Nursery Progress : Updated Dresser / Changing Table for the Little One

Little by little we’re making progress in the baby’s room.  We finally got this dresser done that we will be using for a changing table.

We got the dresser from some friends a few months ago.  They knew I have a passion for transforming old and worn furniture pieces and asked me if I was interested in this piece…for free!  They had used it in their home at one time, but it wasn’t their style anymore and they didn’t want to spend the time to refinish it.  So it really worked out perfectly for all of us!

At first I was just going to fix it up and sell it, but when my husband and I got it home, we thought it might work for a dresser/changing table for the nursery.  It’s a little smaller than most dressers which was perfect because the nursery is tiny!

My husband helped a ton on this project!  I actually told him part way through that if I knew I was selling this piece, I wouldn’t have allowed him to help near as much!  I really like to do the work of refinishing furniture myself because, well, I’m the one that gets to put my name on it, so I should be doing the work!  Plus, it gives me a sense of pride to see the piece through from beginning to end.  But since I knew we were keeping this piece, I let him help more.

He stripped the top of the dresser first, so we could see if we could salvage the top.  I love to do a stained top on dressers when they are in good shape.  Surprisingly, the top looked perfect under all that paint!

My husband ended up stripping and staining the whole piece with Minwax Dark Walnut stain (two coats on the top and just a quick coat on the body) before I got to painting.  The top was finished off with a couple coats of polyurethane for protection.

I have been looking into different chalk painting techniques a lot lately, trying to find what works for me and what doesn’t.  For this dresser, I applied the first coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey quite sparingly trying to keep in mind where paint would normally wear off with use.  Then I did a second coat the same way.  When the paint was dry, I distressed it with 100 grit sand paper and then went over the whole body with clear wax.

My husband spray painted the old knobs with black spray paint.  And while we were at IKEA the other day, we saw these drawer pulls that were the size and look we were going for!  I was so excited to finally find pulls we liked, I quickly snatched up what we needed before anyone else could get to them!  ;)

This stack of vintage books was given to my daughter by my dad for Christmas.  They were given to my dad as gifts when he was a little boy.  Unfortunately, they were partially damaged in a fire at some point, so some of the pages are a little blackened.  These books were able to be salvaged, though, and they mean a lot to him.  He wanted to pass them down to his granddaughter to keep them in the family.  I love that we have them now and that they have such a personal story behind them.

I’m hoping our future child loves this piece as much as its parents do!  ;)  If not, we may just have to find another place for it in the house!

To see all of our DIY projects and the final room reveal, check out these posts:

Installing the wood plank wall

DIY crib skirt

DIY stenciled picture frame mat

Organized nursery closet

Finished nursery reveal

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  1. WOW! it’s come a long way, baby! i love it, allison!! it’s gorgeous and so many memories will be made there!

  2. Love it!!! but of course I love everything you do :)

  3. It looks fantastic! I have yet to use chalk paint on a piece of furniture,but I can’t wait!!


  4. This is stunning, Allison! I love the stained top with the grey paint. Gorgeous!

  5. Very pretty! Can’t wait to see your entire nursery!

  6. It looks great! I love the bunny on top, too. We have the same changing pad cover :)

  7. WOW, that came out great. There was sooo much paint on it before which looked like a lot of work. What a lucky baby. Those books are such a special gift for both of your babies : )

  8. Your painting speaks to my soul! LOL! Love your style, chica!!

  9. It looks beautiful. Such a neat little piece.

  10. This is beautiful. Would you love you come share it at Silver Pennies Sundays – if you have a chance!

  11. It looks so great! I love ASCP Paris Grey and the drawer pulls make it perfect!

  12. Allison, I absolutely love how it turned out! Who would guess the wood under there would be that amazing. What a nice story to tell the baby how you and Daddy worked on it together. : )

  13. That is totally gorgeous Allison! It doesn’t even look like the same piece of furniture! I would totally put that in my own home!

  14. GORGEOUS! I love everything about this piece and I especially love that you stained the top. We refinished two pieces for my daughter’s nursery and those are my two favorite pieces in my whole house right now. Great job, Allison!!

  15. The transformation on this piece is beautiful! It’s a great idea to use it as a changing table.
    Mary Alice

  16. I love it!! You did an amazing job. I know all about getting husbands to work on furniture. I haven’t had good experiences with that. ;) I see that you mentioned something about selling. I started selling pieces this past year and I really enjoy it. I am a new follower and can’t wait to explore your blog for inspiration! It looks like you have fantastic taste and are so talented. Angie

    • Thank you for all the sweet compliments, Angie! I started selling about 6 months ago. It hasn’t gone nearly as well as I’d hoped, but I’m trying out a new location now and hoping that helps. I think I just need to find the right venue and things will pick up. Thanks for following along!

  17. Allison, I got your comment on my charging station, yours is a much better changing station lol. And great pictures, I’m working on that.


  18. so pretty! glad you found the pulls..they look great! p.s. thanks for stopping over and leaving the sweet comment on my valentine’s banner. I would have emailed back but it comes up no-comment reply.

  19. What a beautiful piece and you gave it an awesome makeover! I love the color and the wood top. A great changing table and will still be beautiful as a dresser!

  20. I love it all! The color, the distressing, the knobs… all perfection. :) I especially love all the storage you have! Great job!

  21. Gorgeous! Love, love, love the colors!

    Jenna @

  22. This is a BEAUTIFUL piece. I love how you stained the top alone. Very sophisticated, and I’m sure it will look lovely in the nursery!

  23. I love this! I am working on my kitchen table right now…I did something similar with Jacobean stain on top (very dark) and Duck Egg on the legs. I am loving it so far. It’s my first go with ASCP!
    Stopping by from Liz Marie

  24. I love this! Of course, I love everything that you touch. It looks so perfect.

  25. It’s really beautiful! I love the natural/painted mix.

  26. This piece turned out amazing. So beautiful. I’d love for you to come over and share it at Finding the Pretty & Delicious Linky Party.


  28. Is that really the same dresser? Oh my goodness what a great before and after. I love the handles I am now wondering if those might work for the dresser in our bedroom. Hmm something to go check out. Great job!

  29. You really worked some magic on this one! Just beautiful – love the color, the wood top and the hardware! Plus it just has the cutest shape!

  30. This is just gorgeous, so beautiful!
    Thanks for linking up.

  31. You did a great job restoring that piece! And love the vintage books, what a great piece of childhood to pass down!


  32. You are amazing with furniture!!! Gorgeous piece! XO, Aimee

  33. Gorgeous!

  34. This looks amazing! I love the color & the hardware is the perfect touch!! What a transformation! Would love for you to share at the party tonight! xo bridgett

  35. Absolutely perfect. I’m so glad you were able to bring it back to life. :) And I LOVE that you decided to keep it for the nursery. Brandon looked at it and said, ‘Whoa! That’s NOT the same piece we gave her, is it?!’ :) I love how it turned out.

  36. featured you tonight at Monday Funday!!;)

  37. I was wanting to know what you had to do to the body of this piece to get all the flaky paint off. Did you just use the stripper and sand it heavily? And what kind of clear wax do you use?
    thank you….
    beautiful piece.!

  38. thank you

  39. This is beautiful!!!! What a HUGE transformation!!! So, I know you stripped the top of that horrid paint, but what about the rest? Love it!!
    Claire @ The Rustic Pig recently posted…Cottage Style Coffee TableMy Profile

    • Allison says:

      Thanks Claire! Yep! Stripped and sanded the whole piece! It was definitely a challenge, but totally worth it! :)

  40. Gah, I love this! I have been hesitant to dive into the chalk paint/clear wax technique, but I think your dresser/changing table just pushed me over the edge! Really well done. Your baby is blessed to have parents who enjoy putting so much heart into this space!
    Lauren recently posted…Our Wood CountertopsMy Profile

  41. Was just looking at your Gender Neutral Nursery Reveal and had to pop up to check out how you did your changing table. I am in AWE of the transformation after seeing the before pic. This really turned out quite stunning. You should feel so proud.

    (P.S. Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog! Great to have the opportunity to check out your beautiful corner of the blog-o-sphere.)
    Lauren @ The Thinking Closet recently posted…Craft Drawer Organization for the Budget SavvyMy Profile

    • Thank you, Lauren! It really is one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever redone and I’m so glad we get to keep it in our home! :)

  42. Like i said… stunning! What a huge undertaking to strip all of that paint off!
    gwen recently posted…3 Gluten Free Must Have’sMy Profile

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