DIY · Nursery

From Dresser to Changing Table (Without Sanding!) – DIY


Ahh, yes! Another nursery DIY!

When I was figuring out what pieces of furniture we needed for the nursery, I realized that more and more people are using dressers in place of traditional changing tables. To me, it makes perfect sense! We were already going to refinish an old dresser that was passed down to us and use it in the nursery anyway… so why not double it up as a changing table?!

The only thing is… I hate sanding furniture. With. A. Passion. Although I knew that Derek would be willing to sand it, I just felt like there had to be an easier way. Now, I have refinished many pieces and skipped the dreaded sanding step by using chalk paint (a mixture of paint, a little water and plaster of paris). However for this particular piece, chalk paint wasn’t quite the look I was going for. Had I wanted to distress it and make it look a little more worn, it would have been perfect, but I had something else in mind.

I drove down to Home Depot to see if the paint folks there could give me a solution. Lucky for me, they did!

Also.. its a technique that you can use on just about any piece of furniture to forgo sanding.


Dresser Turned Changing Table DIY (No sanding involved!)

Cost- Varies. The dresser was passed down to us, so that was free. The paint and supplies ended up costing right around 50 dollars.

Time- Varies. Derek waited at least 2 hours between coats of paint. He worked on it on and off for about two days.

What you will need:

  • Cover Stain Primer
  • Paint – I used THIS color by Glidden (They can help you determine how much/what size to purchase)
  • Drop Cloth – We used an old shower curtain
  • Paint Roller (and/or brush)
  • Paint Tray  (We have THIS set)
  • A Dresser (It may be a good idea to check the dimensions of the changing pad you expect to have. This will ensure that it will fit appropriately on the dresser top.)

So, it’s really all about the primer! The Cover Stain Primer is what saves you from having to sand down the furniture if it has a stain/finish already on it.

Step 1- Lay down your drop cloth. Disassemble the dresser. Take off all hardware and place to the side. Take drawers out.

Step 2- Cover Stain Primer. Derek simply rolled it on and waited a couple hours between coats. We had the garage door open to properly ventilate. (If you’re pregnant, you really don’t want to inhale this stuff!)   Side note: If you are going to change the hardware of your dresser, make sure you measure the new hardware on the drawers. You may need to fill in and drill new holes to accommodate. You will want to do this before priming!

Step 3- Once the piece of furniture is properly primed (it took us two coats), it’s time to paint it with a color of your choice. Derek waited until the next day to paint. It took him two coats of paint, and he waited about two hours between coats. Once again, it’s best to do this in a well ventilated area.

Step 4- Once completely dry, place drawers back in and reassemble the hardware.

You may be wondering what we used to finish the dresser/changing table. We actually didn’t use anything. According to my new paint department friend at Home Depot, you don’t need to… It seemed odd to me and still seems a little odd. I figure that we have plenty of paint left over to do touchups if needed…so we will see how it holds up without a finish!

If you all have any questions, please feel free to shoot me an email or message!



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