A Gray Striped Dresser

March 15, 2012

My friend is redoing her little girl’s room and she really loves the coastal look in her  home, so when she mentioned she was redecorating, naturally I volunteered my help. 

One of her requests in her girl’s room design was to makeover the pine dresser that one of her in-laws painted for her daughter years ago.  It was a kind gesture with a *ahem* questionable result.  This is what the dresser looked like before I got my hands on it. 

fish dresser before 2

Clearly someone got a little carried away with the ‘Under the Sea’ theme and then threw in some black and white action just to keep us all mesmerized. It’s not that I have a thing against tropical fish. They’re cute on canvas or in a fish tank or floating in front of my snorkel mask while I’m vacationing in Hawaii. I’m just not a fan of them on a pine dresser.  (Which one’s your favorite by the way?)

We decided to keep with the coastal theme but I transformed the dresser from a nautical no no to a more subdued Nantucket nicety with thick gray stripes running down the front.

gray striped dresser after

Super cute for a little girl’s room! 

Here’s the step by step.

AS chalk paint is one of my three favorites to paint furniture with, especially when I’m going for a weathered or distressed look, so I mixed up some Old White, Paris Grey, and a little Duck Egg Blue to arrive at a bluish grayish shade for the stripes.

mix chalk paints


But before the stripes, I started by sanding the dresser smooth and then priming the dresser with Zinsser Cover Stain.  Usually, AS chalk paint does not require priming but I absolutely could not risk those fish seeping through – using the primer bought me that peace of mind.

primed drawer fronts


Next I painted the dresser in AS chalk paint in Old White, then once it was dry, measured and marked my stripes with painter’s tape.  When painting stripes on a dresser, make sure your first coat is not just dry to the touch but completely dry (sometimes it’s a full day, sometimes as long as two) since you don’t want the painter’s tape pulling up the base paint when you remove it.



Here’s the key to a perfect stripe I’ve learned over the years, first paint over the tape with your base color to seal it and allow it to dry.

seal tape with base paint


Apply your stripe colored paint on top of the sealed painter’s tape …

gray stripe


… then peel the tape away slowly and at an angle when the paint is still wet. 

peel tape when wet

I only used one coat of paint for the stripe, but you may find you need two. In that case, peel the tape when the second coat is still wet.

Once the stripes were dry, I distressed them a little to give the dresser a slightly weathered look, then waxed it with clear wax. 

distressed edges


The stripes run all the way from the top straight down to the bottom and give the piece a cool coastal vibe.  New knobs are simple white ceramic ones in two sizes from a local hardware store.

cg striped dresser up close


striped dresser up close cg


gray striped dresser centsational girl

I can’t wait to give it back to the family this weekend!



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