Used MCM Dresser To Chic Baby Change Table Upcycle

Putting together a nursery is not cheap as baby furniture can be very pricey. But there's another option for designing a gorgeous nursery, on a budget. Instead of brand new, look for good quality second-hand furniture for a fraction of the cost. It is not difficult to breathe new life into it and I'll show you how.



Today I'm sharing how we gave a makeover to a solid wood dresser found on Facebook Marketplace for a third of what it would have cost brand new. The used mid-century modern dresser is a perfect candidate for a chic baby change table upcycle, customized to the nursery colors.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

Mid-Century Modern Dresser Nursery Change Table Upcycle

My son and daughter-in-law are in the process of designing a gorgeous mid-century modern-style nursery for our grandbaby due in August. So far we upcycled a mid-century modern bookcase and now this dresser to match.



They also found a gently used mid-century modern-style crib that just needed cleaning for far less than it currently retails brand new. We've color-matched the paint for the upcycled furniture pieces to match.



Can You Paint A Changing Table

Yes, both the nursery dresser change table and bookcase are painted with chalk-style paint. It has low to zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds) making it a good candidate for painting baby furniture. It has a durable matte finish and dries very quickly so a makeover doesn't take a long time to complete.



Ultimately, you want to look for furniture that has not been previously painted because you don't know if it may have been painted with lead paint. Look for either unpainted wood or factory-finished pieces.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

This is what the dresser looked like before. Someone had already taken the time to paint the solid wood 4-drawer dresser with what I believe is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Napoleonic Blue. I'm assuming they must have given up on the makeover because the paint hadn't been sealed with anything yet.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

With a little elbow grease and custom white and teal paint colors, it has a fresh modern look that retains its mid-century modern style charm.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.



Can You Use A Dresser As A Changing Table?

Absolutely! You can easily repurpose a short chest of drawers into a changing table by adding a changing pad on the top.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

How To Turn A Dresser Into A Changing Table

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the nursery furniture makeover, almost all of the DIY projects shared here at Interior Frugalista have step-by-step tutorials so why not get your budget DIY on and subscribe. You can also follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.



Step 1 - Prepping The 4-Drawer Nursery Dresser For Paint

When doing dresser makeovers, I always do the following things first:

  1. Remove the drawers and label the back of each drawer with chalk so they go back in the same order they were removed.
  2. Remove the hardware and set it aside in a container so they don't get misplaced if the plan is to reuse them.
  3. Place a piece of painter's tape over the hardware holes on the inside of the drawers so the paint doesn't seep inside the drawers.
  4. Vacuum inside the dresser and the drawers.
  5. Give everything a good scrub with 1 part white vinegar, 2 parts warm water, and a drop of Dawn dish soap. Thankfully because the dresser was recently painted, it only required a quick wipe.
  6. Once it's dry, lightly sand the dresser and drawer fronts with 150-grit sandpaper to give the paint some bite. Remove the dust with a damp lint-free rag.


The previous paint finish on the dresser must have been rolled on because there were several roller lap marks that needed sanding smooth.



Because the dresser is going to be painted white over the dark blue paint, I primed it first with one coat of water-based Zinsser Bullseye 123 Primer. I offer many more tips on my tutorial page for how to prep furniture for chalk paint.



Now that the dresser is cleaned and prepped, it's time for the fun part.



Step 2 - Painting The MCM Nursery Dresser

Both the dresser and the nursery bookcase are painted with Behr Chalk Decorative Paint. The nice thing about this particular paint is that it can be color-matched to almost any color. We took a small piece of the crib to Home Depot and they were able to custom match the white paint color perfectly.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

Instead of rolling the white paint like it had been done previously, I brushed it on with a Zibra Palm Pro Paintbrush. The paint is a little thick so I thin it a little before each dip into the paint can by dampening the brush with my favorite misting water bottle.



The paint has a one-hour wait time between coats. Before applying the second coat I sand lightly with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the finish. It took four coats to completely cover the dark blue paint.



Step 3 - Painting The Dresser Change Table Drawers

While I was painting the outside of the dresser I also painted two coats of the same white paint on the sides of the drawers. Painting the sides a pretty color adds that special touch and element of charm when the drawers are open.



After letting the last coat dry overnight, I applied delicate surface frog tape along the top to protect the fresh white paint when painting the drawer fronts.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

We also took a Cloverdale paint swatch (0668) called Wish Upon A Star with us to Home Depot to have it color matched in Behr Chalk Decorative Paint. Such a fitting name for nursery furniture, isn't it?



The drawer fronts were painted with four coats of the pretty teal color and sanded smooth between coats. The camera didn't do a true capture of the paint color as it is a dark teal color. 



Step 4 - Staining The MCM Dresser Tapered Wooden Legs

Before transporting the dresser to our house the legs were removed. I left them off because it's so much easier to paint or stain them a different color when they are not attached to the dresser.



Unlike regular stain that penetrates into the wood, gel stain sits on top like paint. I figured I could simply apply the dark walnut gel stain over the dark blue paint and call it a day but it took on a purple hue.



In order to make the tapered wooden legs match the stained MCM nursery bookcase, they needed sanding to the natural wood. It took mere minutes to remove the old paint using an 80-grit sanding pad on my favorite mouse sander.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

I applied three coats of gel stain with a lint-free rag and let them dry overnight before moving onto the next step of the makeover.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

Step 5 - Protecting The Teal And White Nursery Dresser

We used an interior water-based non-yellowing clear coat in a semi-gloss finish to protect the paint and stained wood legs. My go-to is Varathane Diamond Wood Finish applied with a paint sprayer. Another option for applying a clear coat without getting brush marks is using automotive detailing wax pads.



Step 6 - How To Clean Original Brass Hardware

The accent color in the nursery is bright gold. While the dresser came with clear glass knobs, thankfully they left the original mid-century hardware inside a drawer. It had been previously painted an antique gold color.



The plan was not to use either the glass knobs or the original mid-century hardware. But I knew underneath that dirty painted original pulls and knobs was a gorgeous brass finish and I knew just how to get it back.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

I have an old electric frying pan in the workshop designated for melting wax and cleaning hardware. I filled it with approximately 4 parts water to 1 part white vinegar and turned the heat setting to simmer.



Once the water reached a simmer I dropped the old hardware into the water for a 5-10 minute bath. One by one I carefully removed them with tongs and gently scrubbed away the old paint dirt and grime with an old toothbrush. For more stubborn spots I used fine #0000 steel wool. What a difference!



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

Step 7 - Lining The Baby's Room Dresser Drawers

Last but not least and completely optional is to line the drawers with cute nursery paper. I used a pretty removable polka dot contact paper. It has handy gridlines on the back making it easy to cut to size. Because it is removable, it lifts easily to readjust as you are laying the paper.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

For a third of the cost of buying a brand new nursery change table, my son and daughter-in-law have one that is customized in their teal and white nursery colors. But even better is that their nursery has a story!



If designing a nursery on a budget or having a one-of-a-kind baby nursery is your goal, then upcycling secondhand furniture is the way to go.



How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture.

Thanks for stopping by the Interior Frugalista today! I hope you were inspired by this budget-friendly nursery furniture idea. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!



If you enjoyed this MCM Nursery Dresser Makeover, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your Nursery Furniture Ideas or Dresser Makeovers board on Pinterest.




How to upcycle a second-hand dresser into a chic baby change table with mid-century modern style for a fraction of the cost of new nursery furniture. #nurserydresser #changingtable #babyroomfurniture #midcenturymodernfurniture

I share my projects at these inspiring link parties.



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Comments

  1. It turned out so cute, chalk paint is magic stuff for furniture transformations! Love the Princess Parking sign too, so cute!
    Jenna

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    1. Hi Jenna, agreed about the magic of chalk paint. I won't use anything else on furniture. I can't wait to deliver this piece for the final touches to their nursery.

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  2. You never cease to amaze me with your transformations, Marie! And I wish I was lucky to find something like this and transform it :)

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    1. Aw you are very kind, Maya, thank you! I can't wait to deliver and see this piece in the nursery this weekend.

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  3. Marie, this is lovely. I have to say you really are the queen of furniture makeovers.

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    1. Kim, you are so sweet, thank you! I can't wait to see this pretty dresser in the nursery this weekend when we deliver it.

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  4. Ok Miss Furniture Whisper this is another adorable piece. Love everything you did to relove it. The draw lining is cute and I love the color of the drawers. Good tip on cleaning the hardware for it too. Awesome Marie just beautiful. xoxo Kris

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    1. You put a big smile on my face this Monday morning, Kris! Thank you so much for your sweet comments. We delivered the change table this weekend and looks so pretty in their nursery. xoxo

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  5. I love the new look my friend and I bet your son and DIL are so happy with all your help decorating their special space! 💙💙💙

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    1. Thank you Denise, that means a lot coming from you, an uber talented furniture artist! Their nursery is coming together so beautifully and I can't wait to meet the little princess or prince that will inhabit it in August.

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  6. I love the new look of the dresser. I know you must be excited for new little one to arrive.

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    1. Thank you so much, Beverly! We are very excited to meet our new grandson or granddaughter (my hunch it's the latter).

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  7. Adorable! Love the height, the color, and especially the pulls. Great #trashure save, Marie!

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    1. Thanks Larissa, my son and daughter-in-law chose the gorgeous colors for their nursery and I was thrilled to salvage the original pulls because they are perfect with the new color combination.

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  8. Your furniture upcycles are always amazing ~ I love the fresh look! Pinned.

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    1. You are so sweet, Allyson, thank you very much! It looks so pretty in the nursery and now it's the waiting game for that sweet new grandbaby to arrive.

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  9. Marie, what a fabulous job you did with this dresser AND the bookcase (into the rabbit hole I dug after reading this one). But, then again, you ALWAYS do a fabulous job. Congratulations on being a grandma to a princess coming in August! I will be right alongside you (mine will be my first grandchild. I dug a little deeper and see you already have a grandson, and I love that growth chart you made!). Saw this featured on Suzanne's Pieced Pastimes. :)

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    1. What a lovely way to start my day reading your sweet comment, Rita. Thank you so much! I so appreciate that you dug deep into the rabbit hole. xo Congratulations on becoming a grandma this summer! Oh my gosh, it is the absolute best. We have a 5 year old grandson and 2 year old granddaughter and we're so excited about our family growing again this summer. Have a great Father's Day weekend!

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  10. Thanks for sharing with us, I'm featuring you this week when the next To Grandma's house we go link party starts!

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    1. Woot woot, thank you so much, Tarahlynn, for the feature! xo

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  11. Beautiful makeover. I have a soft spot for anything mid-century. Can't wait to see the finished room. #HomeMattersParty

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    1. Thanks Donna, and me too! Even though I don't have any pieces in my home, it is my favorite furniture style to upcycle.

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  12. Wow! What a transformation! It looks great and so does the bookcase. I can't wait to see what else you do. Designing a nursery sounds exciting and even more so when it's for your grandbaby :) Congratulations to all of you and God Bless.
    hanks for sharing at the #HomeMattersParty . I'm featuring you at tomorrow's party.

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    1. I'm glad you like the nursery furniture makeovers, Kimberly. I ADORE working on MCM furniture, especially when it's for a new grandbaby. Thank you so much for the feature, it is much appreciated! xo

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