Funky Frugal: Dresser do-over

by Tanner Cangelosi
Mike Kemp photos

There is a family in Hot Springs that loves to do things together. I really love this family and the values that keep them strong. They recently redid a dresser to use as a buffet, and I adore it. When I was able to ask the Dixon family how they achieved this “Pottery Barn” look from an old furniture piece, this is what they had to say:

How did you think up this idea?

We knew we needed a decorative cabinet because we home school, and we were tired of seeing books laying around, so we began looking at flea markets, Craigslist, etc.

How much did you spend?

We paid $125 for the cabinet and $35 for the paint — $160 total.

Please explain step-by-step how you redid this dresser: 

First we removed all of the hardware (screws, handles, hinges), then taped off the top section because we decided to leave it wood. We primed the piece with Zinsser Bulls Eye Primer. We painted with Pratt & Lambert Red Seal Satin based paint. I chose a slightly off white color, NOT ivory or cream. The last step was to faux glaze with Behr Premium Plus mixed with Behr Premium Plus Deep Base. We decided to use a dark brown called Sable (mix the glaze and color four parts glaze to one part color). We painted on the glaze a section at a time and wiped it off with a wet cloth until the whole cabinet was finished. The glaze dried quickly. The last step was putting all the hinges and hardware back on the cabinet.

What is your favorite feature of this project?

We have two: The way the faux glaze highlighted the cabinet and the contrast of keeping the top wood and painting the rest.

How long did it take you to complete?

10-15 hours.

Who helped you? 

My husband and two kids.


A graduate of the University of Central Arkansas, Tanner Cangelosi owns
her own business – – and has done a variety of projects, from individual home décor items to painting murals in private residences. For more information, Tanner can be reached at 501.908.1338 or [email protected].