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Nov 7 / Erin

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.


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  1. Adorable dresser! Saw it over at Tattertots and Jello. It is an amazing transformation Perfect for a baby’s room. :) By the way, you can’t tell about the numbers being off center a little. They look great!

  2. Katie Ring / Nov 7 2010

    I love love love the yellow dresser! So cute. :)

  3. Jenny@Anything Pretty / Nov 7 2010

    Love the dresser….the color and those pulls. What a fun addition to the space!

  4. Centsational Girl / Nov 7 2010

    Fantastic! I am in love with this color scheme, your nursery will be so beautiful! Amazing dresser, LOVE the knobs!

  5. Angie / Nov 7 2010

    Love the dresser! The color is great! Perfect for a nursery!

  6. Elizabeth / Nov 7 2010

    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! :)

  7. Kim@NewlyWoodwards / Nov 7 2010

    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.

  8. Jenna @ SAS Interiors / Nov 7 2010

    Love the idea of incorporating the number pulls onto kids furniture….what a fun AND educational way to dress up an old piece!

    ~Jenna, SAS Interiors

  9. Emily A. Clark / Nov 7 2010

    Love it all! Painting those knobs white was a great move. And, I think I’ve said it before, but I’m in love with that elephant fabric :)

  10. Chrissie / Nov 7 2010

    What a fun piece of furniture! I love the bright color and the number hardware!

  11. Kim / Nov 8 2010

    You did a great job on the dresser! It looks so cute! :)

  12. Allison / Nov 8 2010

    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.

  13. What a great nursery! I love the colors, the elephants, the dresser and the numbers. Cant wait to see it all completed:)

  14. Biljana / Nov 8 2010

    Great makeover, it looks amazing, bravo:))
    Greetings from Europe, Biljana

  15. cassie {Hi Sugarplum!} / Nov 8 2010

    I thought I was already following?!?!? I am now…need to make sure I don’t miss this amazing room you’re putting together!

  16. Lisa / Nov 8 2010

    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!

    • Erin / Nov 8 2010

      Hi Lisa,

      No, I did not attempt to make the roman shades! I purchased them from JCPenny (they were a good deal!).

      – e

  17. Anne / Nov 8 2010

    I love it – you are so cool.

  18. Kassie / Nov 8 2010

    I love it! I am in the hunt for a dresser for the nursery as well!

  19. Heather / Nov 8 2010

    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!

  20. Amanda / Nov 8 2010

    Aww! Love the yellow! Great job!

  21. Rene@bargainhoot / Nov 8 2010

    Love the updated modern look of this piece!

  22. Michelle @ Ten June / Nov 9 2010

    Ok… this is ADORABLE!! Fabulous job! I love the number pulls. Too, too cute

  23. Kiersten / Nov 9 2010

    This is amazing!! I love it, and I cannot wait to see the whole room come together. It so unique and cheerful!

  24. cristie / Nov 10 2010

    What a wonderful color and the number pulls are super great!

  25. It’s GORGEOUS!
    The room is looking so good already and all it has his a cornice and a dresser. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

    Would you be interested in featuring it on the site?

    Thanks for stopping by!

  26. Steph / Dec 7 2010

    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!

  27. Joy / Jan 24 2011

    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 / Jan 24 2011

      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

  28. Ashley / Feb 26 2011

    Erin, I love the nursery!! It has given me a lot of inspiration. Did you do any sanding on the dresser before painting?

    • Erin / Feb 26 2011

      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

  29. Molly / Mar 17 2011

    I love the yellow. In fact, this is the exact color combination we are planning to use in our nursery. What color paint did you use?

    • Erin / Mar 17 2011

      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

  30. Melanie / Apr 25 2011

    Love Love Love the yellow!

  31. Ada @ New York / May 23 2011

    I LOVE this dresser … and the overall transformation from eeeewk to so beautiful and fun looking!

  32. Brandyn / Dec 11 2011

    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!

  33. After2 / Dec 28 2011

    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!

    • Erin / Dec 29 2011

      Aw! Congrats! Be sure to share before and after pictures with me, please!!

      – e

  34. Kara / Dec 31 2011

    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 / Jan 2 2012

      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 / Jan 3 2012

        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!


        • Erin / Jan 3 2012

          Hey Kara!

          I used semi-gloss paint on the dresser. I love the finish of it and definitely recommend it. Good luck!

          – e

  35. Jami / Jan 15 2012

    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 / Jan 15 2012

      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

  36. Katelyn Made / Feb 3 2012

    Wow – totally inspired! I want to do this but in a soft eggshell white. Craigslist as we speak!

  37. Erica / Feb 12 2012

    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 / Feb 23 2012

      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!


  38. Lyndsey / Mar 11 2012

    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 / Mar 11 2012

      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

      • Lyndsey / Mar 11 2012

        Thanks for the quick response… we bought our dresser today!!! I am so excited!!!

  39. amber / Nov 29 2012

    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!

  40. amber / Nov 29 2012

    oops sorry, just read your other comment. I got too excited. :)

  41. I love everything about this! The color and the number pulls just make me smile! Plus, the pulls are perfect for when your kiddo gets only and they can know exactly what items are in each drawer! Double duty!!

    Really great job! :)

  42. Rebecca / May 14 2013

    Love love love this! Not only do I love the yellow, the re-finish of an old dresser, but I love the number pulls! Great work :-)
    Rebecca recently posted…Happy Mother’s DayMy Profile

  43. Rebecca Fenley / Oct 10 2013

    Love the dresser and the drawer pulls. Cannot tell they are off center. Great job!

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