Updated Mid Century Modern Dresser

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One of the hottest trends in interior design right now is modern farmhouse. We’re not talking about your grandmas farmhouse with beautiful quilts and handmade goodies (a style that has my entire heart), but rather a twist on that style. It offers a rustic charm, but allows for a modern interpretation with clean lines. Today, I’m showing how to take this worn piece to an updated Mid Century Modern dresser.

Vintage Stanley Mid Century Modern Dresser Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

When I come across pieces like this I seriously get heart palpitations. I have always loved the lines of Mid Century Modern though I lean towards a rustic farmhouse style in my own home. These pieces were built to last and their style can be suited to most any home. You can see my past Mid Century makeovers in these posts.

Top of Vintage Stanley Mid Century Dresser | prodigalpieces.com


The top was definitely worn, but the rest had no chipped veneer, just worn through on a few edges. Just needs an update to make it new again.

Classic Vintage Mid Century Modern Dresser by Stanley | prodigalpieces.com

*post includes affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

So, what’s in store for this updated Mid Century Modern dresser? First, a good ol’ sanding, that’s what. My favorite orbital and Corner Cat come out to play. It took me a few hours, but I got ‘er done. And yes, I’m still sore. haha.

Sanding Mid Century Modern Dresser with DeWalt Orbital Sander | prodigalpieces.com

Once the sanding was done, I blew the sanding dust off with my air compressor, wiped it down and began to add some stain. First, I used Provincial on the stripes on the side drawers to add interest.

Staining Mid Century Modern Farmhouse Dresser by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

The body of the dresser was going to get some color fun. I wanted to contrast the wood, bring out those brass accents, and really give it modern vibe.


While the paint was curing, I decided to take a minute to polish those beautiful brass pulls. My go-to for so many things is Bar Keepers Friend. If you don’t have this in your home, you need to get some. It’s only a couple of bucks and polishes EVERYTHING. I use it on my stainless steel, cast iron tubs and sinks, my brass…you get the idea. You can see how it removes scratches from enamel as I demonstrated on this retro piece HERE.

Bar Keepers Friend for Easy Polishing Brass, Stainless Steel, Cast Iron, etc. | prodigalpieces.com

Just look at the before and after on these pulls done in a minute. Can’t get much easier than that. Okay, so now the cabinet is prepped with stain and pulls are polished ready to go back on, but…I have to add a topcoat.

With my semi-gloss white and micro foam roller, I had this done in no time. I did a base primer coat with Kilz, then two coats of paint letting cure in between.

Ready to see this updated Mid Century Modern dresser? I am!

Vintage Stanley Mid Century Modern Dresser Updated with Paint and Stain by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Top View of Vintage Mid Century Modern Dresser with Fresh New Look by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

It’s got the updated modern feel mixed with a touch of that brassy bling. I love it. The white finish gives it that refreshed new look, but I must say my favorite is the dark striped drawers.

Mid Century Modern Furniture can look so good with a fresh update. See details at prodigalpieces.com

Mid Century Modern Dresser in White with Stain Accents and Original Brass Pulls by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

So maybe I’ve made you think again about passing up that Mid Century Modern piece if you love an updated style? Or maybe spurred you to give your home a new twist? Either way, I had fun and hope you did too reading how something old can look new.

Solid Wood Mid Century Modern Dresser in White made by Stanley | Refinished by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

If you’re interested in this piece for you home, you can find it available in my shop (SOLD) along with many other redeemed furniture, vintage finds, and handmade goods. Sign up for my newsletter for instant discount on your first purchase as well as receive my FREE furniture buying checklist. Details below.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Do pin and share this updated Mid Century Modern dresser makeover to inspire others to give DIY a try.

What a fresh new look this updated Mid Century Modern Dresser has now. With some DIY skills and spirit, Larissa of Prodigal Pieces made it anew. See details at prodigalpieces.com

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More projects like  this updated Mid Century Modern dresser:

Mmm...Blue Ombre for the win! This vintage Bassett dresser goes from worn down and ugly to Boho Mid Century Modern Dresser using a little DIY spirit. Get the details at Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comModern Chic Makeover of a Vintage Mid Century Modern Dresser by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

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  • Laura Overholt

    Beautiful job, as always, Larissa. Love it!

    April 3, 2018 at 7:10 am Reply
  • Debrashoppeno5

    I love what you did with the drawers. The dresser looks so contemporary.

    April 3, 2018 at 7:23 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for the kind words, Debra.

      April 3, 2018 at 7:50 am Reply
  • Kaycee

    Larissa, I am with you, LOVE the stained stripe on the drawers! So unique and pretty, you totally nailed your goals for this piece. I also love the bar keepers friend for cleaning, it works so well.

    April 3, 2018 at 9:03 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for the love, Kaycee. This was a fun one. 🙂

      April 3, 2018 at 9:10 am Reply
  • Cathy

    Really cool. I love how you were able to blend modern with farmhouse style.

    April 3, 2018 at 9:57 am Reply
  • Kimberly

    I am not usually a fan of MCM for my own home, but as you said, this one crosses the border!

    April 3, 2018 at 11:39 am Reply
  • Mary

    Larissa I love what you have done here. The natural wood is so pretty and allows the piece to really shine. And youknow I am a huge fan of MCM!

    April 3, 2018 at 12:57 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      You are the best support, Mary. Thank you!

      April 3, 2018 at 1:39 pm Reply
  • Rosa Saldana

    Beautiful i love the signs

    April 3, 2018 at 2:19 pm Reply
  • Georgia

    This is one of my favorite pieces. Loved the strips and the stain.

    April 4, 2018 at 7:49 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Georgia.

      April 4, 2018 at 10:57 am Reply
  • Marie

    Girl, I have to admit when I read Mid Century Modern and Farmhouse under the same breath, I thought well that’s an oxymoron. Then I saw the finished pictures and thought, alrighty – I get it and it’s pretty cool! Digg’n the stained stripes too. Pinned 🙂

    April 5, 2018 at 5:46 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks for getting my artistic interpretation, Mari, and the love. 🙂

      April 5, 2018 at 9:13 pm Reply

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