Using a Dresser for Office Storage

A few weeks ago I was out shopping “The Loop” with my mom. We were looking for items to use in my space at The Pickers Market and for unique things we could use on my office makeover as part of the One Room Challenge. I desperately needed a storage credenza and couldn’t find one that I loved. After not finding anything at multiple stores over multiple trips, I had resigned to repurposing the existing file cabinets. Until, I saw this piece…


I was looking for at least a 9-drawer storage option and this one had 9. The price was totally doable and I figured if it didn’t fit in the space with the bookcases my dad was building, I could sell it at the store. It felt like a win-win.


It took me two days to paint the walls and trim but I love how the space is coming together. My first thought was to paint the dresser in a pale gray. The bookcases will be painted in one of my favorite whites called Bistro White and I knew it would complement them nicely.


But I totally forgot to take into consideration how the color of the accent wall (Hot Stone) changes during the day. Sometimes it looks deep brown and other times it looks brown gray, which means, my original plan of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen with a wash of Country Grey was not going to work.


So then I thought, ok, no problem, let me just add a wash of Old White to lighten it up. It stood out a little more but not enough to make a noticeable difference.


Round 3, I decided it needed something dark and moody and I added a wash of Graphite.


It was better but still not what I was looking for and clearly I was getting into the reeds.


Without a doubt, I needed a cookie and a break. So I called my mom and design partner to troubleshoot the issue. She has an amazing knack of letting people vent, talk out their frustrations, providing encouragement and grace for perfectionist tendencies and getting a game plan together. “I know you don’t want to hear this but I hope you’ll listen. You need to paint that entire piece in Old White.” She said.

I knew she was right. But I didn’t want one more piece of furniture painted white or any version of white which I know must sound weird.  You guys know my  favorite color is white. It’s calming and comfortable and yet here I was rebelling against white….


I had nothing to lose by rebelling but plenty to gain by listening. So, I got out my can of Old White and started painting. Round 5, here we go, WE GOT THIS! I know I skipped over Round 4 but I can’t even talk about it. Imagine the top all black…I know. Cue the sounds of the palm sander.


I knew I was back on track as soon as the first stroke of Old White hit the top of the dresser. I didn’t want to lose all of those layers though. The layers had become a big part of the story. I almost always use a wet brush technique when painting and keep a cup of water close by. I layered thin coats of Old White over the existing layers until I was able to achieve a weathered look. It took a bit of extra time but it was worth it.


Once the paint had dried, I used a piece of 000 steel wool and distressed the top and edges of each drawer. Using the steel wool gives a slight gray effect and the distressed look is lighter/more controlled than using sandpaper. Make sure you use gloves, protective eyewear and a mask for your nose and mouth. Once, you’re finished you’ll need to use a shop vac to get up the steel wool bits. If this seems like a lot of extra work, try using a small piece of 320-grit sandpaper.


I used dark wax on the edges and trim and clear paste wax on the drawers, top and sides.


I haven’t decided what I’m going to use for the hardware yet. It seems a little too goldish to me. For now, I’m just going to sing Cool and the Gang and high five my dogs that this piece is finished!


See you guys back here tomorrow. I’m using a hutch and desk set that’s been in the garage for a while now. Someone painted it with economy black spray paint…I know…here we go again.

Many blessings,


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  1. Hey CoCo – We know that the paint color gave you fits, but the end result is gorgeous! This is a beautiful piece and you were so fortunate to find it. We have literally been searching for weeks for something similar and have had zero luck! Your room is coming together beautifully!

  2. I have used ASCP and been SO upset by the brush strokes it shows. I like my pieces to have a smooth finish. What do you do about the brush strokes? I didn’t see you mention sanding this piece. It is very pretty.

  3. Hi CoCo!! I love this transformation so much. I am happy to know I am not the only one who changes a piece or gets a new vision 4-5 times. I have almost the exact same dresser that I pained for my buffet in my little dining room. It’s great with all the drawers for storage. Thanks for the wonderful post, hope you are having a great week!


  4. It’s beautiful, CoCo! I definitely think all the trouble was worth it. The color layering looks so beautiful and you wouldn’t have achieved it had you just painted it white from the beginning. Can’t wait to see this room completed!

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