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How to Update a Dresser With House Numbers

Add a touch of the unexpected to an old dresser with a steel house number makeover.

Brian Patrick Flynn, Decor Demon

Materials Needed:

  • wooden dresser
  • non-shrinking wood filler
  • orbital sander
  • HVLP paint spray gun
  • rubber gloves
  • respirator
  • lacquer paint
  • steel house numbers
  • pencil
  • 3/16" drill bit
  • drill
  • scrap wood
  • hammer
  • measuring tape
  • screwdriver
  • spackle knife

Remove Existing Hardware

Use a screwdriver to remove existing drawer pulls or knobs. Since house numbers have different hole placement than standard pulls and knobs, you may have to drill extra holes in the dresser. Fill the existing holes with a non-shrinking wood filler or putty. Allow to dry for an hour. Use an orbital sander to smooth the filler down Tip: It's best to use a spackle knife to get the proper amount of putty inside the holes, or you can use the tip of your finger.

Remove Old Finish

Sand the entire face of each drawer and the surface of the main dresser body. Tip: Thorough, proper preparation will guarantee a better paint finish. If existing polyurethane, shellac or other sealers aren't removed, the new paint won't stick to the dresser's surface.

Apply New Paint

While wearing rubber gloves and a respirator, apply 2-3 coats of lacquer paint to the dresser and drawers using an HVLP paint spray gun. For the best coverage, use an even sweeping motion, overlapping half of each previous pass as you work your way from left to right. Be sure to keep the spray gun moving while pointed at the surface to avoid excessive buildup and drips. Let dry completely.

Mark House Number Placement

Hold each house number against its corresponding drawer, aligning it so the number is straight and centered. Mark the drawer by pressing the number stud or standoff into the paint to create a divot, or mark with a pencil. Remove the number, and put it back over the marks to ensure proper positioning.

Install House Numbers

Drill holes with a 3/16-inch drill bit through the drawer face in each of the locations marked in step 4 (Image 1). Put a piece of scrap wood over the number to protect its finish, and gently tap the house number into the newly drilled hole using a hammer (Image 2). Repeat the process until each of the drawers is complete (Image 3).

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