16 DIY Dresser Makeover Ideas That Add Character

light blue dresser with gold accents in gray room

Who said all dressers have to be wood, black, or white? We're here to share a few of our favorite dresser makeovers that aren't afraid of a little color. We used inexpensive materials and easy techniques to make dressers that will wow your guests. Try these on an old or thrifted piece of furniture, or buy a basic dresser to use as a blank slate.

01 of 16

Handpaint Dresser Details

Furniture Makeovers

A double dose of style—in the form of glossy paint and a crisp white outline—elevates this dresser from dowdy to chic. To re-create the look, prep your dresser by sanding, cleaning, and priming. Coat it with semigloss enamel paint. (We used Valspar's Enchanted Forest.) For the freehand outline, use a small paintbrush dipped in white semigloss enamel paint, or try a white paint marker. If you don't want to do it freehand, you can follow a straightedge or apply painter's tape. Choose decorative areas to show off the dresser's curves.

02 of 16

Refresh Dresser with Wallpaper

teal, yellow, and white papered dresser in gray room

Revive a tired dresser using wallpaper with a print, pattern, or texture you love. Just make sure the drawers have a flat front—the wallpaper won't play well with a textured surface. The best part about using wallpaper on a dresser makeover is that an inexpensive sample-size roll is just enough to update four small drawers!

Start with a solid base by sanding, priming, and painting the dresser. Measure and cut the wallpaper to size using a utility knife for extra precision. Attach with spray adhesive smoothing out any air bubbles. Check a local flea market to find cool vintage drawer knobs for your newly refreshed dresser.

03 of 16

DIY Campaign Dresser

light blue dresser with gold accents in gray room

Known for its practical elegance, the campaign dresser's timeless style is easily achieved with paint and hardware. Using brass hardware gives it an extra glam touch. If you don't have space for it in your bedroom, consider using this redone dresser to hold linens and extra dining sets in the dining room.

Paint the dresser your desired color—don't be afraid to be bold! Spray-paint the hardware, too. The L brackets easily screw into the corners of each dresser drawer. Position each handle in the center of each drawer and secure with screws.

04 of 16

IKEA Dresser Makeover

diy built dresser light blue drawers home decor
Brie Passano

Give a basic 6-drawer Malm chest from IKEA a high-end look with fresh paint, new hardware, and stained wood panels. This easy dresser makeover can be customized with stain and paint colors to match your decorating style. First, paint the dresser before cutting and installing four wood panels to the edges. Finish with updated pulls.

05 of 16

Striped Dresser Makeover

striped pink, green, and blue dresser in gray room with hourglass

We love the graphic splash these colorful stripes add against a white background. Replacing the original door pulls with sleek modern ones played to the linear patterns on the dresser.

Sand and prime the dresser, keeping in mind the primer color will show through. Begin creating the stripes using painters tape. The stripes should have various widths and be spaced apart unevenly. The colors and amount of stripes you use is then up to you. Make sure paint is entirely dry before you place painters tape over the design.

06 of 16

Textured Ombre DIY Dresser

ombre pink dresser in gray room

Craft a whimsical dresser with a little bit of paint and wooden blocks. This DIY dresser makeover is a perfect fit for a kid's room.

Begin by priming your dresser a light, singular color. Split the dresser into three sections and paint the top and middle section with their corresponding colors. Where the lightest and middle color meet, mix the two shades together and use that paint mixture to blend the two sections together. Repeat for the middle and bottom sections. Cut the wood blocks into squares and rectangles and position them onto the dresser drawer fronts. Paint the blocks your desired color and set in place with wood glue.

07 of 16

Repurpose a Dresser into a Bar Cart

Makeover Madness

With ample drawers for linens and extra glasses, plus a flat top, a dresser is perfect for becoming a bar cart. One blogger turned a basic IKEA dresser into a wow-worthy statement piece. Start by painting the drawers and body of the dresser (she used Benjamin Moore Wickham Gray). Then install decorative accents, like a gold-spray-painted towel rack, chic overlays, and bold hardware. Get the full how-to tutorial here, plus meet the blogger behind the design on the next slide.

08 of 16

Geometric Dresser Makeover

diy dresser

Three-sided motifs (aka triangles) and three coordinating colors hit a dresser-makeover home run. To get the look, remove the drawers, then prime and paint them a base color (we used white). Block off a geometric pattern using a straightedge, pencil, and painters tape. Play around with triangle shapes—alternate directions or flip the pattern upside down on the next drawer. Three shades of coral applied randomly enhance the dynamic nature of the design.

09 of 16

Top It Off

chest of drawers, after

Want to take your dresser-makeover game to the next level? Apply a faux-granite top. Start by cleaning and sanding the dresser. Then apply gray-beige paint to the body. Paint the legs of the dresser in a hue a few shades darker. Once dry, install modern drawer pulls. For the faux-granite top, you'll need a kit; we used Rust-Oleum's Countertop Transformations in Charcoal. Follow the instructions on the kit to create your granite-inspired surface.

10 of 16

Artful Dresser Makeover

Transformed dresser with flowers

Art isn't just for walls—it's for your dresser, too. With a few basic supplies and a large poster, you can cover a basic dresser in a pretty pattern that wows. Start by priming the dresser and removing the drawers. Adhere artwork to the dresser's frame with spray adhesive, then trim along the edges once the paper dries. Repeat the process on the drawers, spraying with adhesive, applying art, and trimming the edges. Finally, attach new knobs to the dresser.

11 of 16

Stamped Dresser Design

painted walls and dresser

To create a botanical-inspired DIY dresser, cut crafts foam into different sizes of leaf shapes. Dip the leaves, lightly and one at a time, in white latex paint, blot them on cardboard, and stamp them on the dresser, dresser top, and wall in meandering patterns. Use the tip of a small paintbrush handle to draw vein lines in the leaves while the paint is still wet. Use a thin brush to paint on the stems. Allow the paint to dry at least 24 hours.

12 of 16

Mixed and Matched

Furniture Project

Why stick to just one finish when multiple can look so fabulous? Several wood stains create a one-of-a-kind look in this dresser makeover. Start with a basic, unfinished dresser. Then apply stains in a variety of shades to each drawer. For best results, opt for oil-base stains; their long drying times let you stain large pieces without overlapping dry marks. A painted board attached to the top of the dresser brings the piece together and provides a flat, uniform surface.

13 of 16

Stenciled DIY Dresser

painted dresser

If you don't want to paint a wood dresser completely but still want to give it a little oomph, consider stenciling. Prep the dresser by removing knobs and cleaning the dresser. Spray stencils with stencil adhesive and align on dresser, cutting the stencils or taping off sections you don't want. We chose three teal hues in enamel semigloss paint. Using a stipple brush, dip into paint and dab off excess, then apply light coats of paint using a pouncing motion. When dry, outline images in the lightest paint color using an artists brush or a paint marker. Finish with clear polyurethane.

14 of 16

Luxurious Dresser Makeover

blue dresser

Would you believe this chic blue dresser used to be knotty pine? A fresh coat of paint turns a thrift store staple into a beautiful, sophisticated piece. Paint the dresser in a rich color, then apply a glaze to the corners for a lightly distressed look. Brass hardware completes the makeover. The best part? This update can be done in a weekend.

15 of 16

Two-Tone Dresser Makeover


Highlight a curvy silhouette by painting the frame of a dresser one color and the drawer fronts in a contrasting color. Here, a glossy blue hugs the dresser's curves, and the drawers pop in semigloss white. Match new hardware to the frame color and your makeover is complete.

16 of 16

Serving Style


Repurpose an old dresser as a buffet with paint and pretty paper. Remove the top drawers, and cover the cubbies with plywood. Paint the entire piece, and cover the remaining drawer fronts with paper, securing in place with wallpaper paste. And before you pitch the removed drawers to the curb, consider this bonus project: Line the inside of a drawer with paper (adhered with wallpaper paste) and hang it for a cute shelf.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles