DIY Dresser Makeover - From Living Room Storage to Kitchen Pantry

Making My Home a Little Prettier for Next to Nothing

Dresser Makeover with Paint - living room to kitchen swap

On my continued quest to makeover my home using only things I have on hand I made one of the biggest switches ever and as part of this month's Thrifty Style Team blog post I'm sharing how I made over an antique dresser for next to nothing!Antique dresser vintage 1800's before painting

I had been wanting to move this antique dresser from my living room into my kitchen and paint the wall behind it to lighten things up. I literally had this idea in my head for years and never moved it.....almost like I was moving a tractor trailer with my teeth or's a dresser for goodness sake but I was afraid it wouldn't look right...oh, was I wrong.

Not only did I want to move it into the kitchen to use it as a pantry but *gasp* I wanted to paint it.  I know, I know....if you are a lover of wood (I am, honestly) the thought of painting an antique piece of furniture can seem like a terrible thing indeed.  I held off painting it for years.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it but I realized that the piece was no longer giving me joy....instead, it was bringing me down every time I saw it so I moved it, painted it and am totally in love with it again.

Amy Howard One Step Paint - Ballet White Sample Pot

I received paint from Amy Howard at Home, a sample pot of Ballet White One Step Paint, and used that to paint the top and the drawer fronts.  This stuff is awesome and it only took two coats in some places and three in others to cover this solid oak piece.  I had EXACTLY enough from the one small sample pot to complete this project.

Dresser in kitchen used as a pantry and coffee station

Since it was going to be getting a lot of wear and tear in the kitchen I also waxed the piece with Cerusing Wax (also received from Amy Howard at Home).

Vintage Wood Mercantile Cerusing Wax

The wax was easy to apply and buff off and the painted surfaces have a nice, smooth and almost worn feel and it definitely perks up my kitchen.  *Waxing Tip - I used cut up old fleece pajamas for the buffing and waxing - a great use for old clothes!View of kitchen from dining room

Here's the view from the dining room into the kitchen and you can see the dresser's side.  I used to have a tall pantry here and changing to a dresser has opened up the space more than I even imagined it would and yes, that is an original 1974 linoleum floor (don't be jealous).  I would complain but to be honest, it has held up amazingly well.  I still wax it and admire the shine but that doesn't mean that deep down I don't dream of a different floor, I do.  If you have any suggestions for a replacement, I would love to hear them.

Antique Dresser Makeover

In addition to painting it I also swapped out the drawer pulls with the ones from my faux apothecary chest - that chest is in an area where it isn't seen much so using those drawer pulls on my "new pantry" made much more sense - the pulls had a better feel for the piece now than the previous ones did.  p.s. I decided to do this swap at Christmas...I mean, what better time to take on another project, right, and yes, that is my refrigerator behind it....the house is a bit strange but I'm working around the random walls and small spaces to make it pretty nonetheless and in another post I'll show you how I hid the refrigerator with something my kid's used to play with.

Furniture Sliders

Another p.s. - I put sliders underneath almost everything.  I do eventually remove them but they are awesome for moving furniture by yourself.  I put them under our entertainment center, desks, couches, just about anything I need to move to clean and I don't know what I'd do without them.

So now for more inspiration and thrifty ideas!  Check out all of the other Thrifty Style Team member's take on making something beautiful and thrifty!

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How-To Make a Drab Dresser the Star of Any Room with a little bit of paint

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  1. I had an old antique washstand that like you said, wasn't bringing me joy anymore. With a similar paint job to yours I love it again and it looks wonderful and happy in my entry way.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      I'll bet your washstand looks amazing - you have that special furniture painting gene that works magic on old pieces. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  2. What an awesome, makeover MB! That dresser fits perfectly in your kitchen!! I would LOVE to have a dresser for an island. Maybe one day!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Julie, but your kitchen is a total DREAM! xo

  3. leave your floor as is. before you know it linoleum will be the latest trend. I love that you took a chance to do something that you wanted to do to be happy in your home. who makes up these rules anyways! 🙂

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Laura! Wouldn't it be funny if this particular linoleum pattern became the latest trend? I would be ahead of the curve and you are right.....who needs rules? xo

  4. Fantastic makeover Mary Beth and it looks so great in your kitchen!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thanks so much, Vanessa, you are always so sweet! xo

  5. What a great idea to add the white to the drawers and top, Mary Beth! Keeping some of the natural wood helps it to pull the room together with your "vintage" floor and still mimic your white cabinets. I love how you have chosen to live "large" in your smaller space. Your kitchen looks like a nice bright space to work, too. Isn't it wonderful to have more surface area now too?

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Diane! You always make me feel so happy with your encouragement. I like the vintage floor take - I'll go with that! You are right, it is much nicer to have more surface area now. I had been praying so that I could appreciate my home more and make better use of the space and this was another step toward that goal. xo

  6. kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor says:

    What a beautiful makeover, Mary Beth! I often wax pieces with old cut up clothes,'s such a great way to wax. Your piece turned out beautifully. And now I want those sliders, clever!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Kristi! I used to push, pull and pick up furniture by myself and then realized sliders life has never been the same! 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by and it is so nice to be "hopping" with you . xo

  7. Hi! Your make over cabinet looks wonderful! I have a question regarding your linoleum floors - I personally love linoleum and my 20 year old floors are starting to look, well, 20 years old! What do you use to clean and shine your floors as they look beautiful! Also, having sliders under heavy items is a great idea! I am getting up in age, with the usual back and health problems and am sure that sliders under my furniture would help me out. Can you please let me know where you purchased your sliders? Thanks in advance!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Hi Pat,
      My favorite floor wax ever was S. C. Johnson Brite 1 step. I don't think they make that anymore but if you can ever find it, buy it! Since I haven't seen it anywhere in a while now I use Holloway House Quick Shine. I usually mop the floor first to clean it and once it's dry I use the Quick Shine. I added the Amazon link for you (here as well and you can also get the sliders on Amazon (you can find them here: They seem to have the best prices but I've seen the larger ones at Harbor Freight. I hope that helps!


      Mary Beth

  8. It looks great! It's funny - there are so many times I put off simple projects like this too even though I know I will love the results.

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you, Carrie, and isn't it the truth - sometimes it's just the simple things. Have a wonderful day!