Refinishing a dresser with Jill of All Trades

This week on Jill of All Trades, Jill Washburn takes a bargain dresser that she bought from someone on Facebook marketplace and gives it a rehab that makes it look brand new.

Jill says the piece, even though it was damaged, had "good bones". It was structurally sound and the style that she was looking for.Plus, the price was definitely right. It was only 30 bucks!

Once she got it home, Jill realized that some of the damage near the bottom of the piece was a little worse than she originally thought. But, that doesn't stop our Jill of All Trades. It just means that she had to find a way around it. 

Jill says that some less expensive pieces of furniture are made from pressed board materials like Masonite. Once a piece like that is damaged through the finish, there is no amount of sanding or painting that will make it look right. Sanding will just continue to disrupt the small fibers in the material, and if you try to paint it in that condition, it will just continue to soak up paint like a sponge. 

Jill decided that the best bet was to do some patching first. She used a combination of Durham's water putty, water and a little Elmers glue. Once that's mixed to a paste-like consistency, it can be used to patch and fill and seal the damaged spots. Once that dries, and Jill says it dries quickly, it can be sanded and primed and painted.

With the damage repaired, it was time to think about painting. 

Jill decided that there was so much damage on the top of the piece that it needed to be primed. Jill used a spray primer and it took three coats to cover the stains and damage on the top of the dresser. She also hit all the other newly repaired spots with the primer as well.

After that, it was onto painting.

Jill wanted this piece to be white, so she used a white spray paint to coat the entire piece. She actually took the drawers out, removed the knobs and took the drawer fronts off before painting to be able to get a better finish on everything. Removing the drawer fronts only entails unscrewing a couple of screws.

After a couple of coats of paint, Jill decided that she wanted the white to look a little "warmer". To achieve this, she sprayed a light mist of a creamier white over the piece. Voila! The perfect shade of warm white. 

Last step? New knobs for the drawers. Jill says that knobs and handles are "the jewelry" for a piece of furniture. She finished this cute little dresser off with oil-rubbed bronze knobs. 

The finished piece looks brand new, and while it took a little time, none of it was very difficult. 

To watch the segment, click on the video player above.