How To Turn A Dresser Into A Desk: Step-By-Step Guide

How To Turn A Dresser Into A Desk?

With everyone working from home, you may be looking for a desk. 

Although you could certainly buy a cheap desk from IKEA or some other site, why not make your own?

Better yet, transform an old dresser into a beautiful work desk for cheap.

How To Turn A Dresser Into A Desk

Whether you have an old dresser already sitting in your attic or you need to buy one from the thrift shop, you should easily be able to find cheap, used dressers for this purpose.

It will allow you to up-use an old item that is still in great condition and sturdy for a functional purpose.

Of course, you have to know how to transform an old dresser into a desk first. To learn how to turn a dresser into a desk, keep reading.

Why Turn A Dresser Into A Desk?

Because turning a dresser into a desk requires a bit of effort and work, you might be wondering, “Why to bother?”

Although the task will require some sweat and effort, there are many reasons why you should transform your old dresser into a desk instead of purchasing a new one.


Why purchase something new when you already have what you need at home?

If you already have an old dresser, there’s no point in buying a new desk. Instead, you can save money and resources by using the dresser.

Not only will this help save you some money, but it is better for the planet.


Furniture is simply not made the way it used to be, and the same goes for desks.

Even so, you want to select a sturdy desk that can hold up books, be underweight, and under pressure.

Unfortunately, many modern desks simply are not up to the task. By selecting an old dresser, you know that your desk will be heavy-duty and sturdy.


Turning an old dresser into a desk is simply fun.

Although shopping for a desk is fun for a few seconds, making your own will result in hours of fun.

Plus, you will get to cherish the memories you made while creating your new desk.

How To Turn A Dresser Into A Desk

What You’ll Need To Turn A Dresser Into A Desk

To turn a dresser into a desk, there are some materials and tools you will need. You will need a dresser.

Dressers that are horizontal instead of vertical are best. 

Especially if you can find a dresser with 3 columns, you will be able to make a large and spacious desk.

Read More >> Top 5 Best Extra Long Desks with Storage? (2022 Review)

Here are some other materials and tools you will need:


  • Desk
  • Paint
  • Particleboard
  • Screws
  • Wood filler
  • Spindle
  • Molding
  • Baseboards
  • Foamboard
  • Fabric
  • Handles


  • Jigsaw
  • Hammer
  • Dremel
  • Sander
  • Stapler
How To Turn A Dresser Into A Desk

How To Turn A Dresser Into A Desk

1.      Remove Drawers

To begin, remove any drawers you don’t want to use. Depending on the size of the dresser, this may be all of the drawers or only some of them.

If you have a three-column dresser, you might want to consider leaving one column so that you have extra storage space built into the desk.

You can toss any drawers you don’t intend to use.

Read More >> Top 5 Best Black Desks with Drawers (2022 Review)

2.      Remove Unnecessary Framing

With the drawers out of the way, there will be framing that was used to hold the drawers in place.

You need to remove this unnecessary framing using your jigsaw. 

Do not remove framing around any drawers you want to remain on your desk.

3.      Remove Handles (Optional)

If you want to keep some drawers, remove their handles. How you remove the handle will largely depend on the dresser.

Newer models use screws so that you can easily remove the handles. Older dressers may require you to pry the handle off using a hammer.

Then, use a Dremel to cut off the staples and sand the area down.

4.      Paint Desk

At this point, you should only be left with the main base that you want to turn into the desk.

Paint this base whatever color you want.

Dresser Into A White Desk

Many individuals who use this plan prefer to paint the desk white, but the color is up to you.

5.      Apply Particleboard (Optional)

Grab particleboard and put it on the top of the dresser.

The particleboard will extend over the back of the desk so that anyone sitting across from you has a desk overhang as well.

You only need to do this step if you expect to meet clients or workers who will need a desk overhang while in your office.

Install the particleboard by screwing it into place and filling holes with wood filler.

So that this overhang has support, add spindles to each of the front corners. This will allow the particle board to be balanced for your guests.

If you want reliable particleboard for the best looks  and quality, check out amazons choice Blank Wood Boards for Crafts

20 Pack Blank Wood Boards for Crafts, 1/4...
  • Fiberboard Wood Sheets: Use these blank mdf boards for crafts to express your creativity using paint and embellishments to create signs, book covers, or decorative boxes
  • Reliable Material: Each mdf wood board is made from quality medium density fiberboard; intended for indoor use only, not weather resistant

6.      Finishing Touches

Install molding and baseboards around the desk.

These finishing touches will allow the desk to look professionally made. Paint these pieces to match the desk.

If you want, you can distress parts of the paint and then stain the distressed part with darker wood color.

Add two coats of polyacrylic to lock it into place.

7.      Install Foam Board

To add a bit of color to your desk, add patterning to the area that your feet go into.

In other words, there should be patterning where the old drawers used to be.

To do this, cut out foam board so that it fits the inside of the desk.

Staple a fabric of your choice on top of the foam board. Staple the foam board into the inside of your desk.

8.      Change Handles (Optional)

The last thing to do is to change the handles on the remaining drawers if any remain to begin with.

Select handles that match the rest of your room.

Final Thoughts

By following the eight steps above, you can transform an old dresser into a desk.

This desk will look more professional and be sturdier than anything you could buy at furniture stores today.

It will likely be way more affordable too!

Whenever you are adding finishing touches to your desk, don’t be afraid to improvise a bit.

What’s most important is that you love the desk. 

Don’t be afraid to add your unique flair and style to its design.

Last update on 2022-12-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Darryl Higgins

Darryl Higgins

Hi, I'm Darryl. I made this site to help share information & reviews about ergonomic desks, chairs & accessories to help others who want to work more comfortably. Learn more about my journey by reading my bio here. Enjoy!
Darryl Higgins

Darryl Higgins

Hi, I'm Darryl. I made this site to help share information & reviews about ergonomic desks, chairs & accessories to help others who want to work more comfortably. Learn more about my journey by reading my bio here. Enjoy!

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