DIY Dresser Overlay

March 29, 2013

As I've mentioned before I'm making over Henri's nursery. I haven't planned a nursery since Molly was born and I never planned one for a boy so I'm having a little fun doing it. Part of my original plan was to find a Henry Link or some kind of bamboo dresser. It didn't work out so well, and NOT for my lack of trying. I looked as far as Massachusetts but didn't find what I was looking for.
I found this dresser below ($1700) and decided to try and make one for myself. At first I was going to do Overlays. And if I didn't have to buy the dresser I think I might have but with the cost of the dresser included  and the new drawer pulls it was going to be too much to order three of those. 
So instead I bought eight 3ft x 5/8 in Poplar Square Dowels. They are only $2.14 a piece, so total the millwork would be $17 instead of $50 (with Overlays). The 3/8 in dowels would work too. They're only .98 cents.
I'll show you how I made this dresser. Just follow the steps below. All you need is a saw and hot glue/. I would not recommend using a handsaw. The cut is not as accurate and it SOOO tedious. I have a table saw which I bought for super cheap at Lowes and it works great. I just set the length and push the wood through. I did about eight cuts at a time. You can get a very small inexpensive table saw at Harbor Freight for only $40. It's great for jobs like this and other small mill work like mitering.

First I bought the IKEA Koppang dresser. It's only $99. The following cuts below are for the Koppang dresser. The front drawers are 31 1/4" x 8" and there are three of them.
I took the square dowels and made the following cuts:
Six 20"
Six 6"
Thirty Six 1"
Twenty Four 2"

Then I took each of the pieces and sanded of the raw edges.

Then I took two 20" pieces and four 1" pieces and glued like so. I used hot glue (set on high) to put these together. It seems to be holding up. Of course it hasn't been very long. Honestly though, I think the hot glue works fine. Once you glue the entire piece to the front of your drawer with liquid nails (glue) it should hold up just fine. One thing I would recommend is to work on a flat hard surface. My mistake was working on a carpet. When I went to add the piece to the drawer it wasn't exactly flat. 

Next add two 6" pieces like so.

Then on each end add four 1" pieces like so.

Finally add two 2" pieces to the ends like so.

If you want to have a nice polished look I also recommend sanding the top.

Then I painted them white. Since it's unfinished wood it's going to soak up any paint you put on it so add a primer first so you don't waste all that expensive high gloss paint. Once the primer is dry spackle any gaps, holes or dents. Once the spackle is dry you can paint with whatever you like. Since there are so many corners I recommend using a high gloss spray and using at least two coats.

I also used these drawer pulls because they had a Henry Link look to them. They're kinda pricey at $4.47 a piece but you can usually find a coupon code for Rockler if you use
I had to spackle over the existing holes in the drawers and drill new ones for the rings to be centered. If you don't have a drill you can use the existing holes in the Koppang. Just add 3" to the 20" pieces of wood you cut. After the drawers were all painted and dried I glued the overlays onto the front of the drawers with wood glue and let set overnight. Easy peasy. If you too decide to paint the dresser I HIGHLY recommend priming it first. I didn't and boy oh boy was it a mistake and probably one that I'll be constantly contending with. The Koppang NEEDS to be primed first.

Well, that's it. Hope you enjoyed!

8 {comments}:

Victoria @ Frankfully said... Best Blogger Tips

This looks amazing! It does not look like the original Ikea dresser at all!! Great job!

Rita said... Best Blogger Tips

it looks amazing. I love the color and hardware you chose to. I used overlays for y IKEA vanity.

Allyson said... Best Blogger Tips

Love it!

Allyson said... Best Blogger Tips

Love it!

pkolonkodybala said... Best Blogger Tips

I love your ideas!

Kate S said... Best Blogger Tips

This looks amazing- well done!

Fabienne Aïé said... Best Blogger Tips

what colour did you use for the dresser? i love it!

Grosgrain said... Best Blogger Tips

@FabulousGoldOh dear, it's been so long now since I did this I threw away the paint can. I should have included that in the post! I'm so sorry!

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