How to Upcycle an Old Dresser

Reuse, renew, recycle! That is the message of the upcycling and pre-loved movements. Helping us all to make new from old and reduce our impact on the planet. 

From clothes and accessories to furniture and more, everything is getting a new lease of life now. This is even more vital, given the climate crisis and the recent IPCC report on how human behavior is harming and changing our planet

You can help make a positive change by upcycling used things too. If you’re looking for new furniture, why not look for old stuff first and make it new. 

We take you through the steps on how to upcycle an old dresser below. 

Upcycle an Old Dresser

Step by step

Clean the dresser

The first thing you need to do is give your dresser a good dusting and clean. Use a non-abrasive cleaner and microfibre cloth for the best results. 

Sand down surfaces

Before you start decorating your dresser, you’ll need all the surfaces sanded down. This is to remove any old paint or varnish and so you get a sleek finish later on. 

You might need a few different densities of sandpaper to complete the job. 

Replace worn parts

Old furniture will undoubtedly have signs of wear and tear. Dresser draws might have tired and unusable parts. 

Replace drawer runners and the like, especially if they’re rusted, with new parts. Don’t forget to recycle the old parts responsibly too.

Paint or varnish

Once the big tasks are complete, you can get to work on the fun jobs. You might want to paint your entire dresser or just give it a coat of clear varnish, it’s entirely up to you. 

Make sure you sample your paint or varnish on a small, inconspicuous area first to test it for quality. 

Add some design 

The great thing about upcycling is that you can completely personalize your objects while restoring them. 

Add wallpaper panels, painted designs, printed contact paper, or personalize your piece with elegant monogramming. The possibilities are endless. 

Upgrade the hardware

Either as part of your personalization or simply to replace tattered old parts, upgrading your dresser hardware might be necessary when upcycling your dresser. 

Consider updating tired handles, locks, and legs to give your dresser a new lease of life.

At the end of the process, you’ll have a shiny, upcycled dresser that’s completely personalized to your tastes – and one that’s good for the planet too!

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