Stenciled Vintage Dresser Makeover

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has voted for my Instagram video!  If you don’t already know, Shaw Flooring has been running a contest, and the video with the most votes wins a $1500 Shaw Flooring GC.

You all have heard me talk about LuLu, Gracie, and Charlie a million times. They are my babies. The only problem with rescue dogs is that sometimes they have been abused and or traumatized, which can make it harder to potty train them. All three of my pups took some major work, especially LuLu — coming from a puppy mill and never having been outside before, she was terrified of everything, so the slightest noise (like a bird or a car going by) sent her running back inside.

So after years of finally getting them all trained, my basement carpet is ruined from the accident/shampoo/accident/shampoo process. So when I heard about this contest, I jumped at the chance of getting new carpet.

As of right now, I am in the lead … but just barely. If you or anyone you know has an Instagram account and can take two seconds to like the video down below, I would so appreciate it! The contest ends at midnight tonight, so after that I promise to leave you all alone!

I do have a fun new makeover for you! A client dropped off this mid-century dresser she wanted made over for her new nursery.


She wanted a clean, non distressed look so I decided to spray it. I diluted some Simple White Plaster Paint with a little bit of water (it helps move it through the sprayer better).

After 3 coats, I painted the inside of the drawers and handles a mixture of Plaster Paint Poppies and Pink Dreams. I then stenciled the top with a Martha Stewart adhesive silkscreen.

Martha Stewart Stencil

Honestly I will probably stick to regular stencils from now on because the screen printing stencil has a type of netting that the paint has to get through. It was fine for the first three or four paisleys, but after that it kept getting clogged up and the paint wouldn’t come through as well.

After that, I coated the whole dresser in Plaster Paint’s Paste Wax and buffed it.

Vintage Stenciled Dresser

Vintage Stenciled Dresser

Coral Vintage Stenciled Dresser

Vintage Stenciled Dresser



  1. Jen says

    As a fellow designer I completely understand wanting to give the client what she wanted. The problem we all have is the trend of painting wonderful mid century pieces that so many of us would love to get a hold of and restore. If the piece is too far gone – paint away! But this dresser looked in great repair. It breaks our hearts not to see these classic pieces being treated with the care they deserve.

    • says

      I totally understand not everyone loving it Jen. I have no problem with that at all. Not everyone is going to love everything that you do. Painting furniture is what I do for a living though and when the client is paying me I do what she wants. She wasn’t happy with keeping it the way it was and she didn’t want to make the investment in new pieces. She was very happy when she picked it up and it looked darling in the nursery. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions but I do think some people (not you) cross the line. When people tell me that I should have told her no I find that ridiculous. If these people went to their jobs and if their boss told them to do something and they told them no they would be fired. The same would have happened to me. Painting is the way I support my family, and even if I would have hated what the client was asking me to do (which I didn’t) I would have done it anyway because that’s my job. I think people in different regions hold greater value to MCM pieces than others. If I would have refinished this piece and sat it in my booth that way it would have sat there forever. It just doesn’t sell here. Thanks for your opinion. Hope you have a great weekend.

  2. Karyn C. says

    Yes, I will agree that your paint job was well done. But contrary to popular belief, the customer is not always right. Sometimes, they really don’t understand that they are taking something of value and quality and actually degrading it, and might be willing to look at other options with a little education. At some point, this paint craze will be over and pieces like this will no longer be in vogue and will end up in a landfill, much sooner than it would had it been kept as the classic it was. I can only hope that when your client is done with this piece, she will find someone to pass it on to who will see and appreciate the beauty it was and truly restore it to its former glory.

  3. jeanie says

    Excuse me, but the customer IS always right. This piece of furniture belonged to Shanna’s customer so it was the lady’s choice to do whatever she wanted with it. Paint is not permanent so the piece is not “destroyed”. We are all entitled to our own opinions on what is beautiful, but it seems sad to me that others feel the necessity to criticize a blogger who is following her customer’s instructions. I don’t understand why some individuals insist their way is the only way.

    Shanna, I think you took a dark depressing looking piece of furniture into a light and airy piece of art just perfect for a nursery! Great job!

  4. Karyn C. says

    Yes, we are all entitled to our own opinions. But Jeanie, you seem to think that only certain ones are allowed to express them. If you’re going to post things on the internet and say ‘look at what I did’ and only expect sunshine and unicorns in response, you are in for a disappointment. And just for the record, yes – once an item has been painted, the original value is destroyed. A stripped and restored piece is seldom, if ever, worth anywhere near the original.

    • Jeanie says


      I apologize if you thought I was issuing my comment towards your response. Your submission was well written & I understand that both you & Jen are trying to educate readers on the value & beauty of mid century furniture.

      It was the prior comment: that the piece of furniture had been destroyed that I was referring to. That verbage seemed a little strong to me.

      Personally, I love wood in its original state & have refinished several beautiful pieces. I think it would be a boring world if we all thought alike but I would still hope that we can state our opinions without being unkind.

    • Linda Rahmeyer says

      I don’t know where all the people are who would pay a good price for a decent piece of furniture. Over the years I have had several pieces in very good condition that I ended up selling for a small price (much less than it cost me to buy something else) or donating to Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. Because i had no buyers willing to pay anywhere near it’s value. Sometimes I just no longer want the piece or no longer like the style or color. Since I can’t sell it for what it costs for me to replace it with something else, I can re-purpose it, paint it etc. Maybe if I lived in a large city I could sell it, but there are lots of us in towns and more rural areas that don’t have the buy and sell options that big city dwellers have. So while painting a mid century piece may seem horrible to some, to me it is a great way to get further use for a piece I own.

  5. Heather Crouse says

    I think what the paint haters forget is that the “value” of anything is what someone will pay for it. Just because it “could get $X” doesn’t mean it is worth that if there is no one to pay $X.

    My personal preference is typically the painted version, but I happen to prefer the before in this instance. Stating my opinion offends no one and is my right to do. Getting on my high horse and berating someone for doing whatever they legally want to something they legally own is bullying. No one likes a bully and being one will never convince someone that your side is the “better” one.

    • says

      Absolutely Heather. I never expect for everyone to love everything I do, I have no problem with that at all. When people tell me I should have told my client no and refused to do her piece I find that ridiculous. This is my job and the client is my boss. If these people’s boss told them to do something and they told them no then they would be fired. It works the same way for me. This is how I support my family and even if I absolutely hated what the client was telling me to do (which I didn’t) I would do it anyway because that is my job. Thank you for your support!

  6. says

    I think this will look beautiful in a sweet baby girl’s nursery! It makes me so mad when people feel like they have to tell you that you ruined something by painting it. Yes, they are entitled to their opinions, and yes, you are putting your work out their and it will be judged, but that doesn’t give people the right to be unkind. Those comments are still hurtful. I hate to break it to them, but this piece would sell 10 X over before you would even get one person interested in it in it’s original state. And they forget the whole purpose of this dresser…for a baby’s nursery. Who would put the original in a baby’s nursery?! It turned out lovely and I’m sure your client was very happy. XO XO

    • says

      Thanks Christy! I agree, I don’t expect everyone to love everything I do. I read tons of blogs and I don’t always like what they do so I just move on. I have never felt the need to be rude to someone who has a different opinion then me.

  7. says

    Absolutely stunning, Shanna. I love it WITH the paint and I think your client must be thrilled. It is so unique now. I love both painted and natural furniture. I think it depends upon the piece, the owner and personal choice…just like politics! Doooh, we won’t go there! xoxo

  8. Julie Shearer says

    It’s beautiful. Thank you for sharing your hard work.
    I don’t understand why some people feel the need to be so negative…?
    If you don’t like what happens on this blog , don’t stop here.
    Thanks again for all of your hard work!!

    • says

      Thank you Julie! That’s pretty much the way I feel. If you don’t like painted furniture, why would you be looking at a site where that is all they do? To each their own I guess!

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