Turn Your Old Dresser Into a Changing Table
If you have a baby on the way, are on a tight budget or want something unique, try making a changing table from an old dresser. It's the ultimate in recycling and will save you a lot of money. As the child gets older you can always revert it back to being a dresser.
Step 1: Preparation
Old dressers will most likely have a build up of dirt and furniture polish, you will need to remove this before you start painting. You can wash this away with any good household cleaner containing soap. First, remove all hardware and save it if you are going to re-use it. If the dresser has a mirror, remove it as you don't want the risk of breakage with a baby or small child laying on the changing table top. Remove drawers. Scrub all exterior wood surfaces including the drawers and rinse thoroughly. Allow to dry.
Lightly sand the exterior surfaces of the dresser including the drawers. This step is to rough up the surface so it will more easily accept paint and allow the paint to grip better. Wipe away all sanding dust. Since you are going to be using the drawers for baby items you should sand them also in case they have odors or are musty smelling. Of course if you aren't going to use the drawers this step isn't necessary. You can always slide in baskets to hold baby items it you prefer that look.
If you are going to use wood trim to either enhance the look of the dresser or to put a safety rail around the top so the baby can't roll off, now is the time to cut it and install it around the top edge of the dresser.
Step 2: Painting
Be sure to use baby- or child safe-paint. It will say this on the label. Apply an even coat on the top, sides and dresser drawers. Allow the paint to dry thoroughly. Most likely you will want to give the piece another coat, so sand very lightly, brush away the dust, and paint again. If you want to do any faux painting such as stenciling or tole painting now is the best time to do it. You can also apply decals or freehand paint on the piece for a designer look.
You may also choose to make each drawer a different color, paint the safety rail a different color, sponge or rag paint or any number of other finishes.
Step 3: Finishing
Put the knobs back on the dresser or attach new knobs if you have chosen to do this. Insert the drawers. Place the cushion the size of the top on the top of the dresser. Secure it in place tightly by using Velcro strips with adhesive on the back (upholstery grade would be the best for this application). Be sure that the cushion has a waterproof or removable cover for cleaning.