April 14, 2012

.dresser to book shelf.

Well, technically we are using this as a media console for the time being but, eventually it will just be a cute book shelf.

Not gonna lie, I am feeling pretty freaking awesome right now. I drilled. I sawed. I hammered. I sanded. Perhaps I should back up a bit though, eh?

Paint, marks, gouges. Ogh!
Last summer the man and I got some POS unfinished dressers from some people who, to put it mildly, let their kids totally abuse the furniture. There were gouges, writing in pen and pencil, paint splatters, etc. We were feeling crafty though and thought we could redo them. We managed to get one done before la bebe came but the other one was going to require a bit more TLC so it has just been sitting in our room. For 8 months. Yeah. I hated looking at it and was tempted to just toss it because it seemed like it was going to be too much work to get the drawers in functioning order.

This was the top of the dresser. Probably the most damaged area.
But then la bebe kind of made a decision for us! She has started crawling (oh boy!) and of course the first things she goes for are the cords for the wireless router and TV. So, we needed a media console to house all of those, ASAP. Our bookshelf was also starting to get over run with DVDs! I was looking at the dresser one night a few weeks ago and a light bulb went off. I didn't want to just toss it and waste it, and repurposing it into shelves would solve the dilemma of how to fix the drawers. So, the fun began.

Here's a before of the living room. Crowded bookshelf and wireless stuff to the left of the fireplace, TV and Wally bed to the right.

Once I got started it was pretty easy. I removed all the hardware from the drawers, except for the top two small drawers, which worked and we decided to keep them in. I measured, bought my supplies and started fixing the bad boy up.

I had to add these to each side so the shelves had something to sit on, there were already the supports along the back though.
The piece is not completely finished. I still need to add trim and I'm planning on covering the back of the shelves with fabric, since the wood on the back is a cheaper piece of particle board than the rest of the wood. There are also still some pretty deep gouges that didn't get covered 100%, but I'm sure I will repaint this in the future so I will just go over everything again.

In order to get it from this

To this

I simply sanded, filled in the gouges as best I could with wood filler, sanded some more, sprayed it with Killz to keep the pen and marker from bleeding into the new paint, installed the shelves, then painted multiple coats onto everything. I also added some felt to the inside of the top drawers.

It sounds pretty easy when it's all condensed into a nice little paragraph (or, you know, run-on sentence, cause that's how I roll). Really though, it involved a good bit of work. It took much longer than I expected it to, mostly thanks to la bebe. There was nothing too terribly complicated about it though and I really think anybody could do this with the right tools. The only "special" tool you might need is a hack saw, if you need to cut the corners off the shelves before installing them, like I did. Other than that all I used was a hammer and screw driver!

I'm not sure how interested anybody is in the specifics of how I installed the shelves but if you're interested let me know in the comments and I will try to write up more detailed instructions! I figured I would just show you guys, maybe give somebody an idea, and show off my awesome handy-woman work! I really am very excited about how the whole thing is turning out. Now I just need to find some cute baskets to put in the shelves!



  1. I love the way it turned out. I have an outdated dresser at home that I would love to use as a media cabinet in the living room. How did you do the shelving?