Top Ways To Upcycle Your Dresser

ECOS Paints 11/05/2020
Top Ways To Upcycle Your Dresser

The thought of a dresser doesn’t usually ignite excitement in anyone’s mind. They’re one of the most functional furniture pieces you’ll find in a room, added more out of necessity than anything else. But when it comes to interior décor, anything can add style to a space with a little creativity. With these top ways to upcycle your dresser, you can change the look or function of any dresser, transforming it into a statement piece.

Change the Look

Paint It

The simplest way to transform any furniture piece is with a coat of paint. The beauty of painting a dresser is that it allows you to completely personalize it depending on the look of the room. If you want a sleek, modern look, you can paint it a single, glossy color. If you want it to have a vintage, rustic look, you can use sandpaper to create a distressed paint job.

But your creativity does not have to end with one paint color. You can turn your dresser into an art piece by mixing up the colors you use for the individual drawers. Or you can paint designs such as flowers, geometric patterns, or even large graphics along the front and sides of the dresser. No one will think that it is the same furniture piece once you finish.


Sometimes you want to create bright, bold patterns, but you may not have the artistic background to make it happen. One unique idea is to use wallpaper on the fronts of the drawers, the sides of the dresser, or both. If you are using adhesive wallpaper, you will want to be sure that the paper will stick to the material before you start your project. Otherwise, you can use non-adhesive wallpaper and use spray adhesive or wallpaper glue.

Mod Podge

You may have trouble finding specific wallpaper, or maybe you would rather use something else. In this case, you can purchase a container of Mod Podge to open your dresser to a world of possibilities. Here are just a few ideas for things to attach to your dresser:

  • Maps
  • Old family photos
  • Children’s drawings
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Book covers
  • Old postcards
  • Posters
  • Prints
  • Sheet music
  • Wrapping paper
  • Old recipes

Refinish It

If you want to revitalize your dresser without making it a statement piece, you can focus your efforts on breathing new life into the wood itself. Varnish is a good choice, because you can either capture the look of your original piece, or make it look completely different while allowing it to blend in with the rest of your furniture. Whichever side of the spectrum you choose, we have odorless* varnishes to fit your needs.

Change the Function


When you remove the drawers from a dresser, you are basically left with a shelving unit. If you remove the center rungs from the individual drawer spaces and paint the interior, it is often difficult to tell the piece was ever meant to be anything else. If the drawers are thinner but you want a wider shelf space for books, you can also remove every other drawer base. Or if you want a more versatile storage unit, you can even choose to leave some of the drawers inside.

Bathroom Vanity

Using an old dresser as a bathroom vanity is a great way to bring a comfortable, down-to-earth feel to any bathroom in your house. When choosing a dresser for this project, you will want to gravitate toward ones that are sturdy but not quite antiques. Make sure they fit the space you have available in your bathroom. When installing it, you will have to make room for the pipes of the sink by removing some of the interior drawers and cutting a hole in the surface for the sink itself.

Quick tip: Because the dresser will be exposed to a lot of moisture, you should seal the top of the dresser with a water-resistant finish. This should be done before the sink goes in.


Benches with drawers at the bottom make for a great addition to one’s entryway. Dressers are the perfect candidate to become new benches. Look for a wide dresser with two or three rows of drawers. You will want to remove the top layer or two of drawers, including the base of the drawer spaces. You can leave the side and back boards up as the arm and backrests, but you may need to buy some cheap paneling to cover them. Across the top of the remaining drawer row, you can add the wood that will act as your bench seat. From there, it is a matter of some paint and possibly some cushions, and you will have a classy bench that you cannot buy anywhere else.

Wall Boxes

Most of our ways to upcycle a dresser involve removing at least some of the drawers. But what do you do with the drawers once you remove them? You can leave them on the curb, or you can turn them into an extra DIY project. Mounting a drawer to the wall creates a clever bit of storage space that you can use to store practical things like books or appliances. You could also display artistic odds and ends. To achieve the former, attach it to the wall by the back of the drawer. For the latter, attach it to the wall by the base.


Functionally, drawers are not too different from the window boxes you would use to plant flowers. If you are simply putting pre-potted plants into the drawer, you can leave it as is. If you are putting the soil directly into the drawer and planting your flowers there, you just need to drill a few drainage holes into the bottom. Like with the bathroom vanity, it is a good idea to seal the wood against moisture before you place your plants inside.

Whether you are changing the look of your dresser, changing the function, or both, ECOS Paints is prepared to help you transform your dresser into a piece that will brighten up your space.

*Odorless - No traditional paint (polyurethane) odor, which can cause headaches, nausea, and respiratory issues.

CATEGORIES DIY Projects Healthy Home Tips & Tricks