In this post: Sometimes there’s nothing like a vintage piece to bring some extra character – and storage space – to a room. Here’s how to give a vintage dresser a makeover and 6 non-bedroom places to use a dresser too!

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When we moved our old white cabinet out of the living room to make room for the Christmas tree last year, I knew it wasn’t coming back. I wanted something smaller for the space. Something to store a few things, like DVD’s, but also a surface to create vignettes on too. So, we went out and found a sweet little dresser and gave it a wee update. In case you want to to the same, in this post we’re telling you how to give a vintage dresser a makeover. Plus, we’re sharing 6 non-bedroom places to use a dresser!

Sometimes there's nothing like a vintage piece to bring some extra character - and storage space to a room. Here's how to give a vintage dresser a makeover and 6 non-bedroom places to use a dresser too!

How to Give a Vintage Dresser a Makeover

It’s fairly easy to give a vintage dresser a makeover, even if you’re only a beginner DIYer. Especially when you have easy to use paint like Rust-Oleum’s Chalked. Chalked Ultra Matte paint is an easy-to-use paint that dries to a velvety smooth matte finish.  It brings new life to tired and worn pieces in timeless colors.  Chalked paint can be distressed to achieve a vintage look that will last. Here’s how we made over our dresser.

5 non-bedroom places to use a dresser


  • vintage dresser
  • sandpaper
  • Chalked paint in choice of color
  • primer (only if needed)
  • paint brush
  • screwdriver (to remove knobs, etc.)


1. Remove drawers from dresser and knobs, etc. from drawers.

dresser ready to sand

2. Sand enough to remove any glossy finish. Wipe off sanding dust with a cloth.

dresser sanded

3. Apply Chalked paint in sweeping strokes with a good quality brush. Typically Chalked doesn’t require a primer before painting. In the case of this specific dresser, someone in the past had used a rather pesky stain that wanted to bleed through everything. So, we simply applied a coat of Zinsser B-I-N 2 primer and then continued to paint with Chalked. Let dry.

red stain bleed through on dresser

dresser primed

4. Sand between coats as desired. See our handy Sandpaper Grit post here to decide which grit to use when.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until desired coverage is achieved. Chalked can sometimes only need one coat depending on the piece. We did two coats on top of the primer.

6. Sand edges and distress if desired. (For this particular piece we did not, as I didn’t want to risk that red coming through again!)

7. Reattach knobs and handles and insert drawers. Style and enjoy!

dresser painted

shapely dresser painted white

6 Non-Bedroom Places to Use a Dresser

Dressers don’t just have to be used in a bedroom! Here are several spaces and ways to use a dresser outside the bedroom.

1. In an entryway

Dressers can be used to store seasonal items in the entryway, especially when nearby closet space is at a premium.

2. In a hallway

A long slim dresser can be used in a hallway to both store things like candles and other random items and to create pretty vignettes in an otherwise empty space.

3. In a dining room

Dressers can be very similar in style to buffets and sideboards. Dressers with multiple drawers also make a great storage solution for napkins and other table linens and wares.

how to give a vintage dresser a makeover

4. In a bathroom

A dresser can be used in a small bathroom as a vanity, with a little customization. Or if you have a larger bathroom, you can add a dresser to store bathroom necessities like towels and soaps.

5. In a garage or craft room

The garage or a craft room is the perfect place to use an older dresser that you may not want in the house anymore. The drawers make a great place to store tools and craft supplies

6. In a living room

Much like we’re using our vintage dresser in our living room, you could too. You could store DVD’s, remotes, blankets, etc. You could even use a dresser as a media stand for a tv, like my sister does.

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home made lovely living room dresser

What do you think of our little vintage dresser? Have you given any pieces a makeover lately?

shannon photo and sig oct 2022