Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Repurposed Dresser into Sitting Bench with Drawers

Before (dresser) and After (bench)

Sometimes you get tired of doing the same old thing, and in this case, dressers.  I seem to be drawn to dressers, and they find me, but the choices are to stain or paint.  This time, I decided to cut it in half!  I've seen this idea before but could never justify halving a dresser until now.  This dresser came to me looking pretty good on the outside (minus the crack and wear on top), but it was missing all but one center support for the drawers.  Not only would I have to rebuild those center supports, but most of the side supports were splintering under the weight of the drawers.  So, I decided to get rid of the top two drawers and keep what was not as broken.

Top of dresser crack that did not go all the way through

Missing finish and water damage on top
Pior to cutting the dresser, I sanded down the top, the sides to where the cut would be made, and the drawers.  And then process began, with the help of my husband to cut this dresser horizontally!  Using a piece of wood as a guide, we cut it in half.
Just Cut!
And the bench is beginning to take shape!
Just a shell for now
At this point, I had some work to do on fixing up the imperfections.  These included:
>Filling the crack on top with stainable wood filler
>Strengthening the side supports
>Adding back the center support
>Adding MDF to the underside of the top piece to distribute weight for a bench
>Adding a new piece of MDF to the back
Flipped upside down to screw in the MDF to the top support and the top of the chest

More fixing upside down
Ready for stain and drawers!
I always use the Minwax Pre-stain Wood Conditioner first, and then add 2 coats of stain followed by 3 coats of Polycrylic. 
Staining with Minwax
And the finished product!  Since the drawer pulls were needed by the previous owner, I added in new darker knobs for the finished piece.
Perfect height for a bench and plenty of storage!

The lighting made the close up look dark but it gives you a good view of the grain and knobs.
List Price: $125

In an effort not to waste the remaining pieces, the top drawer was already sold off as an underbed storage drawer.  With $2 furniture sliders added to the bottom, it sold for $30!  The other drawer and small side pieces will go in the wood bin for a future project.


  1. Wow - that was some serious work. Great vision for this piece. Must admit - I would not have tho't of this. Looks great!