Old Dresser Update for the Nursery | Live Pretty on a Penny

Old Dresser Update for the Nursery

A while back on Instagram, I posted a sneak peek of a dresser/changing table that I was working on for my little one's nursery. Well, some time has passed and I promised a tutorial so I guess its time! Especially since my little one is here and already six weeks old. I have so much to update you on, but let's start with this:

This is an old dresser that my husband used in his apartment prior to getting married. It had been living in the guest room and I have been requesting to strip and paint it since we moved into our home over two year ago. Of course the answer was "why mess up a good antique dresser?" My internal response was "it's ugly and I hate it." Anywho, once we found out we were expecting, we were determined to repurpose things around the house, as we could. Lucky for me, I talked him out of buying a new dresser and decided to just makeover the one we had.

Here is how it turned out ( not sure why the image is blurry):

With a little work, you can achieve the same results. Here is how I did it....

First I removed all of the drawers, as you can see from the top picture. I unscrewed all of the hardware, propped the dressers on old cut 2x4's, then I proceeded with a quick hand sand. When I say quick, it was quick! Nothing fancy, just enough to rough up the surface. This is done so that the primer/paint can actually adhere to the surface and won't chip off during use.

Once I sanded the surface, it looked like this:

After sanding was complete, I wiped the dresser down with a dry rag and continued with priming. When priming this dresser I used Zinsser 123 Bulls Eye Water Based Primer and applied it with a small sponge roller in the direction of the wood grain. Some people go with an oil based primer, but I would be using this in the nursery, and I didn't want the odor so I went with the water based one. Plus it dries faster and I am impatient:)

I could have applied two coats of primer and I probably would have been fine, but I applied three to be safe...allowing several hours of drytime in between each coat. After the final coat I let the dresser sit overnight.

I knew that I wanted a rich blue color for the dresser, so I went with Behr Dark Cobalt Blue. I forgot what finish I used, but if I had to guess, it was probably satin. Definitely not flat, as I wanted something that I could easily wipe off.

I painted the dresser using a small sponge roller, the same as the primer, letting the paint in between coats, for a total of three coats. I followed all of the steps for the drawers as well.

In deciding on hardware, I knew that I did not was to close the original holes, because making new holes would be too hard and a bit too tedious for me. I went and checked out several retailers for new hardware, however because the dresser is so old, the spacing of the hardware holes no longer exist. I know! I couldn't believe it. So I was forced into using the original hardware.

I had some leftover spray paint in my garage from Hobby Lobby in a color called Pewter. I took a chance and spray painted the old hardware and it worked!

After all is said and done,here is how it looks in his room:

I hope to soon be able to photograph his entire nursery. I am so in love with it!

Glad I was able to share this post with you guys! Until next time:)

I'm linking up to:


  1. I love the new color, Erin! It's the perfect accent to the nursery! Can't wait to see more.

  2. The dresser turned out great and I love the color!

  3. Great color and transformation... it really is adorable! I'm with Brandi, can't wait to see more!

  4. Hi Erin. I'm glad I read your post. I've been thinking about buying a media center and painting it a different color. I thought I might be in over my head trying a project like that and changed my mind about it. You did such a great job with that dresser and you made it look so easy that now I'm reconsidering. I really love how your dresser turned out.

  5. This table looks cool, designed to provide an ideal feeling to have it. I would love to have it my room allowing me to have a significant outlook provided with all most perfection. I feel that this table is unique in its perception and innovative design. The cotter furniture is perfect to provide this kind of optimum and distinct attire.
    Design Ideas For Rustic Vibe In Futuristic Home


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