Before and After: Janella’s First Dresser

This is definitely my favorite part of Janella’s nursery.

thrifted dresser nursery

teal dresser after

Why do cameras hate the color teal? The color never shows up right in photos. Our teal office looks blue in pictures, and the same goes for this dresser. I don’t know what the color of the dresser looks like on your monitor, but I’m looking at the above photo and it screams BLUE to me.

I heavily edited a photo to show you what the color really looks like in real life…

true color teal dresser

The teal color is very close to this:

teal bluevia

So – for the following pictures, just tell your eyes to stop lying to you and look at the dresser as if it’s teal, not blue. Got it? Good.

This project was all Nick’s doing… I was pregnant at the time, so he did all the work. I’m so happy I’m not pregnant anymore, I’m telling you. Not because I can paint now, but just because. Pregnancy = blah. But I will gladly do it again because… well, just look at her.

cutie pie in sunglasses


It took several coats to get it to its final teal-ness. We tried out flat paint this time – all of our previous furniture painting was with satin paint. I’m not too sure I would recommend flat paint due to the amount of coats Nick had to do. But was that because of the flat paint or because the color is so saturated? Not sure.

The color is Behr’s Peacock Tail. After two coats of primer (which was white, not tinted, which might have also contributed to the need of several coats of teal paint?) and two coats of the teal paint, the dresser looked like this:

teal dresser in process

You could easily see all the brush marks and the color was uneven. But after two (or three?) more coats, the color finally looked right. Whew.

Nick, hard at work. Note the toilet paper on the sofa behind him. I had a cold at the time, OK? Also note how we taped off the edges with green tape. An important step – if we didn’t do that, the paint job would have looked sloppy on the drawers.

nick painting drawers teal

The painting wasn’t so bad, but the poly was a beast. Nick tried everything and we still could see streaks at the top from the poly. It’s not so noticeable anymore, but you can see the streaks in the next photo.

poly streaks on teal dresser

So annoying. I think we’ll go with wipe-on poly next time, or spray-on poly. But spray-on poly is sorta expensive and we’re sorta cheapstakes thrifty.

Then I couldn’t decide whether to keep the hardware brass or paint it silver, but after a vote on this and all of your helpful comments, we decided to keep it brass. But I’ll do some cleaning up to make them shine sometime later. Later. I love that word: LATER. I wanna try this nontoxic, homemade brass polish – it looks very nifty! Nifty, that’s another favorite word.

teal dresser with changing pad

teal dresser after 1

The dresser is the perfect size to hold all the STUFF that a baby requires. I’m really glad we didn’t go with a smaller dresser! Our changing pad also fits on the top of it perfectly, with space left over for other STUFF. What, I don’t know. I don’t have any experience with babies older than 3 months. I’m learning as I go here, people.

teal dresser

The nursery is nearing completion. What’s left:

– Finishing up the bird mobile that my mom made
– Creating a map canvas thingy to put on the wall behind the crib
– Washing our old orange shaggy rug
– Painting the daybed a glossy white
– Painting the mirror to be put up next to the bookshelves
– Painting the side table some color, to be decided later

Not too bad… I knew we wouldn’t finish the nursery in time for Janella’s arrival, but we made it functional before that big date and I’m glad we did! At least, hopefully we’ll finish it completely before Janella moves in there. When will that be, Janella? When? WHEN?

14 Comments on “Before and After: Janella’s First Dresser

  1. Love the dresser redo! It’s good to know someone else has had their fair share of trouble with poly.

  2. Love the new color! Such a happy color. I know what you mean about teal being photographed…Just painted my bedroom a peacock blue and every time I photographed it for the blog it looked like a different color! Ay yi yi.

    Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

  3. I love that dresser, I agree that teal is very hard to photograph. I really love spray lacquer, it is a little pricey but so much easier to use and quick quick quick! Our dining room table is nearly indestructible after using Deft spray lacquer. Honestly, I left a hot Lean Cuisine package on the table and it stuck to the finish, but i came off cleanly with some Howards products. Go lacquer! Good luck finishing that nursery…oh, and being pregnant really sucks, I hear ya on the ‘blah!’

  4. I LOVE that dresser! I’m expecting in July and have been scouring Craigslist for a similarly-low dresser like this. Slim pickins where I live, unfortunately. But you chose a beautiful color and good choice on keeping the hardware. It’s more unexpected than silver and I really like that.

  5. It’s SO great, Elisa! Thanks for showing us the actual color – I could totally picture it 🙂 Love it! And I was *just* ooing and ahing over those sunglasses at Target tonight. So cute 🙂

  6. It’s so great getting to read your blogs…you have such a way with words! The nursery is adorable, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Janella! She is absolutely PRECIOUS!

  7. Can we see pictures of the entire baby’s room? I know you’ve been posting things as you work on them, but I would really love to see photos that sort of give us a tour of the room, now that it’s mostly finished?

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