Using Paint Instead Of Stain

This dresser was a mess when we brought it home, and had more damage than any other piece I’ve tackled before. It’s hard to believe when you view the “Before Pic” but you’ll just have to trust me on this one! The top was way past re-staining, with tons of patch work everywhere, so I opted for paint instead. I had been wanting to try “Leather Boots” by American Paint Company’s Ellis Collection, and this was my chance.

The paint on it’s own reminds me of chocolate pudding, but add some dark wax like Daddy Van’s Decorative Wax in Antique Brown, and you’ve got the perfect espresso brown! You can see the difference on my image below, with Leather Boots on my sample paint stick that is sitting on top of the dresser. I’m really impressed with how the painted top turned out.

The body of the dresser is finished in “Home Plate” by APC, and it’s a lovely creamy white. I simply applied clear wax over the top, because this is a mahogany dresser & they are known for bleeding! I should also let you know that I used two coats of primer on the entire dresser, before painting because of this.

This piece is still far from perfect, but I can live with it’s imperfections, hence we’ve decided to keep this one & replace the dresser in our master bedroom with it:)
LB Dresser 2 LB Dresser 3 leather boots w dark wax LB Dresser Before


I gave it a very light sanding first, it was too damaged to do a heavy sanding…I also patched some areas, before painting it.

Thanks so much! Also, I’m going to use your exact paint because I seriously love your piece. So it was “Home Plate” by APC will they ask me at the paint store about oil based or anything like that? I plan on priming it twice just like you did and applying two or three light coats of paint so it will look as “finished” as yours does. Did you use a paint brush (and if so what kind) or did you use a sprayer? One last question can you tell me what brand of clear wax you applied to it? I love how it looks so clean and professional but it’s not shiny! I don’t want it to look shiny at all!

Yes, 2 coats of Home Plate on the body & 2 coats of Leather Boots on the top, with dark/brown wax over the LB. It would be better to use Bullseye clear shellac for your primer, we did that on the matching piece & it was much easier, it comes in a spray or brush on, and you can get it from Home Depot. It stops any bleeding from happening, better than primer. I used some clear Daddy Van’s wax over the Home Plate, but the APC clear would work the same. I used a standard 2″ paint brush. Hope I answered all of your questions:)

Almost! I’m just a little confused on the Bullseye clear shellac. I googled it and it seems to be a sealer. Can you use it as a primer as well? The Zinsser brand is the one that keeps popping up but again I don’t see anywhere where it says you can use it to prime a piece only just to put it on to finish it up.

You use it in place of a primer if you have a mahogany piece of furniture, because it will bleed through your paint finish & look pink. If it’s not mahogany, regular primer will be fine.

Hi Julia, I like your brown finish on the top. Would you recommend it for a kitchen table top? Would it need a sealer top coat? What is the ratio of paint to wax you used to get this color.

Yes, you would need to seal it with a top coat if you were to use it for a kitchen table top. I just applied the dark wax over the paint 🙂