I found a dresser at a garage sale last summer - it was only $5 and you can tell it was a nice piece of furniture in it's day. I always do a drawer test (hate when the drawers stick or don't slide in and out right). Everything checked out. The kick plate was warped so I just removed that. I didn't take before and after photos because I didn't really think this would become a post. But, I love the way it turned out so here is the "after" and a few details of how I managed.
The above photo was taken before the dresser was complete. Here the white base coat is still showing on the sides, top, and bottom. I decided to use some leftover golden yellow latex paint from a previous project (daughter's Moroccan inspired bedroom).
I sanded all the drawer faces and sides and top then gave everything a coat of white latex wall paint (left overs). I let all that dry and then drew on a rough idea of the designs I was feeling. It was pretty free form and did change as I went but I knew I wanted the lotus in the middle and some mandala style designs overall. It's pretty much one of my elaborate doodles.
Then I took the drawers to my studio and painted each one separately. I used acrylic paint (because I found a bunch when I cleaned out my basement). I wanted very vibrant and heavy coverage so each color is at least two coats and some colors (like the cyan and black) took three to four coats. I outlined everything in black (this is insane, I originally thought "pfft, no problem, I will outline with a thick black sharpie" but that did not work AT ALL).
5 days x at least 5 hours each day and I was finally finished with the drawers. (as I moved from one drawer to the next, I lined them up and made sure my design flowed). I put all the drawers back in the dresser and made sure everything lined up - not all perfect but I was happy with it). I found once it was in the dresser that the sides of the drawers really looked funny left plain so I went back over each drawer and painted the half inch sides to match the design. (I also did the tops of the drawers because I went a little crazy).
Took the drawers out and painted the entire dresser golden yellow. Let dry and gave everything a few coats of spray poly to seal and shine (covered the drawers with poly separate from the dresser so nothing stuck).
annnd that is that. I moved my dresser to the upstairs hallway and put all of our extra sheets and blankets in it. It's so much cooler than the cheapo cabinet (walmart) that we had previously used (was happy to sell that on our garage sale and let someone else get some use from it).
I have another awesome dresser in the garage waiting for a paint job. I already had my husband put casters on it, (it's a long side by side dresser unlike this tall chest of drawers). (it was another $5 find at a thrift store). Hope to have that one done this Spring.