refinished dresser/changing table is what all the new mommies are asking for!

Baby Nursery Must Haves!

One thing new mommies are craving for their little ones’ nurseries is functionality. I have recently had the opportunity of working with two sweet expecting mommas on the ideation and creation of their nurseries; both of whom have expressed the need for space-saving, dual-functioning decor their babies can grow into. To meet this need, I refinished some plain Jane, outdated dressers and converted them into changing tables! Instead of purchasing a dresser, changing table and some version of extra storage, this solution combines all necessities into one adorable piece of furniture. When the functionality of a changing table is no longer needed, the child can continue to use the dresser.

Angela put in an early request for a dresser/changing table not long after she learned she was expecting. She knew the practicality couldn’t be beat. Nearly convinced she was carrying a boy, she found a light wood, basic dresser on the side of the road she hoped to have me refinish. Come to find out, her friend (also expecting) picked up a more feminine, vintage dresser curbside with the same intentions. When Angela learned she was having a baby girl, and her friend a baby boy, they swapped curbside finds.

Vintage dresser refinished for a nursery
BEFORE image of Angela’s Dresser

For a project like this, I think it’s best to select a neutral color. As the room transforms from nursery to bedroom, a neutral dresser still works with the changing decor. Angela wanted a whimsical, feminine palate for her nursery, so we decided on a creamy, white chalk paint to freshen up this vintage piece. Originally I was going to sand and stain the top of the dresser to match the 100-year-old doors throughout their home, however, upon learning the surface was a thin, wood veneer it was best to paint it.

NOTE: Wood veneers take stain differently than regular raw wood and wouldn’t have matched the raw wood edge of this dresser.

How to refinish a vintage dresser for a nursery. How to choose the perfect nursery colors and patterns

I selected a wipeable, peel-and-stick wallpaper in a blush pink buffalo check pattern to line the dresser drawers. The delicate leafy design of the original hardware worked with the overall look of the nursery, so I painted the aged bronze to match the dresser. This way we could preserve their vintage detail without the harsh contrast in color.

How to refinish a dresser into a baby girls nursery changing table. Beautiful vintage furniture with dual functionality that looks stunning in any nursery.
AFTER image of Angela’s Dresser

Finally, I ever-so-lightly distressed the edges and raised details of both dresser and hardware to play up the age of this piece. Then this piece was sealed with a water-based, clear matte finish to protect it for years to come. It was important to Angela to be able to periodically clean the surface of the dresser; therefore, this sealer gives a smooth finish to the touch and can withstand an occasional sanitization.

Baby wipes, diapers and precious onesies fill the top shelf for a clutter free surface and convenience of a messy midnight change.

How to refinish a dresser into a baby girls nursery changing table. Beautiful vintage furniture with dual functionality that looks stunning in any nursery.

Our expecting momma, Elizabeth, is due in two short weeks! After working with her on a home office project, she graciously called on me to help with the design of her baby boy’s nursery. Previously, this room was functioning as a library/dog room/storage location, so the first task on the agenda was move everything not baby-related into a new location.

How to refinish a Dresser for nursery
BEFORE image of Elizabeth’s Dresser

Again, we were working with a small space so I had to get creative with storage, functionality and design. When I pitched the dresser-changing table idea to Elizabeth she was a bit unsure, but as we cleaned up the space and talked layout, she was sold! I picked up this solid wood dresser at one of my favorite local antique malls. It was in great condition, just a bit dated.

After priming this dark wood, I gave it a couple coats of Metal Roof Grey chalk paint. This grey is light enough for a tranquil nursery, but will easily make the transition into a little boy’s room in the coming years.

refinished dresser for a little boy nursery. Nursery ideas for a baby boy
AFTER Image of Elizabeth’s Dresser

For the drawer liner, I went with a light gray and white oversized plaid pattern. This print is subtle, but again, something their little man can grow into.

refinished dresser for a little boy nursery. Nursery ideas for a baby boy

Finally, for the hardware I went with a traditional pewter cup pull. Pewter is the metal of choice throughout Elizabeth’s home and the cup pull was a great mix of southern and traditional.

refinished dresser for a little boy nursery. Nursery ideas for a baby boy

To seal this piece, I used the same water-based, matte sealer as on Angela’s dresser. This not only locks in the paint to prevent chipping, it’s smooth to the touch and can withstand a mess or two…or three or five.

Touches of rustic brown and rich navy compliment the light gray dresser while adding some warmth to the nursery. I wanted this space to feel like a play off ‘The 100 Acre Woods.’ Above the dresser I hung a whimsical rope ladder shelf and inspirational quotes from Pooh Bear himself. The shelf also makes for a convenient place to store some diaper changing essentials.

refinished dresser for a little boy nursery. Nursery ideas for a baby boy

And there ya have it… two happy mommas and two beautiful changing table dressers!

4 thoughts on “Baby Nursery Must Haves!

  1. Halie says:

    I love both! Especially Angela’s, how you kept the feminine touches and how it feels antique yet practical. I love the cooler colors in Elizabeth’s nursery and especially the Pooh-Bear decor; that ladder shelf is so unique! (Also love that Piper posed for the photo as well!)

    • admin says:

      Thanks Halie! Yes, is was fun to do the “double-header” with GIRL and BOY projects back-to-back. Both very different and fun to flex the creative muscle for both needs. Piper is such a character and, of course, wanted to be in the picture : )

  2. Janelle says:

    Dusti! This is so great! I totally do the dresser/changing table too with all three of the kiddos. It is the best way to go. These pieces are beautiful friend. 🙂

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