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Reinvent a Room: Budget Decorating Projects

How to Turn an Old Dresser Into Mudroom Storage

See how we painted and revived an old dresser to turn it into entryway storage for the whole family.

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Courtesy of Susan Teare

Every home has a drop zone — a place where everyone drops their stuff when they come through the door — this project is a great way to organize the drop zone. We found a modern-style dresser at a thrift store and gave it a fresh coat of blue paint. Picture frames and chalkboard paint were added to the center of each drawer so every family member could have a designated spot to stash their gloves, hats, keys, etc.

Materials and Tools

drill with a small bit, about 1/16th
sandpaper and a sander
paintbrush and a small artist paintbrush
hammer
paint (we used Valspar semigloss)
12 nails — 17 gauge 1" wire nails
6 frames (size to fit drawers)
chalkboard paint
blue painter's tape
all-adhesive glue

Prep the Dresser

Clean the dresser with wood soap. Remove drawers and any hardware. Sand off at least the outer finish of the piece. This will allow the new paint to adhere better. Wipe off sanding residue thoroughly.

Paint the Dresser

When the dresser is completely clean, apply a coat of paint. Let dry thoroughly and apply second coat if necessary.

Mark Placement for Frames

Remove the glass and mats from the frames. Place a frame in the center of a drawer and use a pencil to trace around the inside of the frame. This will be the template for the chalkboard paint. Repeat the process for the other drawers.

Tape and Apply Chalkboard Paint

To frame the area for chalkboard paint, place blue painter's tape slightly outside of the pencil marks, about 1/2 inch. Paint the section with chalkboard paint and let dry for 24 hours. If necessary, apply a second coat and let it dry for 24 hours.

Pre-Drill the Frames

Mark the centers of the top and bottom of wooden frames, and drill a small hole in those spots for the nails.

Attach Frames

Remove the painter's tape from around chalkboard paint. Apply a small amount of glue to back of frames and place in the center of drawer, framing the chalkboard paint. Let the glue dry for a few hours. Hammer nails into the holes of the frames for extra stabilization of frame. Use a touch of black paint to cover the nail heads. Let dry.

Joanne Palmisano is the author of Salvage Secrets (W.W. Norton, September 2011). Visit her blog, also called Salvage Secrets.

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