Turning an Old Dresser into a Console

I don’t like to post projects until they’re completely finished, but this time, I’m asking for some opinions!

Our family room/laundry room/craft room/computer room has been a work in progress. On a normal day, this room in our lower level is scattered with laundry (dirty pile by the machines, folded clean piles on the couch), kid’s toys and books, and the tools and supplies needed for whatever projects we are currently working on – both craft and household. On a good day (aka, when people are coming over), we clean it up to serve as the guest room.

The color scheme is currently reds and browns. We painted the walls a deep chocolate brown two years ago, and we have deep red curtains and a recently acquired a red leather recliner. It all seems to go together pretty well so far, including the light-tan sofa. I’ve contemplated adding a pop of color to this room besides the red. Here’s the red chair with the wall, so you get an idea:


We are currently using an entertainment stand that to me, is incredibly non-useful. The shelf that is meant for small electronics doesn’t even hold our DVD player, has no way to adjust, and the heights and lengths of the cubbies are odd. We’ve basically put whatever would fit in it….which means it has no organization and is just a jumbled mess of electronics and wires.

I considered repainting it and re-working it…but I don’t even like it to begin with, so I am going to put it for sale on Craigslist. Although it has sentimental value to my husband (he made it in high school — yes, this is that piece I was talking about in a previous blog!) – he agreed to let it go.

What we NEED in this room is STORAGE. We have no great place to store blankets and sheets in our house. Although I’ve tried downsizing in our closets, it’s so hard with 3 kids and we just don’t have a lot of storage space to begin with. And of course, we have lots of little odds and ends to hide away as you can tell.

When I saw this a few months ago…

…I thought it was the most clever idea I’d ever seen. I thought of the dresser that I used to have in college, just like this, that I never even THOUGHT about re-finishing. I sold it when I moved to Nashville instead of dragging the old thing with me. It seemed dated and old-ladyish. How often do we see these types of dressers at garage sales, on Craigslist, or in a relative’s home?? ALL. THE. TIME!!!

I began my hunt. It didn’t take long – maybe a week – before I found a beauty at the Dakota Boys and Girls’ Ranch Thrift Store (I think I’ve become a thriftaholic, by the way). Guess how much it was?


The actual frame and top is in decent shape, plus it’s REAL wood, not laminate. The only problem is that the drawers are in poor shape, but I’ll only have to fix a few of them because I think I’ll be taking the center ones out like in my inspiration photo. However, I absolutely love the “architecture” of the piece. It’s perfect.

Now, onto the color choice. I do love the distressed look, where you paint a layer in one color then the top coat in a different color and sand it a little bit so the 1st color shows through. I could go the safe route, and do red underneath a dark brown/black. This would be the most versatile color that could work in a different room in our house (or when we move) well.

But what about that pop of color I was thinking about?

What about TEAL on top of brown?

Or should I go for a dark RED on top of brown (this shade of red and not as ‘distressed’)?

OR what about TEAL on top of RED!!!! The possibilities are endless!!!

(I wouldn't do red knobs, and the teal would be darker, but you get the point)

 Or maybe I should just brighten things up and do a clean-looking cream like this?

I hesitate to use light-colored furniture with children in our household...

 Help me choose!

(Because if you know me, you know I’m itching to start this ASAP!)


11 thoughts on “Turning an Old Dresser into a Console

  1. With your original console, have you considered turning it on its side and seeing if things fit that way?

    • Miki T-B – Yes we’ve thought of turning it, but we still run into the same problems because the shelves are non-adjustable and odd-shaped, and you have to find specific things to fit in it. And I am still going to go through with refinishing this dresser/console, so once we get that in there we won’t have any room anywhere in our house for the old entertainment stand, anyway!

  2. I would keep the old tv stand. Since your hubby is handy have him add a shelf to the tv part and get some nice baskets for the bottom (maybe a coat of paint too). It Would be a fantastic place to store craft items. As for the console/dresser rework…it is a great piece! I think I would do a neutral color (maybe the color of your sofa) or the dark red and add your “pop” with some accessories. Maybe a burnt orange (or the teal if you like that) with throw pillows on your sofa and maybe a rug or a few small decorative accessories or picture frames.

    • Sweet B, thank you for the “vote”. :) I like the idea of adding the pop of color in accessories rather than painting the whole thing a bright color. I’m still on the fence though! I have thought of your suggestions for the old TV stand but now that we have this console going in there, we won’t have anywhere to move this, anyway.

  3. Definitely a pop of color! The red is really pretty… I like the teal too but personally I’d be afraid of getting sick of it in a year or two (but that’s the scaredy side of me!)

  4. That dresser was made for the teal! You could refinish the top in a dark brown stain for contrast. Awesome score for 15.99!

  5. Okay, I know I am late but I really liked the black on top of brown. I am also looking to do something like this with a old dresser. But the top of mine was laminate so I decided I’m going to try a mosaic tile design by using old wine bottles.

  6. I found an old dresser in my alley, checked it out and seen the beauty in it, first time doing a project this big, but gonna give it a try, wanna try gray with some nice knobs for the boys room. I just love all the ideas!!!!!!

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