Next-Level Dresser Makeover Projects

2014 Makeover Madness
Three fresh ways to add character to a plain white dresser.

Before: Drab Dresser

Here's the ho-hum dresser we started with: plain and devoid of personality. With a little creativity and elbow grease, we came up with three sassy ways to transform it from drab to fab.

Warhol Wonder

We like the way a bold graphic treatment gives our dresser an urban edge. We chose an oversize Warhol poster, but any poster you adore will do. Or visit your local photocopy center to enlarge your favorite photo. Large patterns are simpler to match than busy patterns, especially on the drawer fronts. Keep clicking to see how we did it.

DIY Tip: Use a large-blade carpet knife to trim around the poster edges. Don't forget to stock up on extra razor blades so you always have a sharp edge for the cuts.

Warhol Wonder: Materials and Steps 1-3

What You'll Need:
• Primer
• Paintbrush
• Tape measure or ruler
• Large poster
• Spray adhesive
• Carpet knife
• Nail
• 6 decorative knobs

Step 1: Prep the dresser front with a coat of primer. Let dry.

Step 2: Measure the width and height of the chest, including the legs. Trim the artwork to size, making sure the design falls where you want it to. Cut out the pieces that will go on the legs (you'll apply them separately).

Step 3: Remove the drawers. Adhere the artwork to the dresser front using spray adhesive. Press the artwork to the dresser, starting at one edge and working your way across the piece. Let dry.

Warhol Wonder: Steps 4-5

Step 4: Trim the paper along the drawer openings. Spray the drawers with adhesive and apply the artwork to the drawer fronts.

Step 5: Trim and place the leg pieces onto the dresser. Use a nail to poke the knob holes through the paper and add decorative knobs.

Leather Luxury

Inspired by some cool leather handles we found, we dressed up this dresser with a sleek brown finish and "stitching" drawn with a gold-leaf pen.

DIY Tips: 1. When drilling new holes for the pulls, hold the drill perpendicular to the surface so the screws go in straight. 2. For a scratch-resistant finish, apply two coats of clear polyurethane to the dresser. Sand lightly between coats.

Leather Luxury: Materials and Steps 1-2

What You'll Need:
• Bondo adhesive
• Primer and paint
• Paintbrush
• Gold-leaf pen
• Ruler
• Towel
• 6 leather pulls
• Drill and drill bits

Step 1: Patch drawer holes with Bondo adhesive.

Step 2: Prime dresser and let dry. Paint satin-finish chocolate brown. (We took the leather pulls to the paint store and had sales associates create a custom color to match). Pull out the drawers and paint all the edges and sides.

Leather Luxury: Step 3

Step 3: Add "stitches" by drawing dashed lines using a gold-leaf pen. Follow a ruler for straight lines. Repeat around the top and the drawers. Use a damp towel to clean up any mistakes.

Leather Luxury: Step 4

Step 4: Secure pulls. Measure new holes for the drawer pulls and attach the hardware with a drill.

Almost Antique

A few coats of dry-brushed paint and a set of antique-look handles give this dresser a much-loved look.

Almost Antique: Materials

What You'll Need:
• Bondo adhesive
• Milk paint
• Paintbrush
• Moliding strips
• Miter saw
• Finish nails
• Antiquing glaze
• Rag
• Clear polyurethane
• Drill and drill bits
• 6 drawer pulls

DIY Tips: 1. When using milk paint, plan to complete the project in one sitting. The paint dries quickly. 2. Use trim molding to give flat furniture dimension. To get a vintage feel, rub antiquing gel into the molding's edges and other heavy-use areas.

Almost Antique: Steps 1-5

Step 1: Patch drawer holes by filling with Bondo adhesive.

Step 2: Paint the first coat: Prepare milk paint by adding water to the powder, following manufacturer's instructions. Dry brush onto dresser to create a scratchy crosshatch effect.

Step 3: Paint molding strips white. Using a miter saw, cut and miter the molding to fit outer edges of the drawer fronts. Attach with finish nails.

Step 4: Apply antiquing glaze to the entire dresser. Wipe off any excess with a dry rag. When dry, coat the dresser with clear polyurethane.

Step 5: Drill new holes for the dresser pulls and attach to the drawers.

Sixteen bloggers competed in the Better Homes and Gardens Makeover Madness Tournament. The final four came to our headquarters to complete the championship round challenge. and one will be crowed the winner. Meet the contestants and see how their projects turned out.

Makeover Madness

See how four bloggers each transformed another plain dresser in our Makeover Madness competition. 

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