Jazz up a plain white dresser with colorful paint.

How to Paint a Plastic Dresser

by Josh Arnold

The key to successfully painting a plastic dresser is to use a paint that is specifically designed for the material. If you try using paint that is made for wood or other materials, it may not properly adhere to the plastic surface. Painting an outdated or unattractive plastic dresser is a fast and easy way to update the look of a bedroom without spending money on new furniture.

Move the plastic dresser to a well-ventilated area, such as a garage with an open door or windows. Lay a drop cloth, plastic tarp or newspapers on the ground under the dresser to protect the flooring from paint. Cover any hardware or areas you don't want painted with painter's tape.

Remove the dresser drawers. Thoroughly clean the entire dresser and the drawers with an all-purpose household cleaner and rag to remove all dirt and dust. Allow the dresser to dry.

Rub fine-grit sandpaper over the dresser if the plastic is very smooth to create a slightly textured surface, which will allow the paint to adhere more easily. Wipe away any residue with the rag and household cleaner.

Shake a can of spray paint made specifically for plastic according to the manufacturer's directions. Apply a thin coat of paint over the entire dresser, using smooth, sweeping, side-to-side motions, holding the can about 1 foot away. Allow the paint to dry 30 seconds before applying a second coat. Continue the process of applying thin coats until you reach the desired coverage and color. Allow the paint to dry for 24 hours before using the dresser.

Items you will need

  • Drop cloth, plastic tarp or newspapers
  • Painter's tape
  • Household cleaner
  • Rag
  • Fine-grit sandpaper (optional)
  • Spray paint designed for plastic surfaces

About the Author

Josh Arnold has been a residential and commercial carpenter for 15 years and likes to share his knowledge and experience through writing. He is a certified journeyman carpenter and took college-accredited courses through the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters training center. As a Los Angeles-based union carpenter, Arnold builds everything from highrises to bridges, parking structures and homes.

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images