DIY Project: Dresser Makeover

The nursery needed a dresser, and the one that matched our crib was way smaller than I wanted. Cue another project. I’ve been watching Craigslist & the Facebook market place for a few months now, hoping someone would have a dresser I really liked for sale. There was a really nice 9 drawer mid century looking one a few weeks ago, but it sold really quick. Eventually I came across this ad and reached out to the guy.

DIY Project: Dresser Makeover

DIY Project: Dresser Makeover
I asked for measurements of the dresser, and if it was real wood or not. After the response, I scheduled a time to see it. The dresser was sturdy and in great shape, so we decided to take this bad boy home!

DIY Project: Dresser Makeover
This was the ONLY before picture I managed to grab of the whole dang thing. I was eager to start the project.

Getting Started

The first thing I did was inspect the dresser more closely to decide what hardware we were going to need. I already knew I wanted to replace the drawer pulls and knobs, so that was the first thing on my list to buy.

I went ahead and began removing drawers next, because when I initially went to see it I noticed they were a bit wobbly.

DIY Project: Dresser Makeover
This is what the bottom of the drawers looked like.
DIY Project: Dresser Makeover
And this was inside the dresser where the drawer goes.

I noted that the drawer slides needed replacing. While I’m sure the wood held up great, I wanted something clean and smooth. I had an idea in my head about what direction I wanted to go, so with only two major replacements I went home and got to researching drawer slides.

I needed something that was going to sit directly in the middle at the bottom of the drawer. Eventually, I came across this on the Home Depot website. Thankfully it was in store because I wanted to see it in person before buying the wrong thing, especially since it says side mount. After asking 3 different people about them, no one was 100% sure if they would, so I just decided to buy one and try it out. It took a bit of trial an error with placement, and a lot of manual labor trying to get the original wood slides off, but it ended up being quite the success!


The drawers glide in and out smoothly, with the exception of one being a little sticky, but overall I was pleased with how well these slides worked.

In between experimenting with the drawer slides, we sanded down the dresser, and filled those grid lines on the bottom drawers.

Poor Jacob is covered in dust! He had bee sanding away with the palm sander for a while by this point and was finishing up.


Here’s what the drawers looked like as we filled them. They felt completely flat but once we got the paint on we could see it wasn’t 100% successful. I still think it looks better than before though!

Painting The Dresser

Once we got everything sanded down and ready to go I dusted off the skeleton on the dresser and started painting away at it while Jacob finished installing the drawer slides. Initially I had planned to paint the whole thing teal, but after seeing just how bright it dried on one of the drawers I decided against that. We went with a Behr color called Otter Tail.


I left the top two drawers teal, its a fun pop of color in the nursery since everything else it’s very neutral.

Progress picture!

After a few coats of paint, we finally get to seal and finish the dresser. We decided to go with a satin polyurethane finish because we wanted something durable and not super shiny. When the dresser was sealed and finished I sanded it just barely enough to scratch the entire surface of the dresser. That gave it a bit more of a distressed look which you can’t see very well in pictures.

Final Result!

We still have to find knobs for the top drawers, but I’m not in a rush. Adding knobs will be a quick and painless install.


See what I mean about that grid not being totally hidden away? Ironically the pictures pick up on it pretty clear, but in person it’s far less obvious.

I’m pleased with how quickly we completed this, and definitely happy with the results; the dresser looks WAY better than before.


And there you have it! Our dresser makeover project! Definitely one of the more enjoyable projects for sure! That’s all for today, though! Until next time! xx


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