Shabby chic dresser tutorial

Today I will show you how to make the perfect vintage, distressed, shabby chic dresser.

I wanted one to put in my salon to sell my jewellery pieces and really didn’t want anything too modern. I wanted it vintage and to have that warm cosy feeling. I had seen so many in various shops, but not exactly what I wanted (I can get fussy once I get something in my head!) Also, a lot of the pieces I saw were over the $450 mark and I thought, I can do want to do this myself!

I found the PERFECT dresser on eBay, wait for it…. $20! AND already painted! (If you can find one already painted it will cut your time in half as you basically only need to sand) I was so excited to start it. Here is what it looked like before..

shabby-chic-vintage-side table


You will need:

Sand paper sheets, (one rough and one fine to refine it at the end) a sanding block

Paint (only if you need to touch up some spots first)

Glaze (if you want a semi gloss finish – personally, I wanted the distressed look so I did not glaze)



First start sanding with the more course sanding paper. (Just ask at Bunnings or your local hardware store and they will advise you what grit to get depending on the wood) You want to sand going with the grain of the wood in long strokes, then go all around the edges and legs. You want it to look distressed remember, so sand some areas more than others. You will know once you start, the pressure to apply and where. It takes a while to get it just right and it does get dusty (yes, I’m wearing a mask!) so do it outside if your worried about dust going everywhere.




After you have it looking just as you like, go over it again with the finer grain sand paper. This step will smooth it out and make it look less rough for more of a completed finish.




Once your done, just get a damp cloth and wipe it down to get rid of all the dust. DONE! This would be the time to paint it with a glaze/varnish if you want to. Heres a few pics of it finished and set up in my salon with my jewellery. I just love it and all my clients love it too! It felt so rewarding to know I made something that costs around $500 in stores, for under $40!







Hope you like it and found this helpful! tsj xx


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