Firstly I removed the drawer fronts to make it easier to paint them. The fronts are actually separate to the drawers so came off nicely. Big lesson learnt here - we forgot to number the drawers and drawer fronts and we later learnt that the screw holes were in different places on every drawer so when we finished it took my husband over two hours of trial and error to match them all!! He was very amused by this - NOT!
I then sanded everything to remove the varnish and put on my first coat of primer then sanded again and applied a second coat of primer. More sanding and first coat of main colour - White Tie oil based eggshell by Farrow and Ball. I really love their paints as they are so easy to work with. I also prefer oil based paint for my top coats as it gives a more solid, long lasting finish and has a very nice subtle sheen. More sanding and then another coat of eggshell. I then sanded the corners and certain areas right back to the bare wood and applied a dark oak stained wax which I rubbed into the wood and then back off again.
Finally we changed the drawer pulls (which had been orange pine the same as the dressers) to some lovely pale green ceramic ones my friend found online. They had a pewter effect finish too and really changed the look of the furniture. They were a nightmare to fit as the previous ones had screwed in the back of the drawer front but these had longer screws and bolts so we had to drill big holes in the actuall drawers for the bolts to sit inside.
Still, not one to give up I persevered and think they look great now and have saved my friend a fortune.
The paint, brushes, sandpaper and drawer pulls came to around £50 saving her £750 had she bought two new sets in the Laura Ashley sale!
The only thing now is I feel that my own bedroom furniture is looking a bit dated too - I may have to make a start on that soon!