Big Reveal: The Six Month Dresser

Ages upon ages upon ages ago I boasted about how I was DIY-ing this dresser I found on the side of the road. In fact, it might have been up to a year ago that I first lugged the thing into my apartment. Of course it was a multi-step process, but certainly shouldn’t have taken as long as it did. Senior year of college, man, it’s a whirlwind. But anyway, this is this story of how I took this:

An Ikea Malm three drawer dresser, complete with fake wood siding

and made it into this:


1. The first thing I had to do was sand the entire exterior of the dresser to give the paint had something to cling to. Apparently the fake wood siding on these Ikea dressers makes it so that  if you do not sand the exterior, any paint comes off with the slightest scratch. I did not want this. You — if you’re doing this — do not want this, so you have to sand the whole thing. Yes, it is kinda annoying.

2. Prime it. I’m not entirely sure if this particular step was necessary, but it didn’t hurt and ensured that the color I wanted was the color I got.

3. I covered the whole thing in a loving coat of Beauti-Tone semi gloss paint in “Just Charming” (that’s the lighter background color). Let dry for 1 year (joking, it’s more like one day). It took me a couple of coats to get an even color.

4. Measure half way down the length of each drawer. With a pencil, draw a straight line across the width from the halfway point.

5. Make a stencil of a single “chevron” out of cardboard to ensure that each “chevron” is the same width and at the same angle. I didn’t realize how much I had let my knowledge of geometry fall into disrepair until I had to do this. It was shameful.

6. Stencil the pattern onto the dresser using a pencil.

7. Tape Frog Painters Tape along one side of the straight line. You want to make sure to use the Frog stuff. I know it’s more expensive, but trust me, it’s the best way to get crisp lines. I used the “normal” painters tape and the result was utterly disappointing.

8. Then tape off the outside edges of the chevrons that you want to be a different color from your base. In my case, this was Beauti-Tone’s “Hampton Inn” — or the darker purple/gray color.

9. Once dry  — maybe the next day to be safe — tape off the other side of the line and the remaining chevrons. Paint until complete and wait until it’s dry.
I’m so happy I actually finally managed to finish this dresser. I love the way it looks and the fact that I decorated it all on my own. DIY-ing is very empowering, let me tell you! I might stick some decorative pulls on it in the future, but I’m pretty happy with it for now.


4 thoughts on “Big Reveal: The Six Month Dresser

  1. it looks so good! kinda makes me dizzy? and DUDE, you’ve had that dresser for WELL over a year. we found it on walmer, didnt we?! you didnt start painting it until ossington though.

    • Oh god, you’re right. WELL over a year. So this has now been upgraded from an “Emma Fail” to an “Emma SUPER fail” (in terms of timing, I would give the look an “Emma success”)

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