DIY & home

Furniture Flip: From Dresser to TV Stand

You know all those furniture flips you see on Pinterest and wish you had the time to do? Well I finally made time to do one of my own!

I’ve seen a few dressers re-purposed into pieces for living rooms and hallways, and it inspired me. Recently I cleared out a TON of clothes (I had two full size dressers plus a “walk-in closet” space set up in my laundry room), and it left one of my dressers empty. I considered just donating or selling it, maybe passing it on to someone I knew who needed it more than me. Then I remembered the flips I had pinned. My hand-me-down dresser was the perfect size for our living room! And what better way to get my TV off an old coffee table and reorganize our entire entertainment area that so desperately needed it?

I got started right away.


Figuring out what I was working with and creating a visionThis is what the dresser looked like before I did anything major to it. Obviously I took off the knobs and the two lower drawers already, but you get the idea! (I have a problem with remembering to take pictures before I start doing any work on a project, and this was no exception.)

Before I did anything (painting, building, etc) I needed to decide what exactly I wanted this piece to become. I knew I wanted the top drawer to stay, so I left it alone. And I definitely wanted to create shelving to put movies, games, and our Xbox.

I thought it seemed simple enough.

Just take out two drawers, lay some plywood on it, cover it with a few coats of paint, and instant gratification. Turns out I was getting a little in over my head (not surprising, since it was my first furniture flip and I wasn’t really sure what to expect!). When I tried to remove the drawers, I found that they were screwed into a central guide railing instead of using a rail on either side like I originally thought. When I flipped it over to get to the railings, I realized there were dividers between each drawer. [Insert frustration here.]

It took me about an hour to get both drawers out.

But once I got that done, it looked like smooth sailing the rest of the way. I was relieved when it only took a few minutes to remove the top drawer for painting. I decided to go ahead and paint the entire piece. Once I got a few coats on, I took a break for the night.

Day Two was really exciting.

Drafting a blueprint and piecing together the skeleton.
I had finished the top drawer, knobs and all, and was beginning to put together the shelves. My dad had to help me out by cutting the shelves for me (I’m not allowed to use power tools – I’m far too clumsy and could lose a hand!). Thanks, Dad!

Letting him cut the boards was the easy part. Actually putting them in was rough, literally. I couldn’t fit them through the front like the drawers, so I attempted to go through the bottom instead to avoid taking the back off entirely. But as with every plan, if something can go wrong, it will. And it did. After fighting the boards for about 45 minutes (and I mean really fighting them, punching and shoving and kicking them), I had to give in and pull the backing off the dresser to slide the shelves in.

We sized the boards to fit snugly, and wow were they snug!

I struggled to get them into place because they were such a tight fit, but I eventually got them in. After they were settled in, I used spackling to fill the crevices at the front of the shelves. Later, I sanded and painted the shelves. And that was enough work for me for a Saturday.

Day Three was my favorite.

Adding accents and giving it a personal touch
After a couple days of frustration, it was nice to end my weekend with a laid back day focused on details. I had purchased some gold design paper from Jo-Ann’s to use as my accent on the piece. If you haven’t seen/used it before, it’s basically like a heavy wrapping paper for crafts, and it was so easy to apply. They have it in multiple styles, and I highly recommend using it if you decide to do something like this. (Regular wrapping paper may be cheaper if you’re on a tight budget, but it rips way too easily and I’m not sure how it would hold up long term.)

I used small amounts of superglue to adhere the paper to the backboard (which was still unattached), and to each side of the drawer. It turned out even better than I imagined! You can see in this picture how it looked once I nailed the backboard back on.

And finally, it was done!

Finishing the piece and setting it up for placementWith the drawer and shelves in place, it was time to set it up as our center for entertainment. Check out this side-by-side before and after picture for comparison.

The bottom shelf was only about six inches tall, so it was the perfect size to place our Xbox and miscellaneous CDs and games. And I love that all of our movies fit so well on the other shelf too. I was able to quit using bright yellow wooden crates for our DVDs, and it already makes me feel calmer when I’m sitting on the couch.

This furniture flip could not have turned out better than it did, and I am so thrilled to finally have a place for our TV! Hopefully my next furniture project turns out this well (especially since it will probably be something to put our stereo on right next to this piece!).

How did your first furniture flip turn out? Tell me about it in the comments!


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2 thoughts on “Furniture Flip: From Dresser to TV Stand

    1. It was a dresser my grandma had given to me a few years back! So I didn’t pay for the dresser itself, but as far as supplies go I paid less than $25. I got the knobs at Hobby Lobby 40% off, the paper half off at JoAnns, and the paint was like $10 at Lowe’s. The shelving pieces I bought for $10/ea at Lowe’s too. Any other supplies I used, I already had. (:

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