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dresser to Bench

You know I love a good bench, whether it’s made from a bed (headboard) dresser to bench, or chest of drawers.  This reproduction French Provincial dresser was in really bad shape. Before inspecting it thoroughly I did consider just painting it and rehoming it.



dresserHowever, after looking closely at it, I decided it was not worth trying to fix.  Don’t you agree?


broken-drawersA few of the drawers were broken too.

how-to-cut-a-dresser-jigsawSo, of course I grabbed my jigsaw to cut the dresser apart.

french-provincial-dresser-cut-in-halfEasy Peasy when you have the right tools.

side-view-french-provincial-dresserI did something a little different on this piece.  This is the top portion I cut off.  See the detail on the side?  I decided to relocate that to the bottom piece that will become a bench.

its-all-in-the-detailsThis board easily slips out of the dresser.  I simply cut it off, then slid it in place on the bottom portion.

gorilla-wood-glueThis is how it took place.  I removed the original board, and replaced it with the board that I cut, then added the top piece that is grooved to fit the curve.

gorilla-glue-clampsUsing Gorilla Wood Glue and clamps makes for a secure fit.

add-extra-bracesFor extra support I added some scrap 1x’s in the back. I left the drawer in so that I could make sure these wouldn’t interfere with it.  Gorilla wood glue and my Ryobi BRAD NAILER hold them in place. NOTE: There is no way to attach the top (seat)

NOT shown: I drilled holes down through the front brace on the left and right in order to attach the top (seat) in the front.


add-cross-braceI measured, cut, and drilled pocket holes with my Kreg Jig® K4  into a 1×4 all the way across the back so I could attach the top (seat).  I used Gorilla Wood glue and screws (from the back) to hold this in place.  A quick quick clamp clamp holds it in place as my extra hands. Smile  LOVE those!



pocket-holes-tight-spaces-socketThis view is with the bench upside down where I’m trying to install the Stainless Steel Pocket-Hole Screws   in a very tight space.  I used this small socket wrench.



ryobi-right-angle-kreg-pocket-holes-tight-sapcesThe next day I went to Home Depot to pick up this Ryobi Right Angled Driver.  It worked like a charm using a shorter Kreg bit!



screws-secure-topYou can see I used screws to secure the top in the holes I pre-drilled.


Now, it’s time to paint!   I had several options I was pondering.   Gray and white combo, dark gray, light gray combo, dark turquoise, light turquoise, or maybe turquoise and white!   I had a hard time making up my mind, but finally went with turquoise.


testing-paint-techniquesAfter deciding on the turquoise, I tested an extra drawer with some options.  I had added white paint to my turquoise (DIY chalk paint) to lighten it.  I then tried to add some black to darken it, but it just made it a deeper blue, not a darker turquoise.  So I did a black wash over the turquoise to see if that’s the way I wanted to go.  Smile   After many texts with my friend Stephanie (she’s so patient with me) she asked if I had a brown glaze.



paint-testingWhen I do a brown glaze, I typically use burnt umber.  This is another test piece (the original front of the dresser)



figuring-out-paint-colorWe even discussed doing white drawers.

NOTE: the left drawer being crooked.



how-to-fix-crooked-drawerTIP: By adding a small scrap on either side, it helps the drawer rest straight.  Originally there were small plastic pieces to do this.


homeright-buffer-minwax-dark-waxAfter seeing the brown glaze, I remembered I have this Minwax Special Dark finishing wax.  I of course used my Homeright (Autoright) cordless buffer to apply the wax and buff it.



dresser-benchSee?  The drawer is now straight!  Smile  The Minwax Dark wax, tones this color down just enough, but not near as dark as ASCP’s dark wax.


french-provincial-dresser-repurposed-benchI painted two handles with Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze, and two more with Krylon Gold Dual with Superbond.  (love this paint, stay tuned for fun details about my trip to Krylon/Cleveland for the Krylon Spraydown)\

If you look closely, you can see I distressed it lightly.  I like  both the handles equally well, how about you?


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A teacher at heart, Gail relishes the chance not to show off her projects, but to help others find their inner handywoman, step-by-step. Her blog, MyRepurposedLife.com, chronicles her scrap-saving adventures and has been featured on countless DIY magazines and websites, including Women’s Day, Design*Sponge and Apartment Therapy. She is a longtime influencer for both Krylon spray paint and Gorrilla Glue. With a tribe of more than 400,000 followers, Gail is inspiring a new generation of DIYers to pick up some tools and get to work.
About gail@myrepurposedlife.com


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Jaimee Deason says:

    When I was scrolling through pinterest, I saw the before photo of this and actually thought it was my photo. I found this exact piece of furniture on the side of the road. I took it home and refashioned it into a console/tv stand. And I even painted it a blue shade and put a new top and stained it. I wish I could show you a photo here, but just in case I’m Jaimee Deason on pinterest.

  2. How am I just seeing this one.. I now have to go through your site and see what I have missed!!
    I love that you just cut it apart! :-)

  3. Hey Gail, This might be a silly question but I use the same wax and I have a really hard time with my buffer because the can opening is so small…I even have a hard time when I get close to the bottom with my “big” hands..Do you have problems with this container..I wish they would change the top….

  4. So pretty, Gail! I love this bench!! <3

  5. Shirley says:

    Fabulous as always! I just wish I had half the tools as you do. I keep entering contest for new tools but never win. Thanks for sharing. When you are on a fixed income tools are not the first thing you purchase.

    God Bless

  6. Brenda Latham says:

    Such a resourceful mind you have! Love the color too!

  7. I was like a giddy school girl reading this! Great tips! I have to get an angle driver! I love it Gail! Pinned.

  8. Love it! You did a great job!

  9. That’s freaking awesome.. at first I thought : wow that looks easy enoungh…..NOT…. there still was alot of steps but you made it look wonderful..!! I SO wished you lived by me to teach me how to do this stuff…!!!

  10. girlfromwva says:

    looks beautiful! great job!

  11. Thanks for the tutorial. I’ve always loved the look of dressers-turned-benches, but wasn’t sure of the process. Your bench turned out beautifully!

  12. That’s a winner for sure!

  13. Looks FABulous—great job!
    I love cutting up furniture and re-inventing it!
    I love the link to the other dresser projects—

  14. LOVE this!!!!

  15. Margaret says:

    So, so pretty! This is such a great repurpose! I like the black handles better myself, but both are pretty!

  16. Love it! what great storage!

  17. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Oh wow Gail, what a cool project! Repurposing at it’s best!

  18. Great job, love it. I am still waxing and buffing pieces by hand. Do you have info on the how’s, what’s, do’s and dont’s of using a buffer like the one above?

  19. super cute! i love the fun color and the shape- you did a great job as always!

  20. Diane Cash says:

    Now this is a keeper! In love with this one!!!!

  21. It looks great–and now I think I need one of those buffers.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! I read and appreciate every word!