A good sturdy dresser will last for years, moving from house to house and sometimes generation to generation. While they hold their own in the test of time, their finishes, usefulness or style may go by the wayside. If you have a dresser that is in less-than-desirable shape, or one that you don’t really need but don’t want to send to the landfill, there are many ways you can give an old dresser new life and new purpose.
By removing the drawers and adding wood in its place, you can make yourself a unique bookshelf. You may need to add additional support to hold your shelves.
If you have a shorter dresser, you can add to or replace the legs with taller, sturdy legs to make it the appropriate height for an entryway table. Or you can leave the dresser its current height and attach a wood backing like a hall tree, complete with coat hooks. You might also choose to remove a lower drawer or two and convert them into shelves for shoes or baskets.
If you’re looking for a bathroom vanity that’s a little more unique then what’s available in stores, you can create your own using a repurposed dresser. Refinish the top with waterproof lacquer or replace it entirely with countertop. A hole can be cut and a sink installed as a vanity. You will need to do some reworking of the drawers and back to accommodate the plumbing, but you will be the only one with this one-of-a-kind bathroom vanity.
Using a sturdy dresser, you can create a bench by removing the top of the dresser as well as the top two or three rows of drawers. Install supports above the remaining drawers to create your seat. This can be done with stained wood or painted plywood; add a cushion or pillows and you’ve got a pretty and comfortable seat.
You will need a long dresser with side-by-side drawers. To create a desk, remove the drawers from one side of the dresser, leaving the top and the other side intact. You may need to create additional support down the middle of the dresser, alongside the remaining drawers, for extra support and a finished look.
This will work best with a dresser that is already counter height or one that can be made counter height with legs or large wheels. Replace the top with a stone or laminate countertop and add wheels to the bottom for a stylish and moveable kitchen island. This is a great way to add a unique piece of storage and workspace to your kitchen.
With some bright and beautiful paint, you can change your old dresser into a baby change table. Add a soft change cushion to the top of the dresser and install a guardrail all the way around, a few inches high, using trim or other wood to ensure that the cushion won’t slide off.
Remove the top center drawer and convert it to a shelf to house your cable box or gaming systems. Remove this section of the back panel as well to allow the cords to pass through. You might also want to change lower drawers into shelves for holding your CD or DVD collections.
You can create a lavish pet bed by following many of the same steps for creating your seating bench. Remove all but the last drawer, and maybe the feet of the dresser, depending on the style, to make sure it is low enough for your pet to get in and out of. Complete it with a lush bed and your pets will be resting easy.
When you start with a sturdy piece of furniture like an old dresser, the options for repurposing are endless. This is a great way to recycle, reduce and reuse while using your creative DIY skills to come up with something all your own.