Monday, September 28, 2009

THIS IS IT!! The Dresser Transformation How-To!


(Kimba GRACIOUSLY is allowing me to post about the exact same item I did last week. I certainly never expected the response I got!! Thank you each and every one of you for your AMAZINGLY kind comments and emails. Check out the rest of the GREAT items on DIY Tuesday. THANKS KIMBA!)

Several folks have asked me how my sweet girl became the beauty that she is (and prior to yesterday’s post, I never EVER referred to her as, “my sweet girl” or even gave her a gender! Ah what blogging will do to ya…)

First off let me assure you that DFE is well spoken for and… well… not available. (AWKWARD!) Though I am sure if you were in the area (and he were in the area) that he’d be happy to assist, but alas he is regretfully back in his home country (though my many projects on my list that have E written besides them keep growing and growing… November 8th just can’t get here quick enough!). But I digress…

So, in lieu of a DFE, a DH or any other semi-handy male-type specimen in your life will do just perfectly fine (I absolutely cannot believe I just wrote that (head hanging in shame) (head hanging further in shame as I realize I just put a parenthetical statement WITHIN a parenthetical statement!) YOU CAN DO THIS YOURSELF!!! I just couldn’t. But you could. Oh yes you can!).

ANYHOW – obviously you need a good SOLID dresser. I say solid because of the revamping, etc., that needs to get done, you need to make sure whatever you use can withstand the alterations (ie particle board – probably not gonna do it for ya).

A good prybar, sawzall, and general tools (screwdrivers, hammer, etc.) should be handy.

Remove all the drawers and then figure out how the top is attached and remove that. My goal was to reuse nearly every thing I took off, so we didn’t throw a single piece of wood, screw or bracket away (Did I mention the test of our relationship? Enter OCD me with laid-back DFE. “WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU THREW THAT SCREW OUT???” “It was bent and the head was missing.” “SO?!?!?!!”)

The top of my dresser was sitting on a BEAUTIFUL piece of molding. “We” (ha ha ha) carefully removed it and DFE reconfigured it to frame the very top.

Then “we” removed the pieces that framed the area for the top 2 drawers. At this point we knew we were only keeping one of the drawers, so we figured out which bottom of which drawer looked the best and retained the least amount of smoke-smell and cut the piece down so that the top now lay flat. (Ok, I’m just gonna stop saying we now, by this point this project was all DFE. As a matter of fact, he FORBID me from coming into his workshop until it was done.)

I was lucky in that the piece I had was WELL built and instead of the drawers just sliding in and out on a track, each drawer sat on its own shelf. This made the top and bottom shelf easy-peasy and gave us the perfect piece to do the middle shelf. So at this point all we had to do was figure out the spacing.

I thought one day I’d like to have spacers for plates (#7 on my list with an “E” beside it), so we made sure one shelf would have enough height to accommodate the plates. The bottom shelf and top shelf were “obvious” because those are exactly where they were to begin with. So all DFE had to do was position the middle shelf. He did this by placing mimicking exactly how they were done when they held drawers, setting the shelf in and reinforced it from the outside with some countersunk screws.

After all of this, it was merely a matter of finishing out all the open pockets/areas that would normally have been covered by closed drawers. Again, DFE did all of this using scrap pieces of drawers and stuff.

Finally, the call I had been anticipating… she was done. I still had the black paint from when I originally painted it, so I (DFE graciously allowed me to paint it) finished it all off.

I L.O.V.E. this piece of furniture. It’s one of my “5 Pieces of Furniture I’ll Never Get Rid Of.” (Yes, I have a list – don’t you??)


  1. i have talked about you & your dresser all day. gotta find a dresser with good bones to do this to.

    we were sent to prossers to look for something & i didn't see anything like your dresser, good job.

    love that you went to school in ohio, we doooo have a lot of funny connections, don't we. fav caye caulker hangout is sandbox for breakfast(fry jacks) & lunch (conch fritters). we miss belize :(

  2. I wish we were neighbors, too! Just your name "dresser girl" tells me that we would be friends. :) I've already complimented you on this piece, but really did a great job and had such a unique vision for it. Very creative and well executed!

  3. What a fun transformation! I have seen them do a deconstruction kind of similar in which the remove the middle drawers and use it as a tv cabinet as well. Always wanted to try that! Glad you enjoyed seeing my "blingy beside table"!

  4. It really is great - you did an awesome job!

  5. It looks awesome, I love repurposed furniture! I'm completely impressed!!!

  6. You and your friend did an amazing job! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for the sweet comment. I signed up as a follower and would love it if you did the same!

  7. Thanks for stopping by! This looks amazing-what a great project!

  8. thanks for your comment!

    wow! you did a AMAZING job, it looks so cool!

  9. I still think this one of the fabbiest makeovers I have seen - you are one clever lady :)

  10. I love this transformation. Great bones to the dresser to begin with and you really maximized that! Thanks for showing us how you did it.

  11. Great, fabulous, wonderful! I love that not only does it look great with a new coat of paint, but that you transformed the function of the piece.


  12. I love your dresser redo! Can you come to my house and do my projects? Lol. I have two very old dressers that were my grandmother's but they have veneer on them and someone attempted to paint them a hideous avacado green at some point. Anyway,over the years there's been alot of damage to the veneer and I just want it off and redone. Any suggestions Dresser Girl for doing veneer? Love your site I will be following you! Thanks for showing. Contact me over at

  13. This shows such creativity and determination. It turned out to be such a beautiful piece. I too have a dresser that needs to be redone, and now you've got my wheels turning. I'll have to review yours closer, but I think I could do this! LOVE IT!!!

  14. That's great! It looks like it serves a great purpose (I love a piece that is aesthetically pleasing AND utilitarian!) Thanks for visiting my blog. I love the shelves you replaced the drawers with. We thought of doing that (the drawers in our dresser weren't in the best of shape) but we have a 9 month old and I figured that she would get into the shelves. Congratulations on the transformation!