Revamp a secondhand dresser

Originally thought to be a desk, this beautiful piece was later discovered to be a buffet. The piece has lovely detailing and design but is in desperate need of some TLC, repair and a makeover. It’s also missing some knobs and has lots of little nicks and scratches that add even more character.


Although some may cringe at the thought of painting over wood, not everyone's taste is the same. I personally like both wood and painted pieces - especially distressed furniture - as I think it transforms an old and dated piece into something beautiful and functional once again.


120- and 240-grit sanding sheets
Sanding pad
Drop cloth - to protect the floor
Clean, lint-free cloths
Paintbrush or foam roller
Prominent Paints matt - white or cream
Prominent Paints Acrylic sealer
Burnt umber oil paint (small tube)


1. The first step is to give it a good sanding to remove all the old varnish. Start off with 120-grit sandpaper and finish with 240-grit for a nice smooth finish. Wipe with a clean cloth to remove all the dust and prepare for painting.

DIY Tip:
Don't sand too much - you still want to leave some of the character of the piece behind.

2. Apply 2 coats of Prominent Paints Matt - with a paintbrush or foam roller, whichever you prefer. It doesn't really matter as you will be sanding the piece again once the paint is dry! Do allow complete drying time between coats.

3. Lightly sand the entire piece with 240-grit sandpaper to remove any brush strokes.

4. Use the sanding pad to roughen up around the edges and any detailing. I like to add a little burnt umber oil paint (or brown shoe polish) on a cloth to rub over these areas where the paint has been sanded off - it just adds a much nicer effect.

5. To seal and protect the piece, paint 2 coats of acrylic sealer over the paint.