This isn't my first repurposed dresser bench, but this one is a little lower, and it's a perfect kid's bench with storage. I actually got two projects out of one old dresser, so look for the other project near the bottom of this post.
So, if you're wondering how to turn a dresser into a bench for extra storage, you're in the right place!
Table of contents
- Repurposed Dresser Bench
- Great End of Bed Dresser Bench
- Cut Dresser in Half to Make Bench
- One Dresser | Two Projects
- Cut off Dresser Feet
- Add Back Support Board
- Add Trim to Cover Bad Veneer
- Gutted Dresser | Repurposed Project
- Add Side Supports to Repurposed Dresser Bench
- Make Seat with Pocket Holes
- Underneath Side of Bench
- How to Add Supports
- Why is a Dresser Made of Cardboard?
- Attaching the Back and Sides
- Add a Top Railing
- Cut Off Dresser Top
Repurposed Dresser Bench
I showed you this dresser in a Recent Finds post.
I bought this dresser ($20) and two pieces of the bead board paneling for $4 each. Yeah, I know, $20 is way over my $5 limit….but remember, I got two (projects) for one dresser.
The dresser had some bad veneer issues. How do you fix bad veneer? You can click that link if you're curious, but in the case of this repurposed dresser bench, it wasn't necessary.
Great End of Bed Dresser Bench
I already knew that I wanted to repurpose another dresser into a bench. I did this one years ago, and I’ve been wanting to do it again.
Cut Dresser in Half to Make Bench
I got busy cutting the dresser apart with my Jig Saw . I should have used tape, that would have cut down on the splintering.
If you look closely, you can see where I cut the dresser apart—into two pieces.
You may think that your dresser is made too cheaply to actually be of any use. This dresser is about as cheap as they come.
One Dresser | Two Projects
See? Now this repurposed dresser is good for TWO projects, so $20 is now $10 per project.
Cut off Dresser Feet
The trim I have isn’t quite wide enough to cover the bad veneer, so I cut a little bit of the dresser’s feet off.
Add Back Support Board
This project will need a lot of extra support. The first support I decided to add was across the bottom (back). I used a 1x for that.
Add Trim to Cover Bad Veneer
I got this very wide piece of molding at one of the Peddler’s malls for $2.75—what a bargain! It was easy to find now that I have all my lumber pieces organized in my new work bench.
Gutted Dresser | Repurposed Project
Can you believe this is the bare bones of a vintage dresser? As I said, it's going to need a lot of supports.
Add Side Supports to Repurposed Dresser Bench
I started by adding some braces on each side.
Of course, I used my Kreg Jig to make pocket holes, they give a really nice fit. That gave me something sturdy to attach the side seat supports.
Make Seat with Pocket Holes
For the bench seat I used some 1x’s to get the right width. I used my Kreg Jig to drill the pocket holes to make my seat nice and sturdy.
Underneath Side of Bench
In this picture you can see the bench seat rests on the side supports.
How to Add Supports
In this close-up you can see all the supports I added to make this repurposed dresser strong enough to hold people. I kept inserting the drawers to make sure I wasn’t interfering with their movement.
Why is a Dresser Made of Cardboard?
I don't know WHY they make dressers out of cardboard, do you? Since the back of this dresser WAS cardboard, I needed to add some braces in order to attach my bead board. I used 1x’s attached with more pocket hole screws. See the middle stile? There is that nice sturdy brace behind there to support the length of the seat.
Attaching the Back and Sides
I was very fortunate that I had enough scrap bead board pieces to complete this repurposed dresser into a bench. I used my Ryobi BRAD NAILER to attach all the bead board pieces.
See how there is enough “meat” on the sides and back to attach the top trim? Had I not added those boards, there would be nothing for me to nail to.
Add a Top Railing
I used window casing to trim out the top, making it flush with the bead board so that it will be comfortable. So far, I'm really loving the repurposed dresser bench, how about you?
The bench was painted the same as 99% of my repurposed projects. I used my diy chalky paint primer and my Finish Max. The bench was topped off with a final coat of White Semi-Gloss paint. (behr)
After cleaning up the hardware, it was spray painted and reattached.
Wow! Don't you LOVE it?
Thanks for Sharing and Saving on Pinterest!
What did I do with the top of the dresser??
Cut Off Dresser Top
Bonus: I still had this part of the dresser for project #2! After much debate, I decided it wanted to be a lego table!
Anything with drawers and storage will help you keep the kids a little more organized!
See other fun bench projects here
sharing here: Funky Junk Interiors
Hi, there! I’m Gail, the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way… literally!
Fantastic! I love your blog and projects.
Thank you so much Debra. I do LOVE what I get to do.
I love all of your projects. Well done you.
I think I've done 3 or four dressers into benches. I just LOVE cutting up old furniture.
What a great project, the bench looks darling!
I appreciate your sweet comment Julie. This is one of the few pieces that I made for family. Most of my items get re-homed and I never know where they go.
I mean, you can't go wrong with a sweet bench with drawers, right?
I have a comment that's not about the build either (though it looks great)- but about the bear. It was a few months ago that my mother found one of your pictures as the thumbnail of a Facebook "upcycling" article and noticed the teddy bear on the bench. My little sister had lost her beloved teddy bear that looked exactly like the one in the photo during a move from Missouri to Florida last September. I found this original article of yours and at the time the most recent comment was asking about the stuffed dog! (I figured I'd wait to beg for help about the other stuffed animal in your pictures until I had exhausted google photo search.) Thanks to google (and the fact that Hallmark makes bears that seem to be similar in looks), I found out that it was Hallmark's "Sweet Hugs" white teddy bear, and thanks to Canadian eBay, my sister received the bear over the summer! She was ecstatic to have her bear back (though she did realize it wasn't the exact same one) but it was all thanks to your post that this happened at all. So,
I only WISH you had asked me about the bear. The dog is priceless, but I would have sent the bear to your sister in a heartbeat. The bench is long gone, but the bear is just sitting around in the guest room.
I'm thankful that you did find one. That google machine is pretty mighty, isn't it? 🙂
Thank you for sharing this story, it makes my heart happy!!!
Clever. Who would guess that that bench was an ugly dresser in another life?
Thank you Brette! 🙂 I do love cutting up furniture.
Thus has nothing to do with the build but I have to ask. That dog in the picture, the stuffed one, where did you get it? I have one just like it and I was trying to figure out where it came from so I could get another one since mine has tears in it and is a bit worn... Love the bench too though. I might just try it. Thanks for your time.
ohhh Melissa That sweet stuffed dog is something we got for our daughter on a trip to a pumpkin farm when she was very young. She just turned 36, so it's about 32 years old. Gosh, that's hard to believe that Sammy's been hanging out in that room for all those years. Never sold, or given away--never even stored.
I'm sorry I can't be of any help as to where you could find one of those sweet pups.
Heyyyyy! I live in a converted bus fulltime. This Dessie idea is the closest I've seen to what I want to do for my living room . Except I want a wider seat.big enough for two people to lay side by side on (hubby snuggling) what would be your suggestion for expanding the seat width? I am using the drawers for the storage underneath. Any insight would be wonderful!
I would think that you may have to build one from scratch to get the width you need. You could use an old headboard and make a bench semilar to this one... https://www.myrepurposedlife.com/kingsize-headboard-bench/
Really cute! Just another idea, if someone has a nice dresser with some veneer issues that they would really like to use that part.....I once had a dresser set given to me because the person thought they were too unsightly due to severe clawing on the side from a dog. My husband filled the area with bondo he had on hand from a car project (that is auto body panel filler which was then sanded smooth) voila! Painted it and it was as good as new. I could tell later that the person wished they had not given it away so hastily.
great tip! I've never used bondo, I generally just remove the bad veneer and deal with it in other ways. 🙂
I probably need to get some bondo.
You also have SIX drawers that you can use to make shelves or something with!
I think this would make a great buffet table or writing table just add legs.
What tools would you recommend to buy for someone just starting out with redoing furniture. Did you also take any woodworking classes or did you learn on your own? Barb R
You can read about my favorite tools here http://ebay.to/19rH5qY and here: http://ebay.to/17aXfDE. I have never taken any classes. I am self-taught, mostly by trial and error.
I wish you the best!
WOW! you inspire me !!! 🙂
I think I would paint it with a pattern or some kind of painting on it.. (kids design, animal prints etc)
I've done this before and it's quite easy if you use stencils ... you can make your own or pick them up at an Art or Craft store...
What's your painting advice...that's the part I can't ever get right?
My best painting advice is to use a HomeRight Finish Max. If you can afford a paint sprayer, make your own DIY Chalk Paint--makes a great primer. You can read about it here: http://bit.ly/chalkyPAINTprimer
Your amazing! I would antique white the bench....and definitely make a coffee table from the top.
You could make the top part a shelf.
You may or may not want to cut it in half to do that...
Love your ideas!!
Ahhhh dressers! Always a fun project!
Your remainder piece would make a great console in an entry--got any cool legs?
erin @house envy
this turned out great! good tutorial too.
What I love best about what you do is that you get it done! I have a garage full of things to makeover but I keep putting it off. (The snow's here now so it's too late).
I was thinking a buffet table for the top with just front legs and then attached to the wall in back.
Hmmmmm...color, color, for the bench...so many would look good. I guess it depends on where it's going. I'm in love with bright colors so I think I'd mix a few whimsical ones for the bench. Trim in one color, bench in another. Throw pillows on it in another flattering color. I'd maybe even do a design on the sides of the bench like the diamond pattern that I can't for the life of me think of the word for. Or maybe one large fleur de lis on each side??? I can't wait to see the final product whatever you do! Thanks for sharing. I LOVE seeing what you do.
How do you do this? Seriously, you are amazing.
I love your benches! I never would have thought to make a bench out of a dresser. I'm dying of curiosity to see what you do with the remaining piece. I wish I had a nice clean top like that to put on a cabinet I have.
Ok! I'm just getting over here to see this follow up post. Gail! You've out done yourself here. This looks fantastic. You have such vision. I like that you incorporated your bead board and the dresser into a project.
I've no idea what color to paint it. I like white nowdays...
As to the top piece with the drawers.
Maybe a center island if you add spindle legs and a bottom shelf. Or...and entry table...or Gosh! the sky is the limit with you. If you could install it...and not sell out right as a piece of furniture, I'd say...a floating counter, with no legs. But that is something to do if you were keeping it or installing it like I said.
I'm just waiting for you to finish, so I can BE AMAZED! ~Patricia
I love how you squeezed two projects into one dresser, I would of never of thought of ripping a dresser apart like that...and honestly I know I couldn't lol But dang, that is smart! I would spray the whole thing white primer and then decide on the color. There are so many different pieces of woods going on, it is hard to decide. I like the idea of a sofa back table for the second piece! With some curvy legs 🙂
I am thinking Coffee Table! Short fat stubby legs. Change the hardward out, maybe pull out the middle drawer and add a basket. Strip paint it shabby chic like an off-white flaking paint?.... I would possibly sand the corners so they are rounder. For a different look than shabby chic, paint it black, use metal legs and polished nickel handles.
OR keep the natural wood and burn it and do some chain beating to distress it... possibly used wood stirups for the feet. still keeping it a coffee table.
LOVE your dresser bench!
I think the dresser top should be a sofa table, or entry way table! Love how you are getting 2 projects out of one!!! Can't wait to see it all done!
Awesome job! Love the new bench. Trending colors are grey and whites right now, but I think any color would be lovely on this bench. The top half can be a sofa table - It would be beautiful.
Your skills and creativity are amazing. I want to just come watch you work and learn a thing or two. Great job!
looks fantastic by the way!
boxwood green for the bench with black hardware and the top should be a sofa table using black pipe. Make the top red! Maybe I should suggest these things instead of ordering you around!
Im a little bossy!
You are so creative!!!! I love this project. What color are you going to paint it? I have no clue what you are going to do with the top half, but I can't wait to see it.
I'm lovin this!!!! I'm thinkin that I have got to find me one 🙂 I think you and I would have a blast hangin out and building stuff!!!!! I hope you and your family have a terrific Thanksgiving. I think the top could be awesome as a desk or even turn it into an island, or drop a small sink in it for a utility room.......sorry I get a little excited 🙂
This is my favorite type of project. I have an old dresser that has so not inspired me. It a free to me and I have been thinking of passing it to free Craigs list. I am inspired to try out the dresser to bench! New things to try and learn for 2014. Definitely pinning this!
This is the highlight of my day!!!! I LOVE it Gail! These are my favorite kind of projects you do, you are so AMAZING!! It would be fun to do a distressed blue color for the bench, can't wait to see it finished! And of course it is pinned!
Love this idea. It looks great! Maybe for the top half... add legs and make a pretty hefty sofa table? Or a high-boy desk with storage? Under the bed storage?
OMG this is amazing! I would never think to make a bench out of it!!!
I think the top (depending on the height) needs some wheels to fit under a bed as storage.
Love the bench! It would look great painted teal or turquoise! Hardware black/rubbed bronze. The top of the dresser could be braced to a wall with lenghwise supports and used as a desk/homework station. Drawers will be perfect to keep pencils and papers in! Thanks for sharing another amazing repurposed creation!
Maybe the top portion could become some sort of cubby mantle. it would be long but if there was a need for ot, like there is in my house lol, it would be perfect!
Julie @ follow your heart woodworking
I like how you pieced that all together with different scraps. I'm thinking it would look nice in distressed white, but I don't think you do white too much?
wow!! awesome! love the addition of the beadboard!
It is crying out to be a sofa table. How cute is that bench. I get so excited to see your next post each day. You have such wonderful idea's. Thank you for that!
ALL of your transformations are amazing, but this one is over the top. I would never have the nerve to attempt this! It is going to look awesome when it's completed...hope you decide on a paint color!
Oh Gail! I love this! I would paint the bench several colors 🙂 and patterns 🙂
The second piece looks like a sofa table ?
It's looking great! I think the top of the dresser needs so legs with a shelf toward the bottom to become a table for an entry way or behind a couch. Plus you should have three drawers that you could turn into something too like a footstool with storage or shelves.
I think the bench should be red.
Great job Gail!
That's what I thought too, Holly. Either of those two things or another bench.