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Quick and Easy Boy Dresser Ideas on a Dime

Looking for boy’s dresser ideas? Try a quick and easy navy painted dresser DIY and dresser pull/knob makeover.

Don’t have the budget for a new dresser or hoping to use what you have to update a boy’s dresser? Maybe a black or dark chest of drawers seems to hard to paint.

Check out this easy DIY and give a custom look to an off-the-shelf dresser.

Boy Dresser Ideas

If you are new here, howdy! I’m a retired military spouse who moved back to Texas after being gone for 19 years.

I perfected the art of rental decorating and overcoming challenges in small spaces for over fifteen years but now am tackling homeownership with a new set of challenges!

Our family of four lived in some of the most beautiful coastal towns in the US and Japan which have influenced my colorful and global style with DIYs and furnishings in our one-story 60’s ranch-style home in Fort Worth.

A "Boy Dresser Ideas" Pinterest graphic showing a black dresser with navy drawers and gold and black pulls.
Boy Dresser Ideas

This dresser makeover was from when my son was a little guy and before our big move to two different duty stations in Japan. We were saving up every little penny so I was looking for budget-friendly updates for our cute coastal home.

I had my son help me update his dresser with two-tone color and hand-painted knobs with supplies we already had.  It only took an afternoon and we loved how it turned out.  It was a lot of fun having a helper!

A boys bedroom with dark furniture.
Boy’s Bedroom with Dark Furniture

Here is the before.

Just a black, cape-cod style dresser that we bought almost nine years prior for his nursey. We removed the drawers and hardware and then my son sanded the drawer faces.

A boy sanding a dresser front to prepare it for an easy dresser update.
Sanding the Drawers

We used a high gloss deep blue color that was leftover from a bedside table makeover.  It took about four light coats.  We let some of the black show through to create an aged appearance.

Boy painting drawer fronts navy blue in his bedroom.
Painting Just the Drawer Faces

Instead of replacing the knobs, I used an oil paint marker in gold and just hand drew an “X” on each one.  (After I tried painter’s tape to create a perfect “X” but it just made a perfect mess.) Hand-painted sounds fancy anyways!

Dresser knobs for boys on a navy dresser.
Gold Cross Pull Update
An easy boy dresser makeover with navy paint on the drawers to brighten a black dresser.
Black, Blue and Gold Dresser Update

Here is the finished dresser. I love the rich combination of deep blue, black, and gold and I have to give credit to my husband whose idea it was to just paint the drawer fronts blue.  Nice.  Another free project was completed. 🙂

Black furniture is a great choice to add a pop of color to by the way. It really brings out different hues and is much easier to paint than you think!

Check out the printable step-by-step printable for an easy reference sheet especially if this is your first time painting furniture. Otherwise, I hope you are inspired to just go for it!

Boy Dresser Ideas

Boy Dresser Ideas

Try this quick and easy makeover with leftover paint and marker to update a boy's dresser on a dime.


  • Left over paint or a sample jar of navy acrylic paint
  • Metallic paint pen


  • 120-220 grit sandpaper
  • Paint brush
  • Towel or paper towel


  1. Remove drawers from the dresser and stand on end so the face of the drawer is on top.
  2. Remove any hardware.
  3. Sand lightly and wipe down with a damp towel or paper towel.
  4. Shake or stir your paint and dry brush a light coat on the drawer face.
  5. Once dry to the touch, add a second coat and let dry.
  6. Add a third coat if needed.
  7. Update wood knobs/pull with a hand-drawn cross or other design using a paint pen.
  8. Reattach the dresser pulls and put drawers back into the dresser.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Update: It still looks fabulous even for a teen’s room today!

An eclectic teen boy's room with a black and navy painted dresser and colorful decor.
Black and Navy Painted Dresser

Join me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes, DIYs, decorating tips, room tours, and home inspiration. I’ll see you over there!

A global eclectic teen boy's room with a black and navy painted dresser, leather tufted twin bed with global textiles and asian art.  A cowhide rug and basket stool are near the bed.  It all looks beautiful against a light blue wall and white sheer curtains in a bright bedroom.
Global Eclectic Boy’s Room

Check out these colorful kids rooms ideas from Classy Clutter and The Handmade Home.

What do you do with leftover paint?

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  1. I l ove the way this turned out! I’m always so afraid to paint furniture but painitng just the front doen’t seem as investing as painting the whole thing.

    1. Thanks Diana. I got the paint from Ace Hardware, it was their latex brand with a glossy finish. They used an old machine that you manually have to adjust the colors and they actually messed up the color I asked for. I was going for a much darker blue. I decided to use it anyways! Sorry I don’t have a name for you. I asked for a color called starry night.

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