Nautical DIY: Painted Nautical Dresser

With a little ocean hued paint and a roll of sisal rope, transform a thrift store wooden dresser into a beautiful one of a kind nautical dresser.

Nautical Dresser DIY


fine-grit sandpaper or sanding block
damp cloth
high-volume, low-pressure (HVLP) paint sprayer
wood filler
spackle knife
drill and 3/4” drill bit
painter’s tape
utility knife


wooden dresser
(1) quart of white semi-gloss latex paint-and-primer-in-one
(1) quart of navy blue semi-gloss latex paint-and-primer-in-one
(1) quart of enamel primer
spool of sisal rope

Choosing The Right Dresser

It’s important to choose a wood dresser that will easily take paint and can be drilled for hardware. Solid wood dressers with flat drawer fronts work best.

Clean and Prep

Remove any glued on embellishments to give an old dresser an updated look. This is easy to do by using a chisel or a flat screwdriver to pop the embellishment from the drawer front.

Drill new holes to attach the new hardware to the drawer fronts . Fill any old holes with wood filler, then smooth the surface using a spackle knife.

Fill Existing Holes and Sand

Rough up and remove the existing finish to prepare the dresser for new paint. Use fine grit sand paper to remove the existing sealer. Once the entire surface has been sanded, be sure to wipe the dresser clean using a damp cloth. 

Paint Casing and Drawer Fronts

The key to a nautical design is painting it with two tones of paint, in this case ultra-white and navy blue. First, coat the entire casing with ultra-white latex paint using the paint sprayer. The ultra-white will serve as a clean, crisp backdrop against the dark navy blue drawer fronts.

Add visual depth and sharp contrast by painting the drawer fronts with navy blue latex paint using the paint sprayer.

Drill Holes for Drawer Pulls

Add nautical texture with chunky sisal rope as drawer pulls. Before the sisal can be cut and attached, locate the center point of the drawer front, then determine the exact placement of each end of the pull. Use drill and 3/4” drill bit to add holes.

Cut and Attach Sisal Rope Pulls

Cut 14” strips for use as pulls using a utility knife. Wrap painter’s tape around the ends of the rope, then thread the pulls through the drilled holes and add knots along the inside of the drawer front.

Nautical Painted Dresser

Nautical navy and white with rope accents dresser DIY. A cool nautical DIY weekend project. 

PHOTO CREDITRustic White Photography, LLC

DIY LINK: Nautical Dresser by DIY Network


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