Dumped Dresser – Don’t be a Stressor

Have you come across a dumped Dresser?  One that is missing some or all of its drawers?  It can be a chore, to replace all those drawers!  Often I will sigh, at the shortsightedness of the guy (or gal) that heave hoed the dresser to its fate, often through a dumpster gate.  Not knowing, it could become this!

If you have hung out here for a while, you can read on with a smile.  I saved one more from the land fill and it gave me a thrill.  I found this sad gal one morning while everyone was still snoring.  Lonely it sat there, all by itself.  It really had no idea it could be turned into a shelf.

I am sharing some of the details of how I pulled out the entrails (of the dresser where the drawers were supposed to go).  Like the Bionic Man, it is now better, stronger, will last longer.  (But not faster)……..

I am out of ryhmes….here are the details:

Using a Mallet, I knocked out the drawer runners and just the middle drawer.  It was pretty flimsy, like glorified cardboard, so it came out very easily.

The back was in bad shape too. Someone had strategically poked large holes in it.  I removed it, placed painters tape over the back side of the holes and filled with spackling.  Great way to fill drawer pull holes too!  Thank you Catherine from Freddy and Petunia for that tip!

If you are deconstructing a dresser or bookshelf, I highly recommend removing the back.  It makes it much easier to be able to work from both sides on the inside!

I measured the inside length and width of where I needed to replace the wood.  The supports for the cardboard drawer holders were still intact.  I cut pieces of wood to fit the inside, then used my jigsaw to cut away the little part in the middle where the middle support of the dresser ran down.

Due to the construction of the “bones” of the dresser, there was about an inch gap on either end where the new shelf sat.  Instead of trying to make my cuts perfect to fit around the interior structure, I used the old drawer railings to fill in.  These things come in handy, don’t throw them out! 

After I had the shelves cut, I was able to base coat everything in Debi’s Design Diary DIY Paint.   When this dried, I put the shelves back in, put the back on, and proceeded with the fun part.  I did a color blend of two DIY Paint colors on the exterior.   I randomly painted patches of both colors, then used a water dipped large Purdy brush to “blend” the colors together.

Once the paint was dry, I set about “burninshing” it.  I do this by going over the paint with a 320 or 400 grit sandpaper.   This sands off the rough excess and leaves a super smooth, almost silky finish.  I use a large Chip brush, to “dust” off the paint dust as I go.

Something unique about DIY Paints is that it is a clay based paint.  Not only does the Clay makes it more durable and adhesive, (remember, there is no acrylic in this paint)!  The clay give the paint a variegated color.  Like a fine silk or linen.  “Burnishing” the paint really brings this gorgeous color to the surface.  I sealed the entire piece in 100% natural DIY  Clear wax for a gorgeous shine.

I purchased some baskets that were perfect for the spaces from Michael’s (on clearance!).  I painted them in Sandy Blonde to blend with the overall look of the piece.

The dresser turned shelving took a ride to Paris Flea Market with me last week where it will be for sale next weekend, April 4th-7th.  This piece can easily be used for a variety of things.  It can be converted to a media storage unit by removing the back, or even cutting through the Back Board.

It liked hanging around outside as well…..

We had a lovely time together, the dresser and I.  I hope it goes on to a new home where it can live on in it’s lovely new transformation.

If you would like to see more dresser conversions.  (Frankenfurniture),they are easy top spot in my Project Gallery, “Le Junque Makeovers” 



  1. Fran

    Great Job and beautiful color combinations. I’m sure it will sell fast. I’m so glad you save these poor things from the dump. Its amazing what could be kept out of the landfill if more people thought the same way. Please keep up the good work, it really does make a difference.

  2. Kris

    What a great job on this dresser. You have transformed her into such a beautiful piece. She will be snatched up really quick at the Paris Market for sure. It is so beautiful. I am going to start to call you the furniture whisper!!!!! You put such wonderful life back into abandoned furniture. Great job.

  3. Regina

    ahh I almost thought I was reading a cute Dr. Seuss book;) I love the colour and the way you blended them. Perfect pick for the baskets, very well done!

  4. Margaret

    Love it, I’m going to find me one!

  5. Bliss

    Excellent rescue!


  6. Shelly Andrade

    Karen, what a great transformation! Love the re-purposing of it, the baskets, the color choices… Absolutely gorgeous! sharing!!

  7. Sayuri@Vintage Breeze

    You are a furniture Goddess for saving the dresser without drawers!!
    I love her she turned out, colors are gorgeous and the baskets really completes her 🙂

    I’m currently working on a dumpster dresser too, when I found her,she was upside down with drawers all over the place. My first thought was “I’d take her if she had all the drawers…”
    And she did so I brought her home. I always hesitate if there’s something missing.

    Please keep up the good work!!!

  8. Sumaya Warwick

    Your dumped dresser turned out PERFECT. Love the blend, the baskets and the cute tags!:) You are Furniture Lady of Liberty with Mallet in hand saving the planet one dumped dresser at a time!


  9. cassie

    LOVE this! the color, finish, style… my heart skipped a beat or two!

  10. Catherine

    You funny girl~well I now know someone caught my tip on filling holes!
    I have picked up sO mAny tips through my years in construction/cabinet design.

    I l-o-v-e those colors you chose, and the whole piece looks fAb!
    I have a dresser much like yours I’ve been toying with making a bookcase, I guess I will go forward now! You’re always so inspiring!

  11. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions

    Nicely done! I’ve done this myself with some roadside rescues. I know how satisfying it can be to take something someone obviously saw as trash and fix it up. No drawers? Doesn’t bother me at all!

  12. Susan

    I love it! And thanks for the tutorial too 🙂

  13. Heidi @ Decor & More

    I am in love with those colors — blended perfectly! I’m gonna have to try this technique, Karen!
    xo Heidi

  14. Traci

    Now I am on the lookout for dresser with no drawers so I can do this too. Super cute make-over.

  15. CeCe Caldwell

    I love it! Your imagination never ceases to amaze me!

  16. Angelina - JoJo and Eloise

    Oh this is so absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!! What a transformation! Thank you so much for sharing this with us ant Knock Our Socks Off!!

  17. Kelly @ The Moon and Me

    Oh…I LOVE it! It has a fabulous new life now! And I am totally crushing on those baskets.
    Great save! 🙂

  18. Stacey

    I am completely in love with this piece! WOW! It looks amazing!
    I have to try this!!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  19. Denise... On A Whim

    Love this dresser, and the baskets are completely perfect for it. The colors you chose for it are perfect together!

  20. Pamela

    Love the color and the baskets Karen!

  21. Nita{ModVintageLife}

    Oh…I love how this turned out! It is soooo pretty. I’d love to have this in my home.

  22. Jeanine Okio B Designs

    Love the color you chose! And the baskets fit perfectly. Love, love, love! Coming over from French Country Cottage and so glad I did!


  23. Jamie

    This looks amazing! You’re so talented!!
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

  24. Debbie

    You did such a GOOD JOB! The dresser turned out amazing. I’m really impressed.

  25. Megin

    Beautiful! Love the color. I’m just dying to get my hands on an old dressor to make one of these for myself!
    I’m visiting you today from Common Ground. I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog and leave a comment and Link Up, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Medicine Cabinet Makeover

  26. Danielle

    Yay! So glad you shared this at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

  27. Roeshel

    So pretty, so creative! I’ll take one! 🙂

  28. Kathryn Griffin @TheDedicatedHouse

    As always, you’ve done an amazing job! You will be one of the features at this Friday’s Anything Blue Friday party. I’m actually working on the post early. Sometimes I shock myself…lol. Anyhoo, pop on in and grab an Anything Blue Friday feature button. Hope to see you again at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  29. Stacey

    Featured this!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  30. Stacey

    Featuring this – it is amazing!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  31. Jen

    Wow! This is just fab, love the colour you’ve painted it.

  32. Goedele - Old Red Barn

    Gorgeous!! It was well worth the effort of knocking out the inside of this dresser. Thank you for joining the Crafty Country Cottage Link Party.

  33. Lori

    SO SO Cute!! Great colors. Love it Karen.

  34. Linda

    I saw your dresser on “the Old Red Barn”. What a beautiful transformation!
    I love it!

  35. Clydia @ Three Mango Seeds

    You did a great job! The baskets are perfect and the little labels just add the finishing touch! Sharing this over at my place on Friday. XOXO

  36. L.Speck

    Thank you for the inspiration – I am going to make my daughter’s dresser a REDOUX!

    Thank you to for the smile you give me every time I come to this page!



  1. How to Makeover Old French Provincial Dresser - Redoux Interiors - […] Dumped Dresser Don’t be a Stressor […]
  2. Trashy Tuesday, Getting Dumped is Delightful - Redoux Interiors - […] like the Dresser that dumped its drawers, I have another sad case on my hands.  Won’t it look amazing…

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