by Christina Dennis

Inspired by a pricey clothes dresser for a nursery I found online, I managed to “upcycle” a dated old dresser we had with just some paint and new hardware to match my daughter’s room. It only took me an afternoon, very little money and I was so happy with the results! Here’s how:


  • used unpainted wooden dresser
  • primer
  • 2-3 coordinating paint colours
  • new hardware
  • foam roller
  • paint brush
  1. Find an old wooden, unpainted dresser at a thrift shop, antique shop, garage sale, or from your own home. (Mine was an old pine dresser with dated hardware. It looked something like the picture below.)
  2. Clean and sand the entire dresser thoroughly (I didn’t sand/paint the insides of the drawers).
  3. Paint the dresser with at least one coat of primer. Let dry.
  4. Choose three shades of semi-gloss paint that match your nursery decor – one for the main dresser, one for the trim around the drawers (if you have trim) and one for the faces of the drawers. I chose chocolate brown, white and pink – these were all leftover paints from painting elsewhere in my house and in the nursery.
  5. Pull the drawers out of the dresser. Using a small foam roller (these work fantastically for wooden furniture!), paint the main parts of the dresser in your first colour – the top, sides, wood between the drawers, and legs.
  6. Remove the hardware on the drawers. Using a small foam roller, paint the faces of the drawers in colour three.
  7. Once paint is dry, paint a second coat.
  8. Once paint dries again, use a small brush to paint the trim around the drawers in colour two (if your drawers have trim). Dry. Recoat.
  9. Once paint is dry, attach new updated hardware to drawers. Re-assemble dresser. Voila! A boutique-looking dresser for nearly free!

Christina Dennis is the creator and designer behind Golly Gee Baby, a collection of unique and colourful baby clothing and accessories that are ethically manufactured.