I painted it into a more pleasing appearance, and it lived for a few years in stripey, batty glory.
Then I decided to make it over again, this time with a bit more sophistication. One thing I've learned from GIY projects is that small details, such as feet and molding, can have a big impact on furniture. So I began this makeover by turning the chest of drawers upside down in order to add feet.
I made feet by cutting some balusters into pieces (same as in my kitchen).
To attach them, I cut a piece of plywood to size, drilled holes in the plywood and feet...
And attached each foot to the plywood with a screw.
Ideally, I would have used just one piece of plywood. However, I didn't have a piece large enough, so I used two separate pieces. I attached the plywood to the bottom of the chest with screws.
To hide the plywood edges, I added some wood trim.
I righted the chest and added matching trim around the top edges.
I painted the piece with black latex paint in a matte sheen. I then used the same paint in a semi-gloss sheen to stencil a design on the drawer fronts and the sides of the chest.
I painted the sides and inside of the drawers purple and added adhesive shelf paper to the bottom of each drawer. I painted the knobs with silver (brushed nickel) spray paint.
And the makeover was complete!
This chest of drawers matches my dresser and IKEA Rast dog bed.
EDIT: Adding some details in response to reader questions:
When I first got the chest of drawers, I sanded it a little to smooth out the nicks and dings. This wasn't a heavy-duty sanding job, just a bit of hand sanding on the problem spots. I then applied a coat of latex primer before painting.
I used Behr Premium Plus paint in "Black." (An unusually simple name for a paint color!) I used the matte sheen for the overall painting and the semi-gloss sheen for the stenciling. The purple is Behr in "Wild Elderberry" (left over from painting my bedroom walls).
I applied the paint with a small foam roller, plus a brush for the trim and inside corners. I used a small foam roller for the stenciling as well.
I used a Stencil Ease Victorian Baroque Wall and Floor Stencil. I got mine from Hobby Lobby; it's also available on Amazon. Any stencil will work but wall stencils are easier because they are large and have marks to help line up the repeating pattern.
I attached the wood trim with construction adhesive. I used masking tape to hold the trim in place while the adhesive dried.