Convert Old DresserIf you have one of those big ugly long dressers kicking around, and are not quite sure what to do with it, so it lives in the spare “junk room’ or in the basement, then here is a brilliant idea to add more space to your dining room and recycle this old dresser at the same time.

When I say a “long dresser” I mean those ones with side by side drawers, that are usually the length of the bed approximately. Many of these were built quite big and tough. So tough that we just don’t know what to do with them anymore. But if you are short of a buffet side table or could use some extra space in your dining area, then try this.

Step 1 - Take your old dresser apart and clean it well, get rid of grease and wax using a degreaser spray such as Fantastic or your favorite cleaner. Take off the hardware, since you are going to discard it and find some more modern bits and pieces. If the holes don’t match up to your new hardware, then fill in the holes that you won’t be using with wood filler.

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How to Make a Dresser Into a Buffet

 Step 2 - Now since your old dresser is most likely brown, you probably want to want to change that. Black actually works quite well on these older pieces, and can go with most furniture, but your choice. But the one thing you don’t have to do, is strip this old varnish or paint, go right over top of it without even sanding it, by using a good high adhesion primer, such as Zinsser.

 With a good high adhesion primer, it will coat any surface (as long as it is not waxy or greasy) to give you a good base for whatever type of paint you use over top, such as a good latex water based paint, which is way less fumes, and quick drying.

If you prefer a white or lighter color then make sure and do a good couple of coats on top of the primer.

Step 3 - Now take water based varnish, and decide whether you want a shiny look or matte look and then add a couple of coats of varnish for extra protection and to show off that sheen. You may want to do a third coat on the top surface.

Step 4 - Now install all your new hardware. Add a couple of nice looking lamps to either end of this old dresser, and now you have a stunning side board or buffet with all that extra storage.

Other Options - If you can afford it, and would like to use this old dresser not only for a side board but a buffet for holding the food, consider splurging on a piece of granite or marble cut to size with polished edges. This will be heavy, so make sure your old dresser can support that kind of weight. You can get this in varying thickness to keep the price down.


Marble or granite or even a faux granite countertop cut to size will add dimension and depth to your old dresser buffet. This way it can be used for food at your next buffet style dinner.

An old dresser can make great storage if you just get creative. Some paint and new hardware can make all the difference, even if you just end up keeping it for your bedroom. But by repainting it, adding varnish, new hardware and possibly a new top such as granite or marble, it is now a stunning buffer table for those dinner parties.  Also see using Faux tin tiles to cover a backsplash.