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Add Stylish Legs to Outdated Dresser

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

When Hudson and I got married, we brought our childhood furniture with us. We each had a matching dresser and nightstand, with totally different stains and style. Neither of us was ready to part with our furniture or alter them, especially because I was really new to DIY. So, I began to look at brand new dressers... Well the pieces I like the best are 1,000 to 1,500 a piece. That was and still is WAY above our budget.

I've heard people say that it is worth is to spend what you want on a bedroom suite when you get married because you will likely have it forever. For my husband and I, I do not think that is right for several reasons.

  1. What you like now, may change in 5-10 years

  2. Our bedroom size will change when we build our forever home. The furniture we have now may not fit the space appropriately

  3. Paying outright for quality furniture you want will mean a LARGE chunk of money

  4. If you can't afford a large sum of money, you might buy lower quality furniture that you do not love

  5. Financing means one more monthly payment

The dressers that I think are gorgeous love from places like Birch Lane have a beautiful wood finish with detailed legs raising it off the ground, like the one below! Click to follow it to the website. I love the smooth straight lines above the legs. There are no intricate detailed legs like the dressers we had growing up. Simple, elegant and classic. But again, way out of budget.

With all of these reasons in mind, I decided to create a matching pair of dressers from facebook marketplace. I planned on buying real wood furniture, sanding and staining. Well, I was a bad judge of furniture. Twice lol. I bought particle board furniture without realizing it, but I purchased each for about 50$. So I made it work! The dressers I found are not exactly "matching" pieces, but that's okay! We can make it match.

These pieces are clearly nothing like the inspiration dresser. Both bases have detailed front board pieces. The sides are one board extending straight to the ground. The first dresser was my practice piece. And I definitely chose the hard path. I thought it would be easy to cut off the curved part at the line indicated, all the way across the dresser (front and sides). In theory, this would create that smooth straight line like I desired. However, I would not recommend this plan. In the corners, I found very thick and HARD wood (or plastic) to cut through. It was very difficult especially because I was not very familiar using the circular saw.

What I would recommend is the plan I used for the tall dresser! I simply removed the decorative front board. Then, I added a new board to the front that was the same width creating one length of the entire dresser. I wish I had taken a photo without the board, but I wasn't on the blog train yet. The new board I added was a cut to the appropriate width, and my dad added a curved detail to the top to match the drawers. I haven't had the chance to try out a router yet, but he does a great job! The new board is attached with my nail gun and screws.

After I created one straight rectangular base, I began working on adding legs. I chose these from Amazon! Click the image to follow to my amazon link. I love the detailed look of the legs. They're 3 inches tall, perfect for the dressers. Due to the dresser being made of particle board, not high-quality wood dressers, there was not a place to mount the legs. That meant I had to get creative. After staring at the base of the dressers for a long time, I found a solution.

How to Attach Legs to Dressers

Items Needed:

  • Clamps

  • Power drill

  • Corner brackets

  • Wood Glue

  • 2"x 4" however long required

How to create a base:

First attach the legs to the mounting brackets. The mounting bracket fits perfects on a 2"x4". On the first dresser, I first attached a board to the long side of the dresser with wood glue, brackets and clamps. After that board was set, I attached the shorter board to the sides. After the boards were secured to the dresser, I attached the mounting bracket to the 2"x4".

The second dresser I took a different approach:

Instead of attaching 3 2'x4s, I added 2 along the long edge of the dresser using wood glue, corner brackets and clamps. The 2x4 along the front is glued to the front and the sides. However the back board is only glued at the sides. I added brackets to every corner for more stability.

I am not sure which design I did is better. Honestly, I was trying to do it as cheap as possible but still safe and sturdy! My recommendation would be to build a full rectangular base, however like I said, I have not had any problems with either dresser.

Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks for reading along!


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