How to Turn a Dresser Into a Storage Unit

Have you ever wished to turn a dresser into more functional storage? Do you already have an old, tired-looking piece of furniture just sitting around the house and want to give it new life or make your bedroom look fresh? You’re in luck! You can transform any boring dresser into an attractive, stylish storage solution with simple steps.

How to Turn a Dresser Into a Storage Unit

Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a novice at furniture makeovers, this project suits all skill levels. It’s about reshaping and rethinking how we use space in our homes.

In this blog post, we’ll learn how to turn a dresser into a storage unit. Read on for tips on what materials to use, painting and decorating ideas, and other useful advice to create a beautiful custom dresser unit that will brighten up any room.

What Will You Need?

You’ll need a few tools and materials to turn your dresser into a storage unit. This includes:

  1. A Dresser: Any old or unused dresser will do. Ensure it’s sturdy and in good condition to hold your stored items.
  2. Paint: Choose a color that matches your room’s decor. Consider semi-gloss paint because it’s easier to clean.
  3. Primer: This is used before painting to help the paint adhere better to the dresser.
  4. Sandpaper: You’ll need this to smooth the dresser’s surface before you start painting.
  5. Paint Brushes or a Roller: These tools will help you apply the paint evenly.
  6. Protective Wear: Remember to protect yourself. Use gloves, masks, and safety glasses as needed.
  7. Storage Containers: Depending on the size of your dresser, you can use baskets, boxes, or dividers to organize your items inside the drawers.

Safety should be your number one priority when working on this project. Always use the tools and materials as directed, and work in a well-ventilated area.

10 Easy Steps on How to Turn a Dresser Into a Storage Unit

Clean Your Dresser Thoroughly

Step 1: Clean Your Dresser

The first step in this DIY project is to clean your dresser thoroughly. Remove all items from the drawers and dust off all surfaces. Any dirt or dust left on the dresser could interfere with the adhesion of the primer and paint. For stubborn stains or sticky patches, you can use a mild detergent mixed with warm water. Once the dresser is clean, allow it to dry naturally before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Sand Your Dresser

The next step is sanding. Start by removing any hardware from your dresser, including handles or knobs. Then, sand all the dresser’s surfaces using your sandpaper or a power sander. This roughens up the old finish, allowing for better primer and paint adhesion.

Ensure you’re thorough, but be careful not to damage the wood. After sanding, wipe down the dresser with a damp cloth to remove dust or particles. Let the dresser dry completely before moving to the next step.

Step 3: Apply the Primer

Now that your dresser is clean and sanded, it’s time to apply the primer. Using a paintbrush or roller, apply a layer of primer to all dresser surfaces. This will help the paint to adhere better and create a smoother finish.

Be sure to cover any spots you plan to paint, including the front, sides, and drawers. Allow the primer to dry fully according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This process can take a few hours, so be patient. Once the primer is fully dry, you’re ready for the next step.

Step 4: Paint the Dresser

With your dresser primed and ready, it’s time to add some color! Using your chosen paint and either a brush or roller, gradually apply a coat of paint to all dresser surfaces. For the best results, start at the top and work your way down, painting in the direction of the wood grain.

Apply a Coat of Paint

This will help to avoid any streaks or lines in the paint. Remember to paint the fronts of the drawers too. Once you have finished, let the paint dry fully. Apply a second coat for a more vibrant and even color if needed. Once your paint is completely dry, you’re ready to transform your dresser into a storage unit.

Step 5: Install Hardware

Once the paint is completely dry, it’s time to reinstall the original hardware or add new ones that match the style and color of your fresh paint job. If you’re installing new hardware, measure, and mark where the hardware should go, ensuring consistent placement on each drawer.

Drill holes if necessary, then fasten the new knobs or pulls securely. This step revitalizes your dresser and adds functionality and convenience to your new storage unit.

Step 6: Organize Your Items

This step involves turning the drawers of your dresser into efficient storage spaces. Depending on what you intend to store, you might want to use a variety of storage containers or dividers.

For instance, smaller items like jewelry, socks, or ties could be stored in smaller containers or dividers within the drawers. Larger items like sweaters could be neatly folded and placed directly into the drawers. The aim is to keep your items tidy and easily accessible.

Step 7: Add Labels or Tags

Consider adding labels or tags to each drawer to make it easier to locate your items. You can use a simple labeling system, like “T-Shirts,” “Pants,” “Accessories,” etc., or you can get creative with color-coded tags for different categories of items. This will make it easier to find what you’re looking for and add a personal touch to your newly transformed storage unit.

Step 8: Position Your Dresser

Now that your dresser has been transformed into a storage unit and organized to your liking, it’s time to find the perfect spot for it in your room. Consider the accessibility and functionality of the space where you plan to place it.

Adding Labels or Tags to Each Drawer

You’ll want the storage unit to be in a convenient location, easy to reach, and use daily. Ensure the dresser is stable and not causing obstruction and that opening the drawers does not interfere with the room’s flow. Placing the dresser against a wall can provide additional stability if you plan to store heavy items.

Step 9: Regular Maintenance

After successfully turning your dresser into a storage unit and finding the right spot for it in your room, it’s essential to maintain your unit to keep it functional and looking great. Regularly clean the surface to prevent dust accumulation.

If any paint chips off or the hardware becomes loose over time, be ready to do minor touch-ups or tightenings. Check the drawers regularly to confirm they are opening and closing smoothly.

Step 10: Enjoy Your New Storage Unit

Finally, it’s time to enjoy your newly transformed dresser-turned-storage unit. You’ve put a lot of work into this project, and now it’s time to reap the benefits.

Your dresser is no longer just a piece of furniture but a functional and stylish storage unit that brings organization and ease to your daily routine. Regularly using and maintaining it will prolong its life and usefulness. Every time you see this piece, you’ll be reminded of your DIY prowess and creative ability.

By following these detailed steps, you have successfully transformed an ordinary dresser into a functional storage unit. This process gives your furniture a second life and provides a customized solution to your storage needs.

Take pride in your craftsmanship and creativity, and don’t hesitate to undertake more DIY projects in the future. They are not only practical but also immensely satisfying.

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

A Potted Plant, or a Mirror
  1. Drawer Liners: Consider adding drawer liners to protect the interior of your drawers and add a touch of personal style. You can use scented liners for a pleasant aroma when opening a drawer.
  2. Changing Handles or Knobs: Replacing old handles or knobs with new ones can dramatically change the look of your dresser. Choose designs that complement your room’s overall aesthetic.
  3. Top Surface Decor: Remember the top surface of your dresser. You can place decorative items, a potted plant, or a mirror to make the unit more eye-catching and functional.
  4. Labeling the Drawers: If you’re going to use the dresser to store various items, consider labeling the drawers. This can help you maintain organization and easily find what you want.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Keep your new storage unit looking its best by dusting it regularly and promptly cleaning up any stains or spills. This will ensure your revamped dresser stays beautiful and functional for years.

With the above steps and additional tips, turning a dresser into a storage unit becomes a manageable and rewarding project. This DIY endeavor provides an efficient solution to your storage problems and breathes new life into an old piece of furniture.


As you can now see, transforming your old dresser into a storage unit is an easy and rewarding DIY project! It’s a great way to use what you already have to save money and build something unique and personalized.

It will give you extra storage space and a sense of accomplishment for a job well done. Plus, it doesn’t require any costly supplies or materials, so there shouldn’t be any major issues during the process.

If you follow these steps on how to turn a dresser into a storage unit, then you should have a gorgeously customized piece of furniture that can store all of your belongings with style! Now that you’ve reached the end of this blog post on, grab your tools and get started- happy crafty creating!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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