Dresser, Take Two

By Kate Riley July 15, 2013

I’ve mentioned a few times that we’re redoing the guest room which wears two hats: it also serves as my oldest daughter’s room when she’s home from college (which is right now and through August!)  Her closet has some built in drawers and a place to hang clothes but the room needed more storage for clothing, for both her and for guests in her absence.

I was ready to buy her a new one but then remembered I had a dresser that could work, one that was sitting in the studio and then in the corner of the garage, and one I picked up for $40 while thrifting a few years ago. I almost sold it, decided against it, and I’m glad I did because I saved myself several hundred bucks just repurposing it in this space.

The dresser has lived in various places over the years (you can see it here in the entry). I originally painted it a gray blue, but decided to go bolder this time and painted it a brighter Monaco blue to suit this space, and also to introduce a fun dose of color.

blue bedroom dresser

blue painted dresser with gold pulls


You can always paint over latex or water based paint with more water based paint if there is no protective coat in between. I had only protected the top on the last paint job so I sanded the top of the dresser down to the first layer of paint, then painted over it with Glidden’s “Regal Wave” with a coat of clear paste wax added to the top. A buffed coat of wax always removes the “stick” that happens on the surface with many latex paints so you can lay things on top.

paint supplies

I also brightened up the dulled hardware with RubnBuff in Gold Leaf.

gold leaf rub n buff on hardware


The paint I used is just the leftover paint from the backs of these modified Billy bookcases. Funny how it’s dark and almost navy inside the bookcases – the dresser looks the same in evening light. I love that it changes color over the day from a brighter blue in daylight to a deeper moodier shade at dusk.

dresser view from door


Yes I’m obsessed with all things blue but I believe when decorating your home you should stick with the hues that make you happy. This one always has! For similar looks see this blue chest and this Pottery Barn inspired boy’s dresser.  #AddictedtoBlue

blue dresser in guest room

diy art projects above dresser


You may recognize the framed marbled paper from last year’s autumn mantel. The vase and the canvas art were DIY projects, more deets on those coming later this week!




  1. That came out beautiful! I love the white, blue and gold together it’s so classic, the whole space looks stunning!!

  2. This dresser is stunning!
    I agree it’s such a cheery but calming shade of blue. Very uplifting.
    Nothing better than re-purposing old furniture I think, it always has so much personality :)

  3. This is so beautiful! It is funny how the blue looks different. Also, great tip for putting wax over latex paint so its not sticky. Mine is always sticky and I was wondering what the remedy for that was!

  4. So pretty! I, too, am addicted to blue! Every time I try to steer away from it in one room of the house, it just seems to creep in. That shade of blue on your dresser is gorgeous!

  5. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that blue color! I would love to know how you get such a smooth professional looking finish? Is there a tutorial somewhere on how you refinish furniture and which painting tools you use? Thanks!

  6. I tried to use my AS wax over regular paint before and it kept rubbing off- what step did i miss?

    • You have to let it cure for at least 48 hours Christy, try that!

  7. Very pretty blue and beautifully done! I love the pillow, too. Is that one of your fabrics Kate?

  8. Beautiful! Love the vase- did you paint it too? And those pictures on the wall are also stunning

    Big hugs and kisses from Dublin

  9. Great tip on the wax!! My mantel is sticky sometimes depending on what I put on it and same thing in the linen closet – when I touch up the paint I think I’ll try some Johnson’s Paste Wax I have on top of the paint!!

  10. The dresser looks beautiful, but I can’t stop looking at your curtains! Did I miss here that fabric came from?

  11. Everything is coming along so well. That blue really pops and is such a great, bold color. Also, I’m going to have to try that rub-n-buff in gold leaf. There are a few pieces of hardware around the loft that could use that!

    xx Erin

  12. you have a daughter in college??? I seriously thought you were mid-late twenties!! also this dresser looks fantastic! i love the bold blue and the room is bright and crisp!

  13. Beautiful dresser! I’ve been obsessed with blue, too! All different shades can be found in every room of my house! I just went on the website you got that marbled paper from – truly addicting! I want to buy them all!

    Thank you for sharing!

  14. I’m in love with blue too…such a happy color! I was wondering who makes the fabric on the pillow next to the chest? Doing a boy’s nursery in these exact colors. Thanks so much for your continued inspiration!

  15. I love this bold color on a dresser. We are currently looking around for a plain wood dresser for our daughter’s room that we can then paint to our liking. I’m always leaning toward neutral colors for furniture (white, tan, black, gray) but this looks so fun, I may have to try it. Especially for a kid’s room!

  16. I have ‘THE STICK” from my zebra duct tape tray, on the chest that I showed you! Running out to get the wax to.day! Emily (my daughter) wants to do her bedroom blue and white over Christmas break. Can’t wait to show her this! Just stunning.

  17. This is gorgeous and perfect for the space! Love the color!
    I can’t remember if I left you a comment about the desk I painted for my daughter. It was a Craigslist find and just needed some TLC. I polished the brass hardware and we used your steps from one of your tutorials to paint it “Hearththrob” red. It is gorgeous! I want one for myself :) Now, just to find more vintage pieces to paint!

  18. Beautiful! Love that shade of blue! Someday I’m actually gonna paint some furniture instead of looking at everyone else’s! :)

  19. I look at this pictures and while all of your work is so beautiful, I think, “I just want to squish my toes in that fluffy looking carpet!” :)

  20. The blue on the dresser is wonderful. I’ve been a bit obsessed with blue myself lately. The room looks great.

  21. ” I believe when decorating your home you should stick with the hues that make you happy. ”
    I totally agree. This house of ours is turning out to be all blue, and it’s my favorite color… so why not?

  22. Thank you for posting this. I’ve inherited a beautiful display cabinet, which I want to paint a similar shade of blue and you’ve given me the confidence to go for it!

  23. Kate: I have loved watching the progress of this room and the dresser is a beautiful addition to the room. I don’t however know/remember the color you used on the walls? Can you let me know?

    • Hi Teresa, the wall paint is an “oops” paint from Sherwin Williams and I only have the formula, I’ll find out what it is and share the name with the room reveal.

  24. Hi Kate – I’ve just started following your blog this year and I’m hooked! Just a couple questions for you on the dresser…last round you used Brasso and polycrylic vs. Rub n Buff and wax this time. Can you explain why the differences? Pros, cons?

    • Hi Linda, I still use polycrylic for darker pieces like the PB inspired dresser, the wax was just a personal choice but either will do. Brasso helps to polish up old brass hardware, the Rub n Buff is a faux finish but a hint shinier.

  25. Kate, I might have a good tip for you. I started using Behr exterior paint inside for better durability, but what I’ve noticed is that it goes on like silk. I’ve only done trim and doors and I’ll let you know how it works on an upcoming dresser. The extra $ were worth it. I love the color you put on this dresser, but I love everything you do.

  26. Hi Kate! I am so inspired by your blog! I really want to paint a nightstand I have that same color blue, but I can’t find “Regal Wave” . Is there a way to find out the formula? Thank you!

    • Hi Wendy, any Home Depot will carry ‘Regal Wave’ by Glidden!

  27. Gorgeous…reminds me of the high gloss dresser in deep blue circulating after Highpoint this year.

  28. any suggestions on where to find similar hardware. no luck at HD & Lowes, special order only.

  29. I have a dresser exactly like yours sitting in a shed. It needs new drawer runners. I was going to just burn it one day but I guess I may have to keep it. Problem is I would rather pay someone to do the fixing up instead of trying myself. My patience to get things perfect usually wanes 1/2 way through the project. So….if you know of someone in MN who wants a dresser like that let me know.

  30. gorgeous! I am inspired to paint a coffee table and am wondering if you think I can use an oil based primer that is labeled outdoor?

  31. Kate-I love the dresser…and I went to my Home Depot today and cannot locate regal wave…I’m on the east coast..could that be it, it’s just a California color. I even looked on the glidden website and wasn’t able to locate it.

    • Hi Kim, ‘Regal Wave’ is in the Glidden fan deck, but not on the website. You likely won’t find it in the swatches either since they’re not representative of all the colors. HD should have it if they carry Glidden paints like they do here, ask for their fan deck behind the counter.
      Just in case, here’s the info:
      #70BG 09/171
      Order # A1322

      Hope this helps!

  32. Hi Kate! LOVE this dresser as I love everything you do! However, i do have a question ~ I thought wax, like you pictured, couldn’t be used on latex because it is not porous enough. You have found it to be a good source I assume? Can’t wait to see the whole room! Blue is my favorite color too!

    • Wax is perfectly fine over latex April, as long as it’s had sufficient time to cure! (48 hours recommended at a minimum)

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