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6 Ways to Update a Dresser

Pieces of furniture like dressers are must-haves in your child's room. When it's time to update the look of their bedroom, altering the existing dresser can be a fun project that reaps big rewards.

Use this guide from Pottery Barn Kids to learn six exciting ways to update a dresser you already have.

1. Update Pulls, Knobs and Handles

Hardware has a huge impact on how a piece of furniture looks. It's also relatively inexpensive, so replacing existing pulls, knobs and handles can be done on most dressers for very little, even if you use high-quality, designer hardware pieces.

Most pieces of hardware on a dresser will mount on the back with a simple screw. Pulls and knobs are very easy to change out for that reason. You'll likely be able to change one of these in just a few minutes.

For handles, you'll need to find the right size, since screws on both sides are typically used. Measure the distance from screw hole to screw hole on the back of your existing handle to find the right size when you're shopping. Sometimes you can make the perfect pull work if it's 1/4" off, but any more than that and you'll see the original holes on the front of your dresser.

2. Change Out the Legs

Updating your pulls, knobs and handles can quickly breathe new life into a dresser that's been in your home for years. Another similar method, which involves removing your old dresser legs, can provide equally wonderful results quickly.

Changing out legs on a dresser works best if your model has screw-in type legs or legs that mount onto a bracket system. If you have built-in legs like on many wood dressers, you may need to cut them off. The good news is that the process is relatively easy and as long as you make a fairly clean cut with a hand or table saw, no one will be able to tell you did it yourself. After all, the legs attach under the dresser!

Look to replace existing legs with something sleeker and more modern like a slim, tapered leg in silver, brass or antique gold. Match the new leg to existing hardware in your room or the new pulls, knobs, or handles you just put on your dresser.

3. Roll on a New Coat of Paint

A coat of paint can transform any piece of furniture in your home and an existing dresser is no exception. Depending on your goal, a deep rich color like maroon or forest green, or a bright color like yellow or orange, can make your space a little more sophisticated or fun. Options like black and neutral tones like white or off-white will work with almost any room design as well. Metallic paints in silver or gold tones can add a bit of flair to your space.

Sanding and stripping your existing finish will help your paint look its best and last longer. Luckily, there are more and more paints available today that can go right on existing paint without sanding and priming first.

4. Add a Painted Design

Covering your whole dresser with a coat of paint can make it feel brand new. Not all spaces or pieces of furniture need a major makeover, though. For just a little bit of updating, painting your dresser with a design can be a smart, easy thing to do.

Stripes, chevron prints and even polka dots can make an old dresser feel more vibrant and exciting. Opt for ready to use paint that doesn't require sanding and priming to simplify the job. Make sure you use a pre-cut stencil or painter's tape to create your own on the face or sides of the dresser.

5. Apply Wallpaper or Decals

When applying wallpaper to an existing dresser, the process is relatively simple since the inside of the drawer and cabinetry will hide any rough edges. That means that a smooth finish on the front is all you have to worry about.

Stylish, exciting decals are another option for updating a dresser without paint, especially in a young child's room. Go for non-marring plastic decals to spare your dresser's finish.

6. Repurpose a Familiar Dresser

Dressers are incredibly useful pieces of furniture, but as they age, they may not work as well for their intended purpose as they once did. Repurposing lets you keep them in your home while giving them a whole new job.

For families with young children, dressers can easily be turned into changing tables. They'll also have built-in storage for items like baby wipes and diapers.

Your child's room will change over time. Use these tips to update a dresser so your child can enjoy it for years to come.

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