Before and After: Refinished dresser goes Hollywood glam with black paint!

Dec 03 2023
This post may include affiliate links Click here to read my Disclosure and Copyright or, for more information on how this website collects your data, click here to view my Privacy Policy. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)

This dresser (and its matching companion) are my two favorites of the pieces I’ve inherited over the years. This dresser is totally lovely but the way it looks is not actually why I like it so much. I love it because its LIGHT. Its not solid wood which means that from a purely usability aspect the drawers work perfectly and that I cannot say is true for our other HEAVY, old, solid wood pieces. I also didn’t feel at all bad for painting it out because it isn’t solid wood and I just love this piece in black! (See it here in our updated master too!)

Master bedroom tour, the final completion of the entire redesign of our second floor bedroom. Woah guys how many months has it been!?

Its pretty amazing to read back and realize how much has changed here at Grandma’s house! Here is the original post:

Flash back three years ago, it was May of 2013 and I lost my last grandparent: my grandma Charlotte who, with my grandpa Arvid, lived in this old farm house of mine for over fifty years.

So much of all of the furniture you see on here today was found here and left to me by them in their passing. On the second floor (which was basically abandoned when their two girls moved out over forty years ago) sat this dresser and its matching sister for as long as we all can remember.

My grandma mentioned these two once, wondering what would happen to them. They were her’s. And whether or not they were purchased after my grandparents found each other, or she brought them with her into the marriage, I do not know.

What I do know though is that in all my life I never had my own real bedroom set and when my mom and aunt told me I could have these my heart leaped. I knew this refinished dresser would be gorgeous!

(8/1/2019 A lot has changed in my life since this post came out over four years ago. I’m a single gal now and have completely transformed my home making it truly my own. This old dresser is still with me and remains a lovely part of My Master Bedroom Haven.)

Paint an old dresser with a mirror black and add glass knobs for an old Hollywood look and feel in my master bedroom! @GrandmasHousDIYPaint an old dresser with a mirror black and add glass knobs for an old Hollywood look and feel in my master bedroom! @GrandmasHousDIY

This is not a perfect before. Back in the day when I tackled all those dozens of furniture projects I didn’t know I would be writing about it some day so I often neglected the before pictures… and it will haunt me FOREVER.

But I did get SOME before pics though usually I just didn’t get them until I primed or had started work. Here is the dresser primed and ready for paint.

In the fall before my Grandma Charlotte passed away I lost my other Grandma, Eleonora who left me a white leather tufted hassock that became the design start of my master bedroom. It was just so glamorous and sexy! It called for me to paint all of my furniture black and add glass knobs to everything!

Oh, and wear pearls and high heals for no reason and take baths while shipping champagne!!!!….

Ok, so I don’t wear pearls or sip champagne very often and I rarely wear heals anymore, but you get my drift 🙂 I took a deep breath and decided to paint with my heart in my throat.

You guys have probably already noticed that I don’t normally paint furniture, especially when it is solid wood. However, though these two dressers were wood and they were very beautiful and so very old, they were also veneer.

And, in several places the veneer had pealed and been damaged. I could have tried to fix the veneer, I could have just shined them up and given them a coat of poly and called it a day and they would have still been beautiful. However, the black shininess and the sparkly glass knobs of this beautiful refinished dresser when it was all finished made my heart very glad!

Paint an old dresser with a mirror black and add glass knobs for an old Hollywood look and feel in my master bedroom! @GrandmasHousDIYPaint an old dresser with a mirror black and add glass knobs for an old Hollywood look and feel in my master bedroom! @GrandmasHousDIYPaint an old dresser with a mirror black and add glass knobs for an old Hollywood look and feel in my master bedroom! @GrandmasHousDIYPaint an old dresser with a mirror black and add glass knobs for an old Hollywood look and feel in my master bedroom! @GrandmasHousDIY

The mirror is HEAVY but, fortunately, none of their hardware was lost and they are secured well to the top of this refinished dresser. What I also love that maybe not everyone else would appreciate, was that the mirrors are actually quite tarnished. They are OLD and you can tell when looking at them. And I love that.

To finish this dresser (and her sister and the other two pieces that complete my bedroom set) I spent some time cleaning them up with vinegar and water and then I sanded them with fine grit sand paper using my orbital sander.

After two coats of spray can primer, I hand sanded lightly with fine grit again and then did three coats of black spray can paint before lightly hand sanding one more time. (Both the primer and the paint were the least expensive water-based spray paint that my local fleet store offered. Both were matte. I figured I would be safe as long as I finished the piece with a quality poly.) From there I did two coats of gloss polycrylic sanding between the first and the second coat and I was done!

My favorite thing about this piece and its sister-piece is that, after forty years of being up in the second floor of my 100 year old farm house and then two years in storage with me during the renovation, they came right back to where they started. The second floor of this old place became my master suite and then, quite literally, these two dressers came back to sit in almost the exact same places they sat for over forty years.

Now, though, after lots of love. I think they’re glad to be used again, to be loved and lived with again. And, I do believe, my grandma Charlotte would be very happy with how they turned out.

As always, thank you guys so much for stopping by!

See you soon!

Paint an old dresser with a mirror black and add glass knobs for an old Hollywood look and feel in my master bedroom! @GrandmasHousDIY


  1. Alice
    November 3, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Love it! I have an old dresser I was thinking of making yellow with a black and white print decopaged to the drawer fronts. Maybe I’ll just go black like this!

    • November 3, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      Oh wow, the black and white print on the drawers with a yellow body would be amazing!! And you can always figure, if it doesn’t turn out you could go all black later 🙂 Thank you!!

      • Alice
        November 4, 2015 at 5:01 pm

        Hi again, and thanks for confirming that my idea is a good one. I really am pointing at a blog and refurb buisiness and am working on an EXTREME shoestring so need a little validation now and again. It is a long haul! Thanks again and I LOVE your posts.

        • November 4, 2015 at 5:40 pm

          Long haul for sure! But worth it 🙂 Good luck!! and thanks for stopping by again, the support and validation is much appreciated.

  2. March 27, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Oh I just absolutely love what you have done here! Everyone (including me) is doing chalk paint and you did something very different and elegant. Love the premise of your blog and the back story, I’m going to subscribe.

    • March 29, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Heidi, thank you so much for stopping by 🙂

  3. March 30, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Such a stunning transformation, Tarah! I love your choice of color and knobs–great job! Pinned and posted on Facebook. Thanks for linking up with Vintage Charm–

  4. April 10, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    The black was a perfect choice. I love it with the knobs you chose!! Thanks for sharing with us on Thursday Favorite Things.

  5. April 22, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I love the draw knobs, I think it’s like pairing diamonds with a little black dress. I’ve included this project in my Earth Day round up.

    • April 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      I agree! She became such a fancy lady with those knobs!

  6. April 29, 2016 at 3:44 am

    Hi Tarah. I love a bit of Hollywood glam, and your dresser is such a refreshing change from the white or grey we so often see in makeovers. I featured this post at Five Star Frou-Frou this week, and I’d love to have you join us again! Love, Mimi xxx

  7. JES
    April 29, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    Gorgeous! I am visiting from 5 Star Frou Frou! Thank you for sharing with us 🙂

    • April 29, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  8. June 19, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Wow, it does look GLAM! I’m not a fan of black furniture, but this one really looks awesome in black! The knobs give it extra detail! Love it!

  9. July 4, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    Looks like a brand new dresser! Great job 🙂

    Edye |

  10. July 13, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    Wow- you did a great job on a beautiful piece!! Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party.

  11. July 15, 2016 at 5:55 am

    This dresser is absolutely gorgeous – I love the sparkly knobs, they are the perfect finishing touch. Thank you for sharing at #HomeMattersParty.

  12. July 28, 2016 at 7:23 pm

    old meets new… I love the black finish and the knobs add such character. Thanks for sharing your talent at Party at My Place linkup. So thankful for you.

  13. July 28, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Tarah, How nice to have your grandmother’s furniture! I love the black paint with the crystal knobs. Crystal knobs remind me of my grandmother’s house – she had crystal door knobs on the French doors leading into her dining room. I always liked them! You did a beautiful job of restoring the furniture. Blessings, Janet

  14. July 29, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Perfect upcycle! Great job!

    Thanks for sharing on Peace, Love, Linkup! I hope to see you tomorrow at 6 for more sharing fun! : )

  15. August 1, 2016 at 1:13 am

    Taralyn, I’m not usually a fan of black painted furniture, but this dresser is beautiful. Thanks for sharing on Your Inspired Design Link Party.

  16. August 1, 2016 at 4:07 am

    Very pretty and great transformation! Thanks for linking up with Funtastic Friday.

  17. August 1, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    The fact that it belonged to your grandmother makes it even more special. Your dresser is beautiful!

  18. August 10, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    That turned out absolutely beautiful!! And I love the choice of knobs!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday Pinned!

  19. August 14, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    She’s beautiful…love the rich color and those knobs are perfect!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  20. August 16, 2016 at 2:21 pm

    That turned out classy! I love the addition of the glass knobs! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

  21. August 16, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    Wow…so pretty! LOVE this! 🙂

    Would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, and tips:

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  22. August 16, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    That is really lovely. I have refinished a number of projects around the house so I know how much time and love goes into every piece…esp when it is a piece of furniture with sentimental value.



  23. August 18, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    This is an amazing transformation! I love the crystal knobs with the black = so glam!
    Thank you for sharing this week at Brag About It link party on VMG206 (Mondays at Midnight). I plan to feature you next week!
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  24. August 19, 2016 at 12:07 am

    Wow that is glamorous! What a transformation.

    Seeing the end result made me happy and so thank so much for sharing this at the Happy Now Link Up!

  25. August 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Such a lovely transformation. Loving the glam look! Adding those knobs really makes it pop. So sorry to hear that you had lost both grandmothers. Love the name you have chosen for your blog…a nice tribute to your grandma’s. Off to check out your Master bedroom. Thank you for sharing your prized possession makeover at DI&DI. To

  26. August 23, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Those knobs are awesome!! Thanks for sharing and linking up at DI & DI! We love seeing your projects each week!

  27. August 29, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    As my littlest grandgirl would say…Ooh La Lah! That black dresser has me rethinking all my painted white furniture. I love it.

  28. August 30, 2016 at 2:58 am

    Love the transformation! Thank you for sharing. You are one of the features at the Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House. Here is the link for this week’s bash. Hope to see you again at the party. Happy week! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  29. September 1, 2016 at 12:06 am

    It’s beautiful! I love the glass knobs, especially 🙂 Thanks for sharing your lovely work at Together on Tuesdays!!!

  30. September 6, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Wow, that black makes the dresser pop. I am missing working on old pieces, but just no time right now. Thanks for being a part of Let’s Get Real.

    • September 6, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      I’ve got the same problem 🙁 I have a whole bunch of older pieces just waiting for me when I have time! Thanks!!

  31. September 9, 2016 at 12:59 am

    Loving this dresser upgrade! The knobs are stunning on the black!

  32. September 14, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    I love everything about this project! The shiny black finish and crystal knobs are amazing. Great job! Thank you for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party this week.

    • September 14, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you Christina! I was so scared when I started and then really really relieved when this one turned out lol!

  33. September 19, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Your dresser turned out beautiful! I love the knobs you chose.

  34. September 21, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I love this story! Your grandma would be proud.

  35. October 3, 2016 at 2:35 am

    This is gorgeous…!! I have a soft spot for vintage furnishings and both my grandmas who have also gone on to heaven many years ago. Love this! xo

    • October 3, 2016 at 5:06 pm

      Thank you Heather, I lost both my Grandmas within just a few months of each other 🙁 I was glad to have these things to keep of theirs!

  36. October 5, 2016 at 3:11 am

    Hi Tarah,
    Thanks for bringing your post to the Blogger’s Pit Stop last week.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

  37. February 8, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    Yes sometimes an old piece does call for paint, and this set looks just marvelous! I too love old mirrors with patina, it maintains the history of the piece while complimenting the brand new shiny finish! Love the makeover Tarah, thanks for sharing at Fridays Furniture Fix!

    • February 9, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Thanks Brenda, it almost broke my heart to paint it but in the end I just love them in the black!

  38. March 1, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    This project is lovely. Black is so elegant.

  39. March 3, 2017 at 7:26 am

    This dress makeover is glamorous for certain. The dresser itself has such rich lines it really just needed something to accentuate them. Beautifully done. Every week I find myself reading the text in your blog posts because you talk about your heritage and your family. I bet your grandmother would be beyond proud of you and excited about how you respect and treasure your heritage pieces. Love it.

    • March 3, 2017 at 4:04 pm

      Thank you so much Leanna 🙂 My grandma loved this dresser and asked about not long before her passing, I was so glad to be able to keep it and give it a makeover!

  40. March 7, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    TarahLynn I love stopping by and seeing what you have transformed this week – you are one talented lady and I love the dresser it looks so stylish

  41. March 17, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Such a beautiful transformation and I love the glass knobs! Thanks for sharing at the Friday at the Fire Station link-up!

  42. April 19, 2017 at 11:40 am

    WOW. This is awesome.

  43. May 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    Just Stunning! I’m stopping by to say hello from Sew It Cook It Craft It.
    ~ Megin of VMG206

  44. May 22, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    I love the dresser and mirror! It’s so beautiful! Thanks for sharing at Sew It Cook It Craft It!

  45. June 1, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Another project that came out beautifully! I always love seeing what else you’re bringing back to life! <3 Thanks for sharing!

  46. June 3, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I’ve been seeing so many nice finishes with black paint on furniture lately. This dresser turned out great — super job on the smooth finish, and, I love the glass knobs. Also, it’s so gratifying to know that these pieces will stay in their original home. Amen!!!

  47. June 27, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    What a beautiful job you made of this dresser! Veneer can be so hard to work with. I love how you channeled your inner glamour (there’s nothing wrong with pearls and champagne any day!) and gave new life to this vintage piece of furniture. Thank you so much for sharing with us at Hearth and Soul. Hope to ‘see’ you again this week!

    • June 27, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      Oh thank you so much April! I was so relieved when they turned out!

  48. November 14, 2017 at 11:13 am

    How talented you are , I always have airy fairy thoughts about giving some of my old , tired furniture a make over but I wouldn’t know where to start!! Looks amazing #DreamTeam

  49. November 17, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    It looks amazing, I love the glass knobs. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

Leave a Comment