Antique Cabinet DIY

7 Materials
6 Hours

My husband and I love a good challenge, especially when it comes to bringing an old piece of furniture back to life with a new purpose! Sit back, relax and watch us bring back life to an old dresser.

This old dresser has been passed around to many of my family members. From my grandmother who got it second hand, to my mother, to my siblings and I and then to my daughter. 7+ years ago it was all the rage to plaster duct tape on everything!! I'm glad that's over!  My daughter has had it ever since. My husband and I recently passed down one of our old dressers so, the good ol' duct taped dresser was no longer being used and has been sitting in our laundry room, and on its way to the dump!

While doing laundry, I saw it sitting in the corner and DIY ideas started swirling around in my head! Let's add legs and doors. Genius!

Materials Used:

  • sealing wax
  • white flat paint
  • stain (jacobean)
  • sanding block
  • Kreg Jig
  • 2 handles
  • 4 hinges
  • 2 knobs
  • 2 magnetic catches
  • drill
  • 4 – 14" traditional table legs + hardware
  • scrap wood (old cabinet doors/drawers)
  • saw

Most of these items were just lying around my house, so if you're a wood hoarder like me, and have some old cabinet doors and drawers lying around, you'll be set! I just made a quick trip to Lowe's and grabbed 4 legs and it's hardware, new drawer pulls and knobs and some magnet catches. Having a carpenter husband is handy too, but not necessary.

We started by attaching the legs to the dresser. We used 14" legs and used hardware "A" to attach (instructions on legs will tell you what hardware kit to use).

This is where husbands come in handy, unless your good with tools. Although they do not look hard or complicated to use, they just scare me!!

We had to frame out the bottom of the dresser as there was nothing to attach the legs to. We measured the bottom of the dresser and my husband cut the scrap 1x4's to size.

We used our handy dandy Kreg Jig to drill pocket holes so we could screw them to the bottom without seeing any screws!

Kreg Jig is not sponsoring this post, but if you do not have one of these tools, add it to your list! If you like to do any type of woodworking this tool pays for itself!

We then attached our hardware on for the legs.

screwed on the legs.

We then pulled out the drawers, disassembled the inside of the dresser and framed out the inside of the dresser using ripped down 1x4's. This was pretty easy for us as this scrap wood was used for cabinets in our laundry room, and we ended up using a lot of scrap from those cabinets on this project.

After framing and adding the doors with some spare hinges, we added another piece of wood down the center, to add the magnetic catches later.

Now comes the fun part. Paint! I just used plain white flat paint, nothing special but you can not go wrong with good ol' white paint!

After letting the paint dry completely, I went over the entire dresser with sealing wax. This will make it easier to clean and protect your furniture from getting damaged.

While searching for new hardware, I was going for a more antique look. I wanted a little contrast against the white. Aren't they so pretty?!

We attached these magnetic catches to the middle 1x4 of the dresser so the cabinets would stay shut. Although, it's decorated so nice in there now, I can't promise it'll stay like that so these magnetic catches are a must, to ensure those doors stay closed!

I then stained the legs, distressed the cabinets and drawer up some to bring the antique look into the dresser.

I loved this project! Some parts required some brain work but with the help of my wonderful husband, we were able to come together and make my idea come to life. This almost trashed dresser is now a beautiful cabinet that is great for storage and display! ...okay, who am I kidding. I want to be real with you guys and just let you know, this photo is staged with decorations. It will be used for hiding all the ugly clutter!! I mean that is what real life looks like right.. or is it just me?

Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
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  3 questions
  • Beverly Flint Sanger Beverly Flint Sanger on Jun 23, 2019

    Chew marks on corners of chest how to repair and refinish

  • Jod Jod on Jun 23, 2019

    Unclear to me: did you just paint over the duct tape? Or did you remove it?

  • Louise Louise on Jan 20, 2021

    Where did you find the hardware. I need some drawer pulls like yours

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