Nursery dresser? Check.

{Pssst…find the full reveal of the finished nursery here!}

Whew.  This project has been a long time in the making.  It has been more than two months since I made my first Craigslist purchase for a nursery dresser/changing table.  I teased you shortly thereafter once the dresser was half painted, but now I am happy to report that the whole project is complete.

Can you believe it used to look like this?

Being in my pregnant state, I skipped the smelly oil-based primer for this one and used Zissner’s Bulls Eye water-based primer and sealer (which seems to stick to any surface just as it claims), plus a few coats of Dandelion Wish by Valspar

I had a bright yellow dresser in mind to use as a changing table ever since I made my initial nursery design plan and I’m so glad I followed through with it.  The yellow helps brighten up the gray space so much, and coordinates perfectly with the fabric that I’m incorporating into the room.

(For those of you who have been following along, you’ll see I added some roman shades to my DIY cornices and I love the combination!)

I’m super excited to fill those drawers up with diaper-changing paraphernalia and get the top situated with a changing station.  Yes, I am this excited about diaper-related things.  It’s weird.

But speaking of drawers, I’m relatively pleased with the outcome of the drawer pulls.  I purchased these red number pulls from Pottery Barn Kids and gave them a coat of glossy white spray paint.

My original plan was to paint them black, but I was worried that things were getting a little too school-bus looking.  Plus I already had white spray paint in the closet.  Works for me!

I’m slightly disappointed with the pulls because the screw hole is not centered on each number.  Some holes are on the right of the numbers, others are on the left, and some are dead center.  If you look closely at the dresser you can tell the numbers don’t line up perfectly, but it’s doable.  No wonder Pottery Barn Kids had these on super sale (and final sale).

Numbers 7 and 8 are going on the closet doors, once they are painted yellow.

And here is how the dresser looked once it was all accessorized and ready for baby’s arrival.

There are only a few more major nursery projects to go and then some major accessorizing.   Hope you’re enjoying the progress…we certainly are!  In case you’ve missed anything along the way, you can check out all of our nursery-related posts.


  1. Elizabeth says:

    Very cute! I can’t believe that is the same dresser! What a difference a few coats of paint can make!

    P.S. If you need some cute nursery wall decor check out my website! :)

  2. This looks amazing, Erin! The color is PHENOMENAL. And, the pulls? Perfection. I love them in white. What were they thinking putting the screw holes in different places? Crazy. But, I’m glad they were on sale for you. =)

    Your little ones’ nursery is going to be amazing. Can’t wait to see it all together.

  3. Allison says:

    Your dreser is wonderful! I love the bright and cheery yellow and the numbered knobs are so fun. The elephant fabric is delightful! What a great job you’ve done with the nursery.

  4. Lisa says:

    Did you make the roman shades, too? If so, where did you find the pattern? I need to make insulated shades for the kitchen. Hope you are feeling well!

  5. Heather says:

    You did a great job! I love the yellow nursery scheme (which I would have done but the DH nixed it…) and would never recognize the dresser in the before/after! Fabulous!

  6. Steph says:

    No I cannot believe that dresser used to look like the before pic because it is so perfect as you have re-done it that’s it’s hard to imagine it any other way!

  7. Joy says:

    I love the nursery. It’s amazing. What kind of finish paint was the valspar and how did you get it soo smooth? Did you use a brush or one of those foam rollers? I alsolso love that the pulls are white. It matches everything. Love your nursery. I am setting up my nursery as well and we painted the walls a gray and the ceiling a light turquoise. That’s as far as we’ve gotten. Only 3 more months to go and I still don’t have a crib yet. I wish I was as organized as you. You are such an inspiration since being pregnant and working I feel like I never can find the time to get anything done. Here you are all working, pregnant, getting it all done and beautifully. I just found your blog and love it!

    • Erin says:

      Hi Joy,

      Thanks for all of your kind words! I used a satin finish on the paint and applied it with a foam roller, which helped achieve the smooth finish. I did have to use a brush in some of the small crevices, though. Your nursery sounds like it is off to a great start! And don’t worry, three months is plenty of time. My energy didn’t kick back in until the end of the second trimester and most of the projects were finished within the last two months of pregnancy!

      – e

    • Erin says:

      Hi Ashley,

      Thanks! I only sanded a few spots that I filled with wood filler. Other than that, I just used the primer! It seems to be holding up well…

      Hope that helps!

      – e

    • Erin says:

      Hi Molly,

      The paint color is Valspar Dandelion Wish, which I had color matched in Olympic no VOC paint. I think the color is very true in the pictures. Good luck with your nursery and please send pictures!

      – e

  8. Brandyn says:

    I have always loved this dresser & nursery!

    4 months ago I repinned this image on Pinterest (a repin from a blog that tracked back to this page), & now our nurseries are both in the ohdeedoh small kids, big color contest! It’s a crazy small world!

  9. After2 says:

    I loove this and will totally be copying the style, just found out that my little one is on its way in July/August 2012. Super excited!

  10. Kara says:

    I absolutely LOVE your nursery. The first thing that caught my eye was the yellow dresser, but upon looking at the rest of your pics I am also using the white and yellow elephants that you have on your cornice board on our bedding. My intentions were to paint the crib the same yellow as your dresser, but upon going to the paint store today I totally botched the color. I’ll try the dandelion wish and hope that’s going to work better. What I originally chose was super bright. Is your dresser a bit muted? It looks like it in the picture and that us what I was going for. Also, where can you find that primer? We were told we would need to prime the crib before we painted it, but I didn’t know if the primer would be safe for baby (especially since it’s the crib and our little one might bite the crib). Thanks for all the great info.

    • Erin says:

      Hi Kara,

      Thanks so much for your comment! I am so glad you like my nursery dresser…I kinda love it too! :)

      Our dresser is a bit muted, and I really love the color. I actually took that elephant fabric to the store and matched it as best as I could, so the two really go well together. I found the primer at Lowe’s, but you could probably get it just about anywhere.

      Painting a crib is definitely ambitious! Good luck, and send pictures when you can!!

      – e

      • Kara says:

        Will do and thanks so much for the speedy response. One more thing, what finish did you use on your dresser? Eggshell, semi-gloss, flat? Thanks so much!


  11. Jami says:

    I love the dresser to and have always wanted to paint one too! I just have a question, when you bought it did it have a musty smell? If so, how did you take it out? Thanks!

    • Erin says:

      Hi Jami,

      Mine was a little musty, but I haven’t used it for clothes, so it doesn’t bother me too much! I have heard from readers that washing the drawers with a mix of vinegar and water works, or putting a container of baking soda or kitty litter in the drawers should soak of the smell.

      Hope that helps!

      – e

  12. Erica says:

    What is the height of your dresser? We are looking to refinish a dresser and are getting mixed opinions on an appropriate height for dresser/changing table. Thanks!

    • Erin says:

      Hi Erica!

      I am sorry that I was slow to respond to this comment. Our dresser is 31″ high. I’m 5’4″ and my husband is 6′ and neither one of us have had trouble with the height of the dresser.

      Hope that helps!


  13. Lyndsey says:

    I love this idea, but since the dresser was not meant to be a changing table how did you secure the changing pad to the dresser? I really want to make my dresser into a changing table, but not sure about that part.

    • Erin says:

      Hi Lyndsey,

      Thanks for your comment and good question! As it turns out, I did not secure the changing pad to the dresser in any way. It does slide around just a little bit, but not enough for me to do something about it. If you really wanted the changing pad to stay perfectly in place, you could always put something underneath it like the non-slip shelf liner material, or a piece of a rug gripper (that goes under a rug to keep it from moving).

      Hope that helps! The dresser situation has absolutely worked for us, so I would say give it a try!

      – e

  14. amber says:

    I know you did this a couple of years ago, but do you happen to know the height of this dresser? I want to make absolutely sure before purchasing a dresser online that I won’t be on my knees trying to change the baby. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge