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Upcycling 101: How to Repurpose a Changing Table into a Chic and Functional Dresser

See you how to repurpose a changing table into a stylish and practical dresser. Get creative and save money with this easy DIY project!

If you’re a parent, chances are you are ready to replace your little one’s changing table with a dresser. But if you already have a changing table that doubles as a dresser, you may be looking for a way to repurpose it and save money.

You can easily transform your changing table with a little creativity into a beautiful and functional dresser that can be used for years to come. In this post, I’ll share with you how to repurpose a changing table by removing the changing table topper and what to do with what’s left.

How to Repurpose a Changing Table into a Dresser

I find it very rewarding to invest your creativity and time into a piece that you know can be used for a long time.   When I was expecting my daughter, like any other price conscience mother, I looked for deals for her new nursery.

I found a BabysRUs oak changing table on Craigslist for $40. My husband painted it white for me. My sister and I added the initials using a stencil and acrylic paint.

A baby changing table and dresser combo is painted white and green with initials and is against a pink wall before the changing table is converted into just a dresser for a big girl room.
Old Changing Table and Dresser Combo in the Nursery

Now my daughter is three and is transitioning into a big girl room that also doubles as a guest room.  To update the changing table, I had to disassemble the top pieces and remove the front and side frame pieces.  I used wood putty to fill in the screw holes and sanded the top until it was smooth.  

I decided not to repaint the top piece white again but added some detail with gold leaf.   You can purchase gold leaf at a craft store or online.  I bought my gilding kit from www.caromalcolours.com a few years ago and it has lasted forever.

Repurpose Changing Table with Gold Leaf

Prepare the dresser by removing the changing pad frame on the front and sides. Use wood putty to fill in the holes and sand.

How to Apply Gold Leaf to Cover the Exposed Wood

  • Step 1: If you want to add an embellishment of gold leaf (or silver, copper) to a piece of furniture, tape out an outline with painter’s tape as I did here as seen in the pictures below.
Two pictures showing how to apply gold leaf as a border on the dresser top.
Adding a Gold Leaf Border to the Dresser Top
  • Step 2: Add a base coat of paint if you want the “cracking” in the gold leaf to show with a dark color like chocolate brown. If you skip this step, you can add an extra layer of gold leaf so none of the furniture’s color is exposed. 

This is the paint my gilding kit came with.

Pictures showing steps for applying gold leaf to a dresser top after removing the changing pad frame.
Painting a Dark Base Before Applying Gold Leaf is Optional

I was unable to reuse the adhesive from the kit (it is at least seven yrs old), so I pulled out my bottle of mod podge.  You can make your own mod podge by mixing water and Elmers or other craft glue 50/50.

  • Step 3:  Use a sponge or a bristle brush to apply a thin layer of glue.  The gold leaf can be tricky to work with and it is best to wear plastic gloves so as not to scratch or leave fingerprints in the gold leaf.  Just take pieces of the gold leaf and gently lay it down and dab it with your finger or dry brush (I think the sponge brush works well here) working small sections at a time.
Pictures showing steps for applying gold on a dresser top with decoupage and the gold leaf pressed to create a border.
Use Decoupage and Painters Tape to Create a Clean Border

Remove the painter’s tape before adding a protective top coat.  Mod Podge usually works great as a top coat to seal whatever you have applied but it can leave gold leaf looking matte.  Try using a spray paint of polyurethane for a protective coat or just leave it as is.

Here is the end result. Drum roll, please!!!

A dresser top is white with a gold leaf border where a changing table topper was.  It has a cute white snail lamp and art.
Gold Leaf Border on a White Dresser Top
A white and lime green dresser upcycled from a changing table is darling in a little girl's room with pops of pink.
Upcycled Changing Table into Full Functioning Dresser

Repurpose Changing Table with Paint

After my daughter got even a few more years older, we decided to give her a preteen makeover. I removed the back piece from the changing table topper, sanded the gold border smoothly, and painted the dresser mint green. This makeover will hopefully last until college!

Girl's dresser repurposed from changing table.
Girl’s Room Before
A mint green dresser against blue bird wallpaper with a modern lamp and art looks stunning with a play on tone on tone.
Mint Green Dresser from Changing Table

It looks so pretty and my daughter can keep it forever!

Paint A Dresser Without Sanding
Repurposed Changing Table Mint Dresser with Gold Bee Against Bird Wallpaper

Repurposing your changing table into a dresser is not only a fun DIY project, but it’s also a great way to save money and give an old piece of furniture a new lease on life. With a little bit of creativity, you can create a unique and stylish dresser that will fit perfectly into any room of your house.

Whether you choose to add a fresh coat of paint or new hardware, a gold-gilded border, the possibilities are endless. Don’t get rid of your changing table just yet, give it a chance to be repurposed and see how it can transform your space!

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  1. This came out so pretty. We’re following from Buttercream Bake House Linky Party on Google Friends Connect. Would love to have you follow back.

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