Antique Gentlemen’s Dresser Makeover

This antique gentlemen’s dresser makeover will have you wanting to find one of your own! The difference paint can make is remarkable!

how to refinish an old dresser

Paint is amazing.

It is one of the easiest ways to transform just about anything.

antique gentlemen's dresser before makeover sitting in workshop

Even a dull and drab piece of furniture like this gentlemen’s dresser.

Paint transforms a piece so quickly.

front view of gentlemen's dresser after makeover staged with lamp, plant and vintage books an chalkboard on wall

Well at least after you have done all of the prep work!

side view an antique gentlemen's dresser after being painted in black milk paint

how to prep furniture for paint

Thankfully, this antique gentlemen’s dresser didn’t need much in the prep work department.

All he needed was a good shop vac-ing and a good cleaning with Simple green and water.

Then he was ready to paint!

dog in picture with painted antique gentlemen's dresser after makeover

the perfect paint for an old dresser

Yep, I’m calling this one a ‘he.’

Since the dresser is a gentlemen’s dresser (will talk about why it is a gentlemen’s dresser later in this post), I decided on Miss Mustard Seeds Milk Paint in Typewriter.

side angle view of front of antique gentlemen's dresser showing carved details

It’s a rich and dark black that comes to life when you apply hemp oil.

top view of restored gentlemen's dresser with lamp, vintage books and a plant

The top was left in the natural wood and was sealed with General Finishes High Performance top coat in Flat.

side view of top of restored antique gentlemen's dresser

The flat finish of the topcoat gives the look of a hand-rubbed wax finish with the durability of polyurethane.

I love that stuff!!

close up shot of restored wood top on gentlemen's dresser

what is a gentlemen’s dresser?

Do you see the box sitting on top of the dresser? There are two of them – one on each side.

side view of antique gentlemen's dresser after being painted in MIss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Typewriter black

These two boxes were used by gentleman for his gloves, his wallet/money clip, his loose change, and his pocket watch.

Those items could be tucked away at the end of a workday and would be ready for the next workday.

glove box on top of restored gentlemen's dresser painted in Miss Mustard Seed Milk paint in Typewriter black

handsome drawer pulls

The teardrop pulls add the perfect amount of detail to the carved wood backplates. They cleaned up nicely with a tiny bit of sanding on the wood part and Rub n Buff on the metal part.

close up of tear drop pull after being restored with rub n buff metal polish

Drawer pull perfection!

close up of two drawer pulls on restored antique gentlemen's dresser

antique gentlemen’s dresser makeover

Thanks for stopping by for this antique gentlemen’s dresser makeover.

As you can see, not all makeovers are labor-intensive.

Some just need a quick sanding, a quick cleaning and then they are ready for the fun part – painting!

easy lamp makeover project

See that lamp sitting on top of the gorgeous dresser? I’ll show you how I gave a cheap thrift store ugly brass lamp a makeover! This is a super easy project that you will love!! Click below for the post!

Easy Lamp Makeover with Milk Paint

wide shot of gentlemen's dresser that has been painted in Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint in Typewriter black staged with a lamp, old books, a plant, a chalkboard on the wall, a stack of branches and a chair

PS. You might notice some differences in the tone of the milk paint color in the images of this post. I usually shoot in natural light in my studio but for this shoot, I used some additional photography lights. I’m not a huge fan of the studio lights but it took this experiment for me to figure this out 🙂

We would love you to join our journey over on Instagram and Facebook! You can also find more inspiration on our Pinterest page! We’re always pinning fresh ideas!

Until next time…

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  1. This piece is perfection, Cindy! I love the color you chose and the hardware is amazing too. It’s all really elegant. As always you are so talented and such an inspiration too! Big hugs, CoCo

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thank you CoCo! That hardware stole my heart! Have a great day!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks, Leslie for the encouragement!

  2. Oh wow! What an amazing transformation. Those drawer pulls are to die for! Thanks for sharing this – great inspiration.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Carol! And yes, those drawer pulls are a-maze-ing!!

  3. Cindy, I love what you did with this piece. Those handles are gorgeous. The perfect color for this vintage dresser.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Don’t you love those handles?? Thanks for stopping by Tammy!

  4. Oh the power of paint! You have created an absolutely gorgeous piece of furniture that will last forever! I love the color and that the top is left unpainted.
    Thanks for sharing this beauty;)

  5. You did an amazing job on this makeover. Your gentlemen’s dresser looks wonderful. I think this piece may have originally had a mirror attached to it because my mom has a dresser that looks exactly like yours and there’s a mirror attached. Is this for you or will you sell it?

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      I think you are right Paula. We recently reworked another gentlemen’s dresser and it had a mirror. Plus this one had marks on the back where it would have attached. This piece sold and believe me, I would have loved to kept it!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Isn’t that hardware amazing?? Thanks for stopping by!

  6. This is an amazing makeover! I always say paint is magical and yo worked your magic on this piece. Love the top you kept wood.

    Love the drawer pulls too.

    Will you keep this? It’s probably hard to keep everything.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      I only wish I had enough rooms for all the makeovers! The piece sold very quickly so I’m glad for that!

  7. This gentleman’s dresser makeover is gorgeous – I love the colour! How do you manage to get your hands on such amazing furniture pieces?

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Jayne, you would never believe the huge pile I pulled this out of in a rummage sale. It was definitely worth it!

  8. Cindy, you have such vision. That is a fabulous transformation. What a beautiful piece. We have an antique bedroom set and it’s seen better days, but I’ve never really thought about painting it. Until now. Off to pin this to my Fabulous Furniture board so I can remember it if I get brave this summer!!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yes! Put your brave boots on and grab a paint brush!!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      And thank you for stopping by!

  9. This piece is so gorgeous! The color you chose is very “gentlemanly” ! I love the drawer pulls.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Isn’t black the perfect color for this handsome dresser?? Thanks for stopping by!

  10. You are just so talented! I am always amazed with the transformations you make. Just beautiful!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Melba! Isn’t that dresser so handsome?? Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Wow! That is fabulous!
    Haven’t tried Milk paint, but this has me thinking I will have to give it a try. I LOVE the top and had been scared of using the flat finish, but it still looks to have a nice hand-rubbed sheen. That’s a definite, must use nest time!
    Thanks bunches!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Don’t be scared about using a flat finish for tops of furniture! Try using General Finishes High-Performance Top Coat – you won’t be disappointed! Thanks for stopping by Diane!