Alewood Furniture Co / blog


Dresser Re-Do: Concrete and Metal

Adam picked up a dresser from the trash over a year ago and we’ve always had the intention to make it over, but it stayed like this for way too long.

Trash Dresser

We wanted to get a little crazy and take a risk on this redo, so we decided to go with a bold color.  Our first idea was to paint the whole dresser orange for a nice pop of color in our relatively neutral room.  So, we Adam got to sanding.

Sanding DresserThen, we primed, painted with enamel…


Orange Dresser

…aaand realized that we got a little too crazy with the bold color choice.  It looked like a fluorescent traffic cone. We dragged it up to our room to see if it would read more toned down inside, but that it did not.  However, we actually liked the gray color that we primed it with and we came up with a creative idea to keep the pop of orange while toning down the crazy.  Only the sides remained painted orange and we painted the rest of the dresser with the gray primer. We introduced a little metal to give some texture and interest, which was another great idea by my other half.  Sometimes I wish I was as creative as he is!

We bought metal sheets with a union jack pattern, cut them to size and attached them to the sides of the dresser with glue and nails. Attaching them was actually the last thing we did, but we held it up to the side so we could see what it would look like.  I am in love with the effect the union jack pattern has with the orange paint.

Much classier than the traffic cone look already!

Our cute cat Lola enjoyed the dresser renovation because it gave her a fun new place to hang out.

Lola in dresser

Anyways, for the top of the dresser, we removed the existing fake wood completely and replaced it with a concrete top. This was our second time using concrete and we used a counter top mix again, like we did in this project.  To make the concrete top, we built a form out of melamine. I measured, then Adam cut and assembled.

Measuring the Melamine

Cutting the Melamine

Then, we taped around the sides to prepare for caulk.  Putting tape in straight lines one the bottom and sides of the form creates a perfect line, so the caulk dries perfectly and doesn’t create imperfections in the concrete once it is poured.

Melamine Form

After the caulk is squeezed into the edges of the form, you just smooth it over with your finger and then peel the tape off.  Then, you’re ready to mix up the concrete! Follow the instructions on the bag. It takes some patience and quite a bit of muscle too.

Caulking the Melamine

Mixing Concrete

Once it has the right consistency, just pour it on into that melamine form. “Just pour” it in is actually misleading. The concrete is very heavy, so we used that handy red shovel you see in the picture to transport it.  As you transfer the concrete, you can pat it down and smooth it out, as you can see below.

Smoothing the Concrete

Since we didn’t have gloves, we got thrifty and used plastic bags to protect our hands. We’re professional like that.  Somewhere around the middle of the form, we placed some wire for support,  then filled the rest of the way up with concrete.


Concrete DryingIt’s a little bit hard to tell, but we wrote our initials and the year in the concrete and then waited for it to dry.  We mixed it with a little bit too much water this time and our concrete took longer than usual to set it, but once it did, we were so pleased! We brought it inside right away to see how it looked on our orange dresser.

Concrete on Dresser

The last thing we needed to figure out was what to do with the hardware.  We painted the original handles orange and we like them for now, but if we get tired of them, at least they are very easy to change out.  We’re happy with the way it turned out. It successfully brightened the room without looking tacky.


It’s always fun to see the before and after comparison, so here it is:

Trash Dresser


These iPhone photos really don’t do it justice.  We also need to put some extra nails along the side of the union jack metal sheet to make it lay more flat against the side and we will get around to fixing that one day!  I am going to work on taking better photos with my real camera, but hopefully you get the idea.

One Response to Dresser Re-Do: Concrete and Metal

  1. This is awesome… I think my friend and I are going to look to do our own project for a refinished coffee table… please keep posting projects and ideas…. I’ll send over our project when it’s done…

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