Love where you live. Sign up for our newsletter

Before and After: Mid-Century Modern Dresser Makeover

by on Oct 10, 2014

Visual Heart I need to gush a bit here folks, because this makeover absolutely blew me away. So much so actually that I’ve gone back to look at the full post a few times now. No shame, right?

Despite all the scratches, water damage, and missing trim, Nicole of Visual Heart was able to turn this yard sale find into a beautiful, modern piece. The colors are bright and soft, which perfectly compliment the asymmetrical structure. And don’t even get me started on that hardware! Let’s just say that if I’m lucky enough stumble across one of these pieces myself, you better believe I’ll be following this tutorial to a T.

Click to see the full makeover!

Mid-Century Dresser Makeover by Visual HeartVisual Heart

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. wow! I hope you don’t truly believe that this is equivalent to a snuff film, and that those of you who shared strong negative opinions would be kinder face to face. I really think you would. In the end, it’s just furniture, and it’s not yours. I personally like both before and after. Before, it could be beautiful and unique in the right setting, but I think the after looks more balanced and fits in better with her decor.

  2. I don’t think it should have been painted. It’s high quality wood and it could have been restored. Gorgeous mid century pieces should not be turned in to a DIY project

  3. I understand that you disagree with the opinions posted saying that this piece should have been “restored” and not “painted” but you don’t have to go so far as to delete it. It’s a public space. Or are you solely looking for people telling you how great they are/how much they love it? I don’t think those people were being rude, either, just stating an opinion that differed with yours. I cannot abide censorship. Grow a thicker skin, especially if you plan on posting on the internet. There are much “ruder” people out there.

  4. To those being negative, check out the original post. It’s clear they tried to salvage the original wood but there was too much damage.

  5. When I read beautifully restored I thought that the piece was going to look just like new. FYI painting and changing the hardware is not actually called restoring. Some people call it upcycling, which I am not sure I agree with but this is definetly not a restore.

  6. I’ve restored furniture in much worse condition. If it were my piece, I would have put all that effort into restoration instead. It is not any more difficult to restore something than it is to sand it down and paint it well. That being said, they did a good job painting it but it was much more beautiful before, wood damage and all. I wish the myth could be dispelled that it’s easier to sand, fill cracks, prep, and paint than it is to sand, fill cracks, prep, and restain.

  7. Please, leave mid century furniture alone… there’s so much funiture that painting doesn’t hurt, but that beautiful piece was ruined.

  8. Nice job, Nicole. Thanks for sharing. Please don’t listen to the negative comments. This beautiful piece is for you in your home and I think you did a lovely job. 

  9. yikes… this is just dreadful.

    The paint is poodle pastel and you kept the knob.handles. There is a big difference between 50’s style and mid century.

    Unless this is for a child’s room or nursery, I can’t see this item fitting in anywhere.

    Strip that piece… lightly sand (220 grit) and brush on Waterlox (sand between 4 to 5 coats) … buff it to a mirror finish… and see how gorgeous this piece can really get.

  10. I love it.  It is a fun piece and as long as you love it and it works in your home, that is all that mattters.

  11. It’s beautiful ~ just not my taste but everyone likes certain color!  That’s why there are so many!

  12. I am horrified that such a classic piece of Mid Century beauty was marred this way.

  13. You guys, cut her some slack. It wasn’t some pristine piece of solid walnut. It’s cheap-o veneer that they mass produced back in the 50’s!  And it was it poor shape. Take a closer look at the original post. The problem with veneer is (besides being very thin) even when you strip and sand, the stain doesn’t always take well and you end up with a blotchy mess. I’ve done many mid century wood pieces. So please, before you annihilate someone, at least take the time to inform yourselves on the piece that was done. Imagine someone saying the same thing 50 years from over a piece of Ikea furniture that someone painted! Just sayin’…..

  14. I am working with a peice of furniture similar to this right now.  This is one example that turned out great!  Love it – the wood accents make the whole shape stand out.

  15. Destroying such a beautiful vintage piece, what a shame. That wood would have been fabulous well restored and waxed on a teal wall. Stop ruining furniture. If you don’t like it the way they are sell it.