How to Breathe New Life into an Old Dresser

We bought our girls this tallish, fairly long dresser when they were toddlers. As they’ve gotten older, they’ve needed more space, so we bought them two separate dressers and moved their old dresser to the garage with plans to sell it. We’d just moved when we bought their new dressers and I wasn’t quite sure how to configure all our rooms. I was in need of a piece of furniture for our sunroom to hold our TV, some dvds, remote controls and video games. After scouring the internet for inspiration, and coming across the photo below, I realized that the girls’ old dresser would be a perfect fit for our sunroom and it would barely cost me a dime. I changed out the drawer knobs from pink porcelain knobs to oil-rubbed bronze nobs and voila, I had the perfect dresser for our sunroom. Inspiration photo here from one of my fave Arkansas designers:

After using the dresser in the sunroom for a couple years, I realized that at least two of the drawers have been sitting empty for some time. I asked my hubs if he could convert the two empty drawers into one big drawer to use as a filing cabinet. Our current filing system consisted of two hard plastic file boxes that are on a shelf in a closet. As you can imagine, this filing system isn’t user friendly and our paper clutter has been piling up and driving me batty.

The two bottom drawers on each side of the dresser looked like this before my man converted one side of the drawers into a single drawer to hold files.

In order to convert the dresser drawers into one drawer, Justin removed the drawers from the dresser and then removed the screws that attached the drawer faces. He then built one large drawer box using half inch plywood and used pocket hole screws to assemble the drawer box. He bought heavy duty glides for the drawers and installed them onto the side of the drawer and the inside of the dresser. To hold the files, we bought this metal file frame at Office Depot. I went through my files while watching Taylor Swift’s Miss Americana on Netflix…the documentary was so good and it definitely made going through my files more fun. I used this article for reference.

Above is the file drawer with the frame in it and a few hanging file folders.

This little project has brought so much ease and organization into my home. Being able to get to my files quickly without having to squat down on the floor of a dark closet and dig through one of two file boxes is a game changer!

For reference, this dresser was originally a medium brown. I sanded it a little bit, primed it, painted it with one coat of flat paint by accident and then went back over it with one or two coats of semi-gloss latex paint in China White by Benjamin Moore. The finish has held up well for quite a while, in spite of my very imperfect paint job. 🙂

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