Repurposing Furniture – From Dresser to Media Center

This is a piece we got from Love Inc Lake County Southwest.  They are a charity organization that we work with.  Occasionally they get a piece of furniture that isn’t suitable to pass on to those in need.  Rustic Touch has partnered with them and takes their unwanted pieces.  We refinish them and sell them at our shop.  We then give back 50% of the profit to Love Inc Lake County Southwest.  It’s a win-win situation.


So, this dresser is a BEAST!  It is over six feet long, solid oak and super heavy.  We’ve had it sitting in our back room since summer.  We decided to move it into the shop and paint it there.  What better way to show our customers how easy it is to paint a piece.

Also showing them they too can paint a piece right in their own house, since American Paint Company paints have no VOC’s and are super easy to clean up.


Before getting started on painting, I wanted to transform this beast into a media center.  I started by removing the top three drawers and drawer slides.  Then I measured the inside and cut plywood to fit for a more finished look.  Next, I cut the inserts of the doors out.  I got a little help with this part.  I was afraid of screwing up the doors and really wanted to add chicken wire to the centers of them. Once the centers were cut out, I sanded them smooth and cut chicken wire to fit. The chicken wire was attached with staples and trimmed out with wood to hide the ugly staples.  You definitely want to wear gloves when working with chicken wire, it bites!!!!

On to the painting process, I actually wanted to paint it with Rushmore, but I didn’t have enough of that color.  And I was too impatient to wait for my order.  That being said, I chose Sackcloth and Crushed Tea.  These are two of the new colors from the Ellis Collection.  Also, including my “go to” color Home Plate.  I knew I wanted to do several layers and distress it back showing each layer including the original stained oak.



Step 1:

My first coat was Home Plate over the entire piece.  I brushed it on and stippled it in some areas to add some texture when I did my distressing.

Step 2:

Next I applied the Sackcloth on the outer edges of the drawers, doors and on the top.  The Crushed Tea was applied to all the trim, inside the openings and on top.


Step 3:

Now for my favorite part, the distressing.  I like to do this with a damp terry cloth.  I wiped back the edges to let the Home Plate and original stain show through.  I also wiped back the top so that all three colors showed, for a more worn layered look.

I just love how these paints let you wipe back the layers.

It really pulls the piece together.


Step 4:

To finish the piece (which I am now referring to as my beautiful beast I want to take home with me), I first “sanded” the entire piece with crumpled brown craft paper.

TIP: This is a softer way to remove any film that can be left behind from wet distressing. 

Step 5:

Next, I waxed the sides using the American Paint Company Clear Wax using my waxing brush.  I buffed the waxed areas with my drill brush, what a time saver this invention is.   I sealed the inside shelves and top with 3 coats of American Paint Company Top Coat rolled on, sanding between each coat.


I just love how this piece turned out.  If only I had room for it at my house.

That’s okay though, because when we sell this beautiful beast we will be able to give back once again to Love INC Lake County Southwest.


Post courtesy of Tracy


  1. Great transformation! Love the paint colors you chose. You really updated that piece.

  2. I love what you did here! The color combo and your imagination are perfect.

  3. I dont know what I love the most—the color selection of those American Paint Company paints are perfection and the repurpose of the dresser–fantastic!!

  4. Deborah Smith says

    What an awesome refinished and repurposed piece! Love the color combinations you selected. It’s just hard to go wrong with the selections offered by American Paint Company. The fact that this is a win-win for you and Love Inc. is wonderful.

  5. Wow! I would of never recognize that these two pieces were one in the same without this story. Beautiful work and great job giving back to the community. Perfect example of what small businesses can do.

  6. Such an amazing transformation! I think my favorite thing about this story id the collaboration with a local non-profit! I may just have to implement this in my area. Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. The work done such amazingly . It is looking nice and shiny . I think this idea will help me to care of my garden wooden furniture .

  8. I like doing this too. Also re-upholstering ‘found’ chairs. Love the new look of that piece, though I want to paint it red.

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