Dresser turned storage console

I’m almost as excited about this project as I am about the new website.

Are you loving it?

I LOVE it!   (happy wiggle in my seat)

You’ll  love this too….

My Step-Dad found this dresser at the side of the road on garbage day.

Truthfully – garbage day!  I know it doesn’t look like much here, but it’s FAR from the worst piece of furniture I’ve ever tackled.

The drawers needed the rails tightened and/or adjusted and the piece had a few nicks and scratches, but this was a piece that could easily be painted and flipped with minimal effort.

Not for me though.  I’ve done a lot of dressers, and the novelty is gone.

Plus, I really can’t think of another place to put a dresser in my house and I don’t want a finished piece sitting in the garage all winter where the moisture might ruin any work I put in.

BUT, I do need a place to store our outdoor gear.

Our house doesn’t have a closet at the front door.  We have a giant mudroom, but  we actually use the front door the most and so everything gets dropped in my front hallway.  What I need(ed) was a storage unit – to house hats and mitts.  To get my purse off of the floor, keep our keys handy and even house a backpack or two.

That’s where this makeover begins…

old dresser with all drawers removed.  Two overlay arrows indicating where rails have been removed


If you’re going to try a project like this, first thing you have to do is find baskets or bins.  They can get pretty pricey, so it seems a bit silly to pay more in baskets than you would for the entire piece.  In this case, Ikea had some neat wicker ones and they were only $6.99 Cdn each, so I worked with those measurements to configure the new cabinet.

I wanted a section to tuck my purse and the girls’ backpacks into, so I removed the two top drawer sections.  No fancy technique, I just hammered the rails until they broke and removed them.

The bottom sections were actually the perfect size to fit the 6″ high baskets I’d been eyeballing, so no adjustments needed to be made there (remember though that your opening has to be the height of the baskets PLUS the depth of the MDF insert going in to create the shelf.)  In this case I had an 8″ opening to work with.

Dresser shell sanded down


Like all makeovers, this baby needed a good sanding to get down to the bare bones.  Sixty grit to get out the large nicks and scratches and remove the years of furniture polish and varnish, then 100 grit, 180 grit and a nice smoothing with 220 grit.

I got a bit excited and decided to try out a coat of grey paint to see how it would look before Hubby inserted the shelves in for me.  Wasn’t quite the colour I wanted, but it acted as a nice primer for later coats, so it all worked out.  We ended up taking the back off of the dresser to slide the new MDF shelves into place.  I was just easier and they tucked nicely inside the front lip.

Backless dresser with mdf shelves in place of drawers

Fill in the gaps with some wood filler and sand smooth.

Once your wood filler is nice and dry, paint.  In this case a darker grey on the outside and a nice greige for the inside.

(negative 10 degrees celsius – 14 degrees farenheit – meant that an area heater was needed to keep both the paint and painter from freezing)

Backless dresser painted grey on the outside and beige inside

Just tap the tacks to put the backing back on and check out my new console unit!


Finished dresser/console with section holding purse and levels holding wicker baskets


I have a section to tuck my purse in (off of the floor) the girls’ backpacks will fit or, as it is here, I can keep a separate basket for mail.

section of the dresser housing purse, mail basket and topiary

Baskets to hold everyone’s hats and mitts tucked below, and there’s even a basket to house Lacey’s leash and poop bags so they aren’t laying on the floor either.

Dresser turned cabinet 47


Dresser was free, paint was leftover from other projects and the baskets were $6.99 each – so for a whopping total of $34.95, I have an organized mini-mudroom.


finished dresser unit turned hall console


Bet you didn’t see that coming eh?

before and after photo of dresser turned console unit


Have a great one!


Joke: "I just replaced the cat litter with 44 packages of pop rocks... and now we wait.


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2015-05-04T12:57:34-04:00February 2nd, 2015|BEFORE & AFTER, DECOR, REPURPOSE|32 Comments


  1. Becca Hoover February 5, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    I LOVE doing dressers mover…have 4 to do right now. Waiting on warmer weather mto work in garage. Love your dresser idea

  2. […] Dresser Turned Storage Console @ 100 Things 2 Do […]

  3. Roadside Dresser Gets a New Purpose February 12, 2015 at 1:44 am - Reply

    […] Step-Dad found this dresser at the side of the road on garbage day,” confesses Shelly at 100 Things 2 Do.  She was in desperate need of a place to corral miscellaneous winter gear, like hats and gloves, […]

  4. kayla February 16, 2015 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    You could add hooks to the outside to hang the backpacks on it rather than in it

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca February 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      Great idea! The sides on this one are a little thin and I don’t think they’d hold the weight – but your idea will be on my “Must try” list for my next dresser rehab! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Miss Kitty February 27, 2015 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    SO VERY CUTE and functional too! Thanks for this idea for a “seen better days” dresser. The thing I love the most inside the revamped dresser is your bag that has the name of your blog on it.

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca March 4, 2015 at 7:45 am - Reply

      I love that bag – forget Michael Kors – give me a Thirty-One tote. lol Truthfully, it’s a great conversation starter if you’re trying to get the name of your blog out there. It’s called the Cindy Tote and can be embroidered with anything you want on it… maybe “Miss Copy Kat.blogspot”?

  6. storagegoldersgreen.co.uk March 23, 2015 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Great job! The dresser looks awesome after the makeover! Thumbs up! Greets!

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca March 26, 2015 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much – I love when you can find a new use for something. Spring is in the air – more furniture makeovers coming soon, so I hope you’ll keep following along! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  7. […] started with a leftover drawer I had from my storage console post, and gave it a light sanding to remove dust and residue and to scuff up the paint so the next […]

  8. Patty July 29, 2015 at 10:57 am - Reply

    What is MDF in speaking about the inserts??

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca August 7, 2015 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      Medium Density Fibreboard. It’s less expensive than wood an comes in a large sheet. Most home improvement stores will cut for you for free, (or maybe $1 per cut).

  9. CAS Christmas Cards - 100 Things 2 Do December 7, 2015 at 2:01 am - Reply

    […]  My dresser makeover is being featured on Better After!  Click over and check it […]

  10. Stephanie March 30, 2016 at 7:54 am - Reply

    I’m not a handy person but I would love to be able to repurpose a dresser we have into something like this. How do you get the MDF boards to stay in? Can you give me pointers on measuring the right dimensions for them too? I don’t own a drill. Is this a problem? :)

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca April 10, 2016 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      You could use a hammer and nails – since the weight will be on top of the shelves, there’s not much chance of them “falling” or coming loose – which is why I would suggest a drill. Measure the from the back board of the cabinet to the front lip and from side board to side board to get a rectangle. Once you have that cut, you can measure the size of any notches that need to be cut out; on this dresser there was a bit of front trim on either side that was about 1″ by 1″. I simply cut a 1″x1″ notch into the front corners of the rectangle and it dropped right into place! The shelf itself rests on a cross board attached to the back of your dresser – you shouldn’t have to build this, it should be there already (you can see it in the photos on the blog) – and then on the front lip. Just nail through the shelf into the back cross board and down into the front lip as well. It’s easy, I promise!

  11. Melina May 12, 2016 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Loved this! The dresser I picked up is missing the cross boards. Once I removed the drawers, there was only a piece of wood (from the front of the dresser, that didn’t even reach the back board, almost just long enough for the railing) that had the drawer railing screwed into. I want to convert the entire dresser into shelves. What should be my first step to getting shelves in there? Thanks a bunch. this is my first DIY.

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca May 30, 2016 at 12:02 pm - Reply

      You’ll need to cut a piece of MDF (medium density fibreboard) to the size of the inside of your dresser. It sounds like the piece of wood you’re describing is the drawer slide (it runs from the front to near the back right?). You’ll want to remove those. Next you’ll cut a piece of MDF (medium density fibreboard) to the size of the inside of you dresser. There should be a small rail running along the back wall of the dresser and along the front of the dresser between the drawers – these are what your mdf shelves will sit on top of.

  12. Kelly October 5, 2016 at 8:18 am - Reply

    I know you did this quite a while ago now, but can I ask where you got your baskets? Really great dresser redo!!

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca October 24, 2016 at 10:45 am - Reply

      Ikea! I bought the baskets before the makeover to ensure I could find inexpensive ones and to make sure that they’d fit.

  13. Marilyn Hynes May 12, 2017 at 12:06 pm - Reply

    Love what you’ve done & it’s exactly what I hope to someday do with an old well used dresser that I recently bought for $40. We bought an older house 7 months ago & are finally moved in with lots of small, tedious jobs left to do. The dresser needs work but we don’t need it because we have enough bedroom clothes storage currently & I thought of looking for ideas online. Glad I found your post. I love how it looks. You did an awesome job.

  14. Laurie September 3, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

    I have a few dressers I would like to take a couple of the drawers out and put shelves but I don’t know how to make the shelves or how to and attach them to the dresser. Any help would be appreciated.

  15. Chelsey September 12, 2017 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    I have the exact dresser was going to throw it to the dump and my mom suggested this pin so I super excited to try it out. Lovely job by the way

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca September 13, 2017 at 12:38 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much – and to your Mom as well! It’s been a great mini-mudroom for us, so I hope you enjoy yours as much.

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  18. Janice July 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    Hi I just have a question- I love what you did with the dresser by the way! Where did you find the wood to make the shelves ?

    • Shelly @ 100Things2Do.ca August 2, 2019 at 12:31 pm - Reply

      It’s just 3/4″ mdf from the home improvement store – nothing fancy or too expensive. They’ll even cut it down for you if you bat your eyelashes. lol

  19. Janice August 2, 2019 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    Haha! Thanks so much! Got the wood today.. can’t wait for the finished project

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