Check out their BLOG and learn how to turn this Ikea side table, into a work of art.

Ikea Rast Side Table, dresser, bedroom

If you’re not going to buy a new piece of furniture to refinish, no problem… you can refinish a piece you have at home, to look like you did.

dresser, night table

Check out Vintage Revivals BLOG, and learn how to recreate a painted side table, into a new and fresh work of art.

 night table, bedroom

When you find something you love whether it’s an image of a room or a piece of furniture, you can always recreate the look.  As seen in these two projects, the creation of a wood finished dresser with white drawers and ring hardware is a classic look, which continues to look good through various reincarnations.


Delightful Dresser Duo

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What do you get when you cross an ikea dresser with a second -hand shelf?

Racher Interior Design, Bedroom, Dresser, Refinished Furniture

Yep you guessed it, a fabulous work of art!  We like to think our dresser is painted prettiest of them all.  We started with an Ikea dresser…

Racher Interior Design, Bedroom, Dresser

that had been given, what we would refer to as, half a makeover.  The handles were replaced and the drawer fronts refinished in a funky stamp pattern.

Racher Interior Design, Bedroom, Dresser

We decided to add a second-hand shelf to the mix

Racher Interior Design, Shelf

We painted the shelf off white and attached felt feet to the bottom (it’s actually a wall shelf that we flipped upside down).

Then we painted the dresser box the same off white, and added funky white hardware to the drawers.

Racher Interior Design, Bedroom

We furnished this entire room with second-hand furniture finds.  Can’t wait to show you how we did it!


Up-cycling Fabulous Finds

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Put your wallet away and get out your paint brush; we think buying new is overrated!  

There is nothing a coat of paint can’t improve.  It’s not about having a collection of spectacular pieces; it’s about putting them together in a spectacular way. 

Racher Interior Design, Bedroom

Our second-hand treasures include a metal shelf.

Racher Interior Design, Shelf

Which we sprayed white, removing a few decorative panels in the process.

Racher Interior Design, Shelf

This lovely little $8 vintage delight was not so lovely when we got our hands on it.  But we forgot to take the picture to prove it, so you’ll have to take our word for it.

Racher Interior Design, Night Table

We didn’t stop at second-hand furniture, we collected artwork.

Racher Interior Design, Artwork

Tore it apart, got out the paint, and combined the two into one.

Racher Interior Design, Artwork

The candlesticks got painted too! 

We used stuff from other second-hand collections, leftover from previous projects.  We like to buy what we love and find the perfect place for it later. 

Racher Interior Design, Second-hand finds

Because if we really love it, it will always be perfect, and if it isn’t… we paint it.  

Like these peach lamps.

Racher Interior Design, Lamp

We found new lamp shades at HomeSense, and finials at Lee Valley.

Racher Interior Design, Lamp, Bedroom

If at first you don’t succeed ADD MORE COLOUR.  And paint a bunch of stuff white to make your added colour pop!

Racher Interior Design, Bedroom

To make good look great we improved the bedroom above, with a few small accessory changes.  Added bright pops of colour and painted a few things white. 

Racher Interior Design, Bedroom, Bed

We like an environment with a certain synergy to it, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

(Of course we like to make our own special parts, with the whole in mind; it’s what we interior designers do.)

Petit St Project

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Racher Interior Design

If you want to enjoy my wooden chairs you’ll have to sit inside.  I ain’t no private person and I’m happy to tell the world, I love other peoples junk!

wooden chairs

I got these chairs for free, and I bet a lot of you have these same chairs in your home right now.  Let me tell you how to transform them into your own little works of art.

When it comes to refinishing projects I always opt for minimal sanding.  I took the chairs apart, got out the power sander, sanding the rungs and legs to give them an antiqued look.  I lightly sanded the seats, and majorly sanded the curved wood back rest.  With a wet rag, I wiped the same turquoise paint I used on my patio, on the rungs and legs.  I applied a stain to the exposed wood.  Put 3 coats of glossy Varathane on everything.  Reassembled the chairs and attached felt feet.


Can you believe it’s really as simple as that, to add interest to your boring old chairs!

Do you Like it... or do you Love it?

Friday, April 6, 2012

pink ombre, kitchen, interior design

I do like the vertical gradation of the pink closet doors (image:
House to Home).

orange ombre, interior design

I’m not so fond of this orange horizontal banding of colour (image: Canadian Living).  I think it looks a bit flat when the colours meet on the wall, whereas I find the doors separating the shades of pink interesting and dynamic.

blue ombre, bed, interior design

When it comes to Ombre fabrics I’m picky too.  I love how the ruffles delineate the gradation of colour and the gentle flow from one shade to the next (image: Anthropologie).  I like the Ombre drapes and tablecloths I have seen, but not the pillows.  I think the Ombre effect is best suited to flowing fabrics, to which it adds a whimsical elegance.

pink ombre, dresser, bedroom, interior design

Love, love, love the painted drawers (image: Project

blue ombre, dresser, bedroom, interior design

Any colour, any drawers, we love it (image: JPM Designs
Interiors & Events

If you’re a Do – It – Yourselfer we recommend a painted furniture project.  If you’re really brave, check out Leaf House Décor for instructions on using bleach, or Oh Happy Day for instructions on using dye, to create your own Ombre fabrics.

Considering Tangerine Tango is the 2012 Pantone Colour of The Year.  And Ombre is the hottest trend
from 2011, sneaking into 2012.  We anticipate seeing a lot more peach out there.  We’re coming around to liking peach again (my mother never stopped liking it).  Remember it in the late 80’s, mixed
with mint green?  We won’t be mixing it with mint green, and we won’t be calling it peach either.  It’s apricot this time around.  We think apricot looks great with raspberry, as for the Ombre… bring it on we love it!


HOW TO: pick a paint colour

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Paint should always be the last finish selection you make.  There are infinitely more paint options available than upholstery fabrics or rug selections.  You may want to pick a colour you like for inspiration (even better an inspiration image that encompasses an entire colour palette exemplifying the correct proportions for each colour used to create the look and feel you desire).  Once you have made all your finish selections and narrowed down your colour options you are ready to tweak your paint selection.   

Designer Tip: always get actual finish samples to use when coordinating finish selections and when shopping for furniture and accessories.   Ask your designer, supplier or contractor to provide you with finish samples for any material finish used in your interior. 

When it comes to paint you definitely get what you pay for.  Although painting prep is every bit as important, if not more important than the actual paint itself.  If your walls and trim are not properly filled and sanded a fresh coat of paint can’t make them look instantly fabulous. 

Why we like Benjamin Moore paint has as much to do with the paint as the colour system they use.  Benjamin Moore has a few different paint palettes created for specific applications, the palettes we use the most are: 

- The Historical Collection (denoted by HC before the colour number) inspired by the actual colours used in 18th and 19th century architecture. 

- The Designer Classic Collection (denoted by CC before the colour number) is a collection of wall colour selections favored by interior designers. 

Not every colour looks good or feels good on a wall, if you select your paint colour from the Designer Classics Collection not only is the guess work taken out, you will find 2’ x 2’ paint samples available for purchase.  Large paint samples are a great opportunity to try out a colour before committing to painting your walls.  The large samples go a long way in helping you visualize the impact and intensity a paint colour will impart on your interior.  Changing light conditions throughout the day and different wall locations will reflect colour with different intensity.

One last unsolicited recommendation for Benjamin Moore is the colour gradation on their paint chips.  Many of the three colour paint chips are great suggestions for guiding your wall, ceiling and trim colour selections.  Keep in mind your trim colour should be consistent throughout your home, and your entire colour palette should be harmonious.  Benjamin Moore features inspirational colour palettes, lists their most popular paint colours, and suggests painting ideas on their website to further aid your colour selections.

Don't forget to consider paint finish.  There are many different finish options available.  Often designers will use the same colour on the walls and ceiling, selecting a flat or matt finish on the ceiling and a satin or egg-shell finish for the walls.  The flat or matt finishes reflect less light and hide surface imperfections the best, but are the least durable.  Satin and egg-shell finishes are more durable and washable and thus more often used for walls.  Semi-gloss finishes are even more durable and glossy than egg-shell and satin and are formulated for use on areas where wear and tear is anticipated.  Window casings, door casings, baseboards and doors are often painted with a semi -gloss finish.  Generally the shinier the paint finish the more obvious the surface imperfections become.  The flat or increasingly matt the paint finish, the less durable and washable the paint becomes.

If you are feeling overwhelmed with selecting a colour palette or paint colour we recommend you collect inspiration images, finish samples and paint chips.  Before you take the plunge you can always have a consultation with an interior designer to show them your inspiration images, selection options and ideas.  Your designer will be able to tweak your selections, and make further suggestions and recommendations, elevating your interior designing to a new level.  We hope we have given you valuable insight in selecting paint colours, if you have further questions on the subject we urge you to post your comments.

(blog images from