Old Ochre Dresser Makeover

I bought this dresser along with four other pieces of furniture a few weeks ago. These long dressers are getting harder to find because they have multiple uses. I’ve seen them repurposed as media consoles, entry focal points and even as a bathroom sink.


I love the curved lines and the hardware. As soon as I spotted it in the back of the warehouse, I knew it was coming home with me.


The top had a few issues but nothing major so I got out my sander and started sanding the top using heavy grit sandpaper (80) and my palm sander. I wanted to make sure the finish was smooth so I followed the 80 grit with 220 grit, which is finishing grade sandpaper.


It took a while but it was well worth the effort. It was so hot though. Painting in Florida during the summer months is hard. You have to start around 7 am because the rains come almost every afternoon around 2 pm, which doesn’t leave a lot of time. The heat can also affect the amount of drying time needed so keep that in mind if you’re like me and painting outside in hot and humid temperatures.


From the beginning I decided to stain the top in American Walnut by Rustoleum and the body in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I used to be afraid of applying stain. I had a few bad experiences (think a stain explosion). Sometimes, I would put in hours of work only to have to re-sand the piece and start all over again because the stain or the finish was uneven. After a lot of practice though, I’ve gotten better.


While the stain was drying on top, I started cleaning the body with a damp cloth and mild dish detergent. It was so dirty. Once the body was dry, I started painting. I used the exact same technique I always use but there were some parts that wouldn’t take the paint so I just let it go and kept painting.


I applied two coats of Old Ochre (sanding after the two coats had dried) and one coat of American Walnut.

Annie Sloan Dark Wax

To seal the top I used one coat of Annie Sloan Dark Wax and one coat of clear wax. It gave the walnut a deep, rich color. I kept the original hardware and distressed the details on the body of the dresser.


It was way too big to bring inside by myself so I had to stage outside using the garage as a backdrop. This piece will be headed to The Pickers Market in the next few weeks and I am typing this post thankful for aloe.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre

Many blessings,


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