Woodland Dresser Makeover

This dresser was an old Goodwill find from the very beginning of my furniture painting days. My little bitty newborns had tons of clothes and nowhere to put them, so I picked up this $25 solid wood dresser and painted it navy. It sat in their closet (the only place we had room for it) until we gave their room a little makeover which included a new dresser.

the original finish and the navy

Rather than selling as-is with the blah navy, I decided to give it a creative makeover. Country Chic Paint’s Limited Edition Fall/Winter color Nocturnal was the starting point of my plan. It’s a foresty olive green and instantly made me think woodland themed nursery. It took two coats to cover all the navy. When the paint dried I used an off-white chalk paint brushed on a foam stamp to add deer silhouettes to the sides. I wanted the stamps to be imperfect and distressed so I alternated how hard and where on the stamp I actually pressed to get a different look each time.

I used my handy-dandy gel stain trick for the top. Actually, since I didn’t have enough gel stain left to cover the entire top, I mixed it with the little bit of Minwax Jacobean wood stain I had on hand. If you do this make sure you shake the mixed contents VERY well in a tightly sealed can so there are no clumps. The problem with using regular wood stain over a painted surface is the extended dry time. It takes days to fully dry and during this time the surface is very sticky and shows all fingerprints, so I don’t recommend regular stain over chalk paint.

After about 30 hours of dry time, I took a lint free cotton cloth and gently rubbed the top down in long strokes side to side (the same direction as my brush strokes). This removes the excess stain and preps your surface for sealing. I used General Finishes Top Coat to seal. This is a water based, easy to apply matte sealant that’s odor-free and dries very quickly. I love it and use it for all my stained surfaces (it works on paint too).


I love the wood knobs I found at Hobby Lobby for the top drawers and paired them with hand-tied rope handles. To make these handles, cut 24″ of rope and tie knots about 5-6″ apart, making sure to leave plenty of excess to tie inside the drawer to secure the handles.

And there you have it, a woodland themed dresser ready to find a new home.






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