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DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial

As an avid DIY-er, I have completed a lot of furniture projects over the years. My DIY dresser turned bench has been one of my favorites. Now, had you seen this dresser before hand you might not think the outcome was possible. But can I let you in on a little secret? It IS possible to take that “something” in horrible condition and bring new life to it. Let’s just say, think My Fair Lady… but with furniture!

DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial

When I picked up this chest I didn’t realize it was in as bad of shape as it was until I got it home.  Once I assessed its damage it left me scratching my head.  It was missing the top 2 drawers,  the second drawer down was missing the bottom and one of the sides, and the bottom drawer also needed a new bottom. A caster wheel was missing and the top… well it was just plain nasty!  But this chest’s frame was in great shape, not to mention it was made out of Oak. As it was, I concluded that this would be perfect for a DIY dresser turned bench!

DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial

Step 1: Remove Drawers/Dividers

First, remove the top of the dresser.  Once the top is off, pull out the top drawer divider and guide and remove the 2nd drawer.  Leave the 2nd drawer’s guide because the bench seat will go there.
DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial

Step 2:  Cut Down to Size & Prep

After the dresser is stripped down to the last drawer, flip the old top over and cut it down to size to use for the bench seat. Once your seat is in, use wood filler such as Elmers Wood Fill to fill in all those holes and cracks. When your wood fill is dry you can use a 150-grit sand paper to sand the entire dresser until it is smooth.


DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial


Step 3: Add Character

While a lot of furniture pieces have plenty of character, this chest didn’t have much so I decided to improvise with my own. I added some molding around the drawer to spice it up a bit.

DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial

Step 4: Prime and Paint

Once everything is all sanded it is time to prime and paint. This bench can easily be painted by hand, but I prefer using my Graco airless paint sprayer for all my furniture. I always prime my pieces first using Kilz or Zinsser primer in latex. Once the primer is dry it is time to add color! I used Quarry by Pratt and Lambert for this dresser turned bench. Milk paint would be another fantastic option to cover a piece like this. You can grab some here in a variety of colors.
DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial

Step 5: Add Glaze and Protective Coats

After it is all painted and drying time is sufficient, I add a brown oil-based glaze to all the details to really make them pop! Then, once the glaze is dry I add a clear top coat to help protect this bench. I also put on different hardware for the remaining storage compartment.


DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial


Step 6: LOVE IT

LOVE your result!! And this is what you get… a beautiful, repurposed bench. With a working drawer I might add!! See? My Fair Lady

DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial

DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial


DIY Dresser Turned Bench Tutorial


Don’t be afraid to DIY and take a chance on a piece of furniture. You never know what kind of result you will achieve… as is such with this DIY dresser turned bench tutorial!! Happy DIY-ing!


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  • Mindi Carwin

    So awesome!! I love it!

  • Marie Blackburn

    I love your dresser turned bench Brooke. Fabulous furniture repurpose! The color is beautiful and love the knobs you used too.
    [email protected] Interior Frugalista

  • JennyMae

    What a great idea! Wish i could find a nasty dresser somewhere:-) Love the color, it's beautiful!!!!!

  • Patricia Kocsis

    I just love the bench you made! The added moulding was a great touch, too.

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