I love the ombre look so when I was 'gifted' this very old dresser, I immediately pictured it in my beachy guest room with ombre drawers. It was in pretty rough shape so there was a bit of prep work that had to be done first.
Wood putty has become a great friend -- it really DOES fix and hide a "multitude of sins".
I often choose to leave pieces "as is" in back. Often there are some really neat details that give a hint of just how old the piece is or even where it was manufactured. This piece just had this great, old number "20" on the back so I kept it unpainted. The rest of the dresser got two coats of Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint which was then distressed and waxed with clear wax.
I added these vintage look glass knobs and used Arles, Emile and Provence chalk paint for the drawers. No real recipe. I just started with the full strength color on the bottom and kept adding white to the next layer up until it was almost completely white.
It fits so well with the theme of my room -- and you can't beat the price . . . free!