It seems like all the things out there say to buy something new….all the time! And you just want to refresh what you already have. Oh, friend! I feel you. And I have the perfect tips to update an old dresser or ANY piece of worn out furniture at the end of this post.
I recently updated an old dresser for under $20. It had lived a good life and it was tired. But I knew all it needed was some new life breathed into it and I could awaken its dreary, sad little spirit!
This dresser is my son’s and is 15 years old. It used to match all of his furniture pieces and is the last thing left from his toddler room. I don’t know why I kept it, but it is here and it is what I have.
The dog had chewed up the knobs on the drawers, my son had spilled water all over it and ruined the top and the trim had come off in places. But the piece is strong and well made and the drawers had lots of storage for my son’s things.
I recently did a quick, budget-friendly two-day makeover in his room and knew it would make the perfect nightstand because of its size!
You know what I did?
I marched into the hardware store, spent $20 and got to work!
What did I buy?
- 2×4 piece of 1/4″ birch plywood
- (2) 1×2 4′ pieces of pine
- I already had some paint and antiquing wax, but I would have bought that, too!
- f the legs weren’t in good shape I would have picked up some at Home Depot and quickly added them to the bottom, but I didn’t have to do that on this piece.
First thing to do to update the old dresser was to cover up the warped top that had been ruined by water over the years. The top is not the kind of wood you can sand, so I opted to cut a new piece to cover it completely!
I cut down the piece of 1/4″ birch plywood to the size of the top, added some glue and nailed it right over the existing top.
Then I cut down my 1x2s to create trim to cover the front and the sides of the top. These did two things: covered the raw edge of the new top I put on and added a nice, beefed up edge to the piece.
I measured the length of the front and cut one piece down to size, mitering both ends. Then I measured the length of the two sides and mitered the front end so that when the two side pieces met the front, they met with mitered edges.
Each miter was a right angle at 45 degrees so that when they met they were a perfect 90!
After the new top was installed I simply stained the new pieces with Walnut. Such a pretty color.
Next up? New paint! I mixed together some Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint I had on hand to create a deep midnight blue. I love her paint. It is free of harmful chemicals and fumes and she has the prettiest colors. I also love that it comes in powder form and how you mix what you need with water.
I applied a couple of coats, let it dry and then added some dark antiquing wax over top!
And I think it looks AMAZING! Don’t you?
Can you believe the before and after?!
Love it or hate it, it only cost me $20 to update an old dresser!
Here is what you can do tor update an old piece of furniture:
- Paint it
- Add new feet
- Change the hardware
- Add or remove trim
- Add wallpaper to the drawers or inside a cabinet
- Use a dark or white antiquing wax over existing paint
Now, what are you going to update?