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. It's 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.