DIY White Painted Dresser | How to Paint Furniture White

An outdated dresser receives a modern, fresh update. Learn how to paint furniture white in this DIY white painted dresser project. A French Provincial dresser is painted white using latex paint.

A gorgeous white painted dresser can brighten up an entire room.

But painting furniture white is a little more time challenging and time consuming than other colors. In this beginners tutorial, I’ll show you how I painted this wooden dresser a bright, modern white.

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Supplies for a DIY White Painted Dresser-

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paint primer sandpaper paintbrush

Prep your Dresser

I know, you’re eager to get to painting. But prep is so important! Any dirt or grime left on the dresser will cause your white paint to not adhere properly.

For a more in depth post about properly prepping your furniture for paint, see How to Prep.

First, inspect the piece for any damage. Fill any holes with wood filler, repair any drawers.

Remove all hardware and put them in a labeled bag. Clean the dresser with a furniture cleaner or a mixture of vinegar and water. I use Krud Kutter in a spray bottle. This is my favorite cleaner because it doesn’t need to be rinsed off. Less prep, yay! 

furniture cleaner for DIY white painted dresser

Now it’s time to hand sand the dresser. You don’t need to sand down to bare wood, just sand enough to remove the shine and give the primer something to grip to. Use a tack cloth or a damp rag to wipe off all the sanding dust.

sanding your diy white painted dresser

Prime your Furniture

Using a high quality angled brush, start applying your primer. Priming is especially important when you are painting a piece white and don’t want bleed through. A shellac based primer is best if you are painting a red wood that is notorious for bleed through.

painting primer on diy white painted dresser

Here’s a great article from Just the Woods that talks all about avoiding that pesky bleed through.

Don’t worry too much about brush strokes, just get a thin coat of primer on. 

Here is what it looked like after the primer.

primed dresser

Time to Paint 

For this dresser I chose Benjamin Moore Advance paint in Simply White. I love this paint because it doesn’t need a top coat. In addition it dries extremely slow to eliminate brush strokes. You can use another latex paint, or a chalk paint as well!

Start painting a thin even coat, ending the strokes in the same direction.

painting dresser

The first and even the second coat of white will look terrible so don’t fret. Just keep painting! It’s a labor of love to get that smooth white.

After the coat is dry, sand lightly with 220 grit sandpaper. This smooths out any stray brush strokes and helps each coat stick.

Then, wipe the piece again with a tack cloth. Become close friends with that sandpaper and tack cloth, never paint a coat without them!

painting dresser

Keep an eye out for paint drips but don’t keep going over the same area after its started to dry.  Benjamin Moore paint evens out very nicely, and if you overwork your paint you will actually end up with more brush strokes.

This was the dresser after 3 coats of paint. I did touch up paint where it was needed- so I’d say it took 3-4 coats for full coverage.

But it was worth it.

diy white painted dresser, before adding hardware.


No top coat is needed with Benjamin Moore Advance. If you are using a paint without a built in top coat, make sure to use something water based to seal your dresser.

Oil based polyurethane will yellow over time, so use something like General Finishes Water Poly.

Here’s the full video transformation of this dresser!

Hardware 

You can choose to replace your hardware, or reuse it. I chose to spray paint it.

Screw your hardware back on the dresser and you are done!

completed DIY white painted dresser

Here’s the before and after. Isn’t it amazing what some white paint can do?

Whats your favorite color to paint furniture?


13 Comments on “DIY White Painted Dresser | How to Paint Furniture White”

  1. Great makeover. I am going to be updating a dry sink soon to use for storage & decor to use in my kitchen. I will definitely take note of your tips. Wish me luck!

    1. Hey Linda! It totally depends on the piece. For this dresser I chose a satin finish. I wanted it to be durable with a little sheen.
      If I’m planning on distressing, I’ll go with a matte finish.

    1. Yes, I paint over laminate often 🙂 Just be sure to prep thoroughly, and sand so the paint sticks to the laminate.

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