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Updated Furniture the Easy Way

It’s that time again! Time for my friends and I to share our makeovers for Furniture Fixer Uppers Day. This is always a blast for me because I love to share a new makeover and show you what my friends are up to as well. You’ll see theirs features in a bit. Today, this beautiful Lexington dresser is going to help me show you updated furniture can be super easy.

Vintage Lexington Dresser Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

I will be perfectly honest that I really did NOT want to do anything to this piece since it’s beautiful as is. However, the fact that it had scratches and I had no interest in refinishing it since it is made of veneers and the stain color is so…orange, I had to do something.

In addition, I actually got an entertainment armΓ³ire with it as well that has its own issues. In a later post, I will show you what that becomes, so stay tuned!

Vintage Lexington Bedroom Set by Prodigal Pieces |

*post is sponsored by Zibra and contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

This set is huge, heavy, and full of potential. Many of you ask me time and time again about pieces that you own and love, but aren’t happy with the current style it is. You are looking for a way to update without having to paint or refinish yourself. So, here is my goal: to take a perfectly fine piece in current condition that will not only create updated furniture, but make both those who love a new look and those who love wood happy. However, there’s no sanding involved, no removal of hardware or glass, all you need is the right tools. Stay with me here.


Enter in these awesome brushes by Zibra. I have raved about them and will continue to do so because they are the next best thing to sliced bread. haha.

Zibra Brush Selection for Updated Furniture |

This set above showcases 3 of the 8 offered. As I work I will explain why I chose each one for different jobs. Also, for today, I’m using a flat black paint.

Yes, this is paint and I intend to you use it. tsk. But, how I’m going to use it is key. With only one coat I will show you how to retain the wood presence but update it to a new look.

First, I begin by wiping everything down to get a clean surface to start on, then the fun begins! I use my Square Brush to tackle the mirror and all its ornate details. Why? This brush allows me to cut-in the mirror easy-peasy with no tape and fill in all those nooks and crannies.

Painting Mirror with Zibra Square Brush and Caviar Black by Prodigal Pieces |

Then, working in small batches, I brush on a light coat and wipe off excess with a soft cloth. This leaves behind the black to highlight the wood. Kinda like a glazing as I’ve shown in these posts, but with more of a presence.

Wiping Paint off of Ornate Mirror by Prodigal Pieces |


Next, you are going to continue this process over the entire piece. For the dresser cabinet, I used my Stubby Brush to get the look I’m after.

Dresser Looks Like a Hot Mess, but is it? |

Looking like a hot mess, right? Stay with me… You don’t want to coat the entire surface, but just get enough paint on that you can work it around. Again, work in small batches. Wipe in direction of the grain and blend until it all flows together.

Now for the drawers. This set has a mix of acrylic and brass pulls and I leave them right where they are. Likewise, I use my Fan Brush to tackle the drawer fronts. It allows me to catch the trim and fill in nicely around each pull. I work one drawer at at time, brushing paint on and then using the cloth to remove excess.

Zibra Fan Brush for Drawers Fronts |

This all goes very quickly and I’m done in no-time. You could stop right there. However, if you prefer a topcoat like I did, you can use a black wax to seal it all in. Use either a soft cotton cloth to apply and remove excess with buffing. Finally, let cure and you’re done!


This piece now has a whole new vibe to it, doesn’t it? Besides, I didn’t have to do much to it at all. Even JC when he first saw the after, gasped and said, “Cool. It looks old now”. This coming from my man of few words and wood lover himself. It translates to me, “It’s absolutely awesome!!”

Vintage Lexington Oak Triple Dresser Refinished with a New Look by Prodigal Pieces | Get the details at

Black Washed Lexington Dresser by Prodigal Pieces |

Open Dresser Drawer of Lexington Triple Drawer Dresser by Prodigal Pieces |

No sanding, no removing hardware, and no prep work. Could it be any easier? I think not. Equally important is that you could do this with any color of paint for a washed effect. Needless to say, the options are limitless.

Mirrored Lexington Dresser gets New Look by Prodigal Pieces |

Carved Ornate Details of Lexington Furniture Dresser Mirror |

Consequently, JC even asked if we could keep it since he loves it that much. Well…that says enough in itself. As much as we’d like to, we don’t need this piece, so it’s yours for the taking in my shop. (SOLD)

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Vintage Lexington Victorian Dresser Updated by Prodigal Pieces |


Time for some goodies for you! You know I’m all about inspiring you to give DIY a try and Zibra and I are giving away a brush prize package to get you started. Woot!

Easy entry – just fill out the widget below (daily even for extra entries). Winner will be announced via email and will have 24 hours to respond so check your email and spam! Open to U.S. and Canada residents 18 years of age and older. GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED.

Enter to Win a Set of 7 Specialty Zibra Paint Brushes at Prodigal Pieces |
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do pin and share this technique for those that want to learn how to easily get updated furniture.

Update your outdated furniture the easy way. No sanding, no prep work, just DIY! Get the details here at Prodigal Pieces |

Up next, this plant stand deserves to get a fresh new look. See the after HERE in this post.

Vintage Plant Stand Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

Stay tuned to see by signing up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Time to head below to see what my gal friends have for you!

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Furniture Fixer Uppers September 2017 |

  1. The Interior Frugalista
  2. Petticoat Junktion
  3. Girl in the Garage
  4. Confessions of a Serial DIYer
  5. Just the Woods

Also, more DIY projects like my updated furniture tips:

How to Update an Outdated Dresser | Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com1980's Orange Dresser Gets Prairie Charm Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

160 replies on “Updated Furniture the Easy Way”

Larissa, I love reading your messages as well as your super tips on how to get the best out of old/damaged furniture. I wish i could visit your shop BUT being in England that might be a little difficult. Anyhow I shall continue to read with interest and learn as I go.
Thank you for helping all of us budding furniture-do-uppers.

You can visit since I’m online only! πŸ˜‰ We do ship to England too, just contact me with your postal address and items of interest for a quote. Thanks so much for the love!

Who but you could take an ordinary orange piece of furniture and transform it to such a beautiful piece! It looks so natural. Love, love, love it. As always great job and thanks for being such an inspiration.

I had a vision and wasn’t sure it would come out the way I had it in my head, but when I started I felt a wave of relief. I really wanted this piece to shine. Thank you, Michele!!

That is quite a transformation with so little effort! I love it! I will need to try this on a piece of my furniture that I love/hate!

I absolutely love this transformation! I really appreciate how you tell us which brush is best for which job, Larissa, thanks for sharing your knowledge! πŸ™‚

Larissa, girl this is amazing, I like how the Dixie Bell paint applied in is manner still lets the beauty of the wood be the star! It looks easier to apply with the Zibra paint brushes, and not having to tape areas off is huge. Thank you for the opportunity to enter.

WOW. That is Gorgeous! My kind of technique; quick and easy. :}
Would love to win your brush set.
The new brushes that hubby brought home for me, I just wasn’t satisfied with their performance; loosing bristles in my painted project :{ His idea of good brushes and my idea are a world apart. He hates painting so he has no clue when it comes to good – semi good brushes for painting or staining brushes.
First thing I would paint is 4 chairs to go with my new painted table.
Thank You for the wonderful giveaway opportunity.

Nice update. Love how you can still see the grain and especially the carvings – beautiful! The next thing I plan to tackle is an old cedar chest πŸ™‚

I love this technique. Thanks for all of your inspiration and tips. I would paint a hutch my Aunt gave me. Thanks for the giveaway.

I like that the orange got toned down, great technique to change that orange overload. What happens if you wax this, will it effect the paint?

It sure made me feel better that it was hidden. πŸ˜‰ I waxed this as I showed above, so it doesn’t change it, neither would a different topcoat. Perfect for those orange kitchen cabinets.

Wow, I can’t believe how easy (as compared to completely sanding and refinishing wood) it was to get such a “rich”, antique look on this piece of furniture. While I’ve seen plenty of whitewashed pieces, I never thought of blackwashing to get an antiqued look. Thanks for always bringing something new to the table (or dresser — lol).

This turned out so beautiful! It gives me hope, for a very orangy China cabinet we have! Not to mention, all of those other project pieces, in the garage! So pick my name, already…I need those brushes! ?

Energy, imagiation, and enthusiasm are easy, but where do you find the time?!! Have used many of your ideas, styles, and methods and always look forward to learning more. Thanx!

you are so creative and brave! I always worry that I will ruin something so it paralyzes me with my project. I would LOVE those brushes as I am going to paint a stained dresser for my guest room. I have had the dresser for 2 years and want to get it done before Christmas!!

Hi! Love your makeover! Love the fact it was SO easy. Have you tried turning an orangey wood piece to a lighter color like gray or white? Would love to do this to my bathroom vanity.

Okay, I’m going to be totally honest here and say that I did utter, out loud, an expletive while reading this post. Are you (blank) kidding me! I can’t believe the difference a wash of black paint made on this fabulous but ugly orange dresser! I can’t wait to see what the Armoire is going to look like after you work your magic, Larissa.

Love this; would never have thought of doing it. But I have a similar piece and that is probably what I would repaint first with my new brushes.

My husband recently made a beautiful bench from a headboard that I found at Restore. It has yet to be painted, so I would use these to paint it!

The timing of this post is perfect! I just brought home an oak dresser, but wasn’t looking forward to spending a lot of time on it. Thank you for sharing your giftings and talent with us! Those brushes look wonderful.

I absolutely love what you did with this dresser set Larissa…it’s both masculine and feminine all at the same time! I’ve been hearing so much about these brushes…excited to enter the giveaway!

Wow, I’m impressed and I don’t know if you remember but I left a comment about how I have a dresser very similar and I’ve been wanting too update mine.
Thanks for sharIng this painting techniqu!

Yay! another chance at these brushes! I would probably use them for a table, since I have so many of those. Love this piece you’ve done with the black. Never would have guessed how good it could look as more of a stain.

I loved this post! The transformation was amazing!! I have some pieces I hate, but this just might “redeem” them for me!! Those would be the things I would paint firstborn if I won the brushes!! I’m addicted to your site and all the make-overs!!

It’s so hard to decide whether to paint a beautiful piece like that or not. If it hadn’t been so orange, I would have voted no. Can’t wait to see the armoire makeover.

Really like how this dresser turned out. I was skeptical when I first started going through the pictures but was pleasantly surprised. Thanks for sharing.

The first thing I”d paint is a stand for my TV. I need something long, like a credenza, and have been keeping an eye out for a used one.

Amazing transformation especially for a veneered piece. I would use brushes on some cabinet doors that I’ve been planning on turning into chalkboardsTo give as gifts.

I LOVE how this gives the look of a stain but is so simple to do. I am so curious to see how this technique would work with brightly colored paint!

Oh My Gosh! When I first began reading this post I thought, “How in this world is she going to improve on this dresser????”. WOW, I tell you this is one of my very favorite makeovers. You’ve always surprised me with your talent and creativity and I continue to be wowed. Thank you so much for sharing your brilliance with us!

Just beautiful! The finish now looks amazing, I love the deep richness it gives to the wood and doesn’t look painted. I love visiting your site and seeing your makeovers. We are doing a fairly big, for us, is reno project. I would really love to receive the brushes, they would be very useful to us.

Oh my goodness, I cannot believe that is even the same piece! It had such good bones, but the chalk paint really makes them “POP”! I think I would have to find room to keep that piece! Thank you for sharing! If I won those brushes I think I would have to start out with something a little less intimidating, but would certainly plan on working my way up to some bigger projects.

I really enjoyed this “new” application.
I would use these brushes to finally finish my kitchen cabinets!!! πŸ™‚

What a beautiful update!!! I have a cabinet in the bathroom that needs that same look. Thank you for this post and great ideas. Can’t wait to try this product and brushes!!!!

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