Not enough storage in your kitchen? Add a dresser. Yes, that’s right a piece of bedroom furniture in the kitchen.
Obviously, furniture is the easiest way to add storage to your kitchen, but it can be expensive. Never fear. You can refurbish an unwanted piece of furniture for cheap. I promise. All you need is a thrifty find, fabric, and some paints.
Timeout. I want to pause to say that I am so excited to share the Big Red DIY Project with you because this is the first furniture redo I ever did! Things didn’t go exactly as planned, but I ended up with a beautiful piece of furniture that also solved all my kitchen storage problems.
The Big Red DIY Project came about because, though I love my kitchen, I don’t have storage space for taller items, such as blenders. I also live in a home that’s almost 90 years old. So, the kitchen has some awkward spacing. More traditional kitchen furniture just didn’t work. A buffet was too long and a bakers rack was too open. (Let’s face it. A blender just looks sad if it’s not in use.) Also, I was a new homeowner. Needless to say, I was very budget conscious at the time. That’s a classy way of saying cheap, but cheap and furniture don’t often go in the same sentence.
However, I lucked out with this thrifty find. Free to a good home.
Wait, this dresser didn’t address the tall storage problem. Sigh. But, it was free and it fit the space in my kitchen. So, how was I going to make it work? What if I removed 2 of the drawers? Why not? It was a free piece of furniture. I had nothing to lose. That was it. That was the moment I took my first foray into refurbished furniture. And I am so glad I did. Later, I read an article in This Old House about dressers in unusual places. I think Big Red fits right in with these pieces too.
Alright, let’s talk about how this DIY furniture redo got done…
Materials You Need for DIY Furniture Redo
- A dresser (free, if you find it on the curb!)
- A hand saw (free if you have a tool kit or a neighbor)
- 2 yards of fabric ($16)
- Spray paint primer ($5)
- Black spray paint ($5)
- 1 quart of semi gloss paint ($17)
- 1 jar of glaze ($12) NOTE: I used a glaze that is now discontinued. If you want the exact look of Big Red, you can make your own.
- Mod Podge ($12)
- Polycrylic ($10)
- Paint brushes ($8)
- Tension rod ($4)
- Hem tape ($4)
- Plywood the size of your dresser drawer ($6)
- Paper towels (free, because that’s in your grocery budget not your craft budget)
Total cost: $99
If you buy a dresser at a thrift shop, it might add $25 or $30 to the total cost. Still, that is a thrifty piece of furniture! Brand new dressers cost 3x’s that amount.
How to Redo Your Dresser for the Kitchen
- Do a little sanding. If I’m honest, I slack on the sanding. However, it does make your furniture finish that much better. Use a 220 or finer. Put a little elbow grease into it, but don’t make yourself sore. Remember, you have primer.
- Cut the bottom drawer support. Use a hand saw and get as close to the edge as you can. Sand the cuts smooth.
- You need to make a base for the bottom of the dresser since it will be storage space. I went to my local hardware store with the dimensions I needed and asked them to cut me a piece of plywood. Use a few small nails to secure the plywood. The beautiful thing here is that the ledge that supported the drawer is not going to hold up your base.
Painting the furniture
- Spray your primer paint. I chose a darker color for primer because…well red. Make sure the primer is dry before you move on. Patience is a virtue, my crafty friend.
- Paint your dresser with your main color. Make sure you let it dry between coats.
- Add glaze. Don’t be nervous about this step. If you mess it up, you wipe it off with your paper towel. It’s brilliant. Take your paper towel and dip it into the glaze. Just a little bit goes a long way. Sweep the paper towel lightly across your dresser. I went in the direction of the wood grain because I like that look. If you feel like the glaze is getting to heavy, wipe with a dry paper towel. You can get just the coverage you want by applying and reapplying.
- Spray paint the hardware. Now, that my dresser was vibrant red, I didn’t think the brass knobs went with the new look. I sprayed them black, the most neutral or neutrals.
Adding the fabric to drawers
- Now, we get to the fabric. Place your drawers on the fabric and cut so that there is enough fabric to wrap around the drawer. Cut a piece for all the drawers.
- Adhere the fabric with Mod Podge. Apply it right to the drawer front. Place your fabric and smooth it out. Let that dry and then adhere the edges of the fabric.
- Once the drawer is “wrapped” in fabric, you need to seal the outside. I applied 3 layers of Mod Podge. Was that really necessary? I don’t know. I’m just telling you what I did. I figured a kitchen is a messy place. I wanted to feel confident that I could wipe the drawers done if they got gunky.
- Attach the hardware you painted. If the Mod Podge has make the fabric too tough for the screws, take a nail of an ice pick or whatever tool you have at hand to puncture the fabric. I used a screwdriver.
“Sewing” the curtains
- No sewing required. I don’t sew. I use hem tape for just about everything. But first thing is first. Let’s cut the fabric. This requires some simple math. My dresser is 22 inches wide. I want to make two curtains because I want to reach into the furniture easily. (22 / 2 = 11) But, I also want my curtains to have enough room to squish. I don’t want just a flat curtain. So, I added 4 eaches on each side. (11 + 4 = 16 inches wide) The space I am covering is 11 inches high, but I needed space for the tension rod and for the seam created by the hem tape. So, I added 2 inches to the height (11 + 2 = 13). So, if you are keeping track, we are at 16in w X 13 in h. However, there’s one more step. We are going to have a 0.5in hem on each edge. So, we need to add 1in to our measurements. Tadah! We need two pieces of fabric that are 17in w X 14 in h.
- Fold the top of your fabric over to make the hem. Be sure to allow enough space for your tension rod to thread through the fabric. Follow the directions on your hem tape to make your hem. Different brands work slightly differently.
- Hem each edge of the fabric.
- Adjust the tension rod to fit the width of the space with enough tension to secure it.
- Thread the fabric onto the tension rod and put it in place inside the dresser.
You’re done! Get ready to move this furniture to your kitchen!
3 Things This Furniture Redo Taught Me
- The right tools matter. Originally, I wanted to make doors for the lower half of this dresser. Turns out I didn’t have the right tools to miter for the hinges. Oh well. I am very happy with my curtains.
- Fabric is a great cover, sometimes. I was lucky that the drawers in this dresser worked with the fabric. However, some drawers will close awkwardly when covered. When planning your project. Consider using very flat drawer fronts for fabric covers.
- Glaze is nearly impossible to mess up. Because it results in such a high end look, I was intimidated by it. No more! I glaze so many things now.
How Did It Go?
Tell us how your furniture redo turned out. Have you used glaze on other projects? Were you happy with how it turned out? Let us know!