How to turn a dresser into an island

A few months ago I found this dresser at 
my favorite thrift store for under $100.
Pretty typical thrift store dresser.
And by typical, I mean bleck.

To steal all the good stuff before I get there, visit

(psst. sign up for their mailing list for a 20% off coupon!)
This dresser was originally featured on a Fox29 segment I filmed with Jenn Fred.
(click the picture below to watch the whole sha-bang)
And, just so you don't think I am some amazonian giant, Jenn Fred is tiny.
I'm tall, but not like freak show tall.

Let's begin, shall we?
Start with your preferred cleaner.
Mine is Simple Green.

And paint.
I prefer Annie Sloane or Miss Mustard Seed.
Today is Annie Sloan.
Why? Because I don't want to prep, sand or prime this sucka'.
So, I need the super adhesive power of Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint.
I mixed this color myself, so ignore the color
"Florence" on the label.

I covered most of the piece with the paint, including the hardware.
That's the beauty of Annie Sloan - you can paint right over the hardware and it will stick.
(Although, in the end I wound up removing the hardware and spray painting it black)

I wanted to use this island in the middle of a room, so I painted the back with chalkboard paint
(not CHALK paint, chalkBOARD paint)

Once you paint the back with chalkBOARD paint, let it dry 24 hours.
Then season the entire surface.
What the heck does that mean?
It means cover the whole chalkboard area with chalk dust.

 Then wipe it off with a DRY paper towel.

You'll create a dust covered surface that won't hold ghost marks of your last note you wrote on it.

For the top of the island, I went to Home Depot and purchased a 1" thick piece of pine board and
had it cut to size right there on the spot.
I stained it and sanded it smooth.

I used liquid nails and a few screws to attached it to the top of the dresser.
I let it hang over the back edge to create a little bit of a bar.
And a little bit on the left and right sides too.

It's awesome!
And it's for sale.
You can find it in the window of


  1. love this piece- what a fun island! and i have met you- you are freakishly tall.... don't lie. ;) kidding!

  2. What a super cool and easy little project! Kids would love to draw pictures all over the board for fun and then simply wipe it off when you're done.



About Denise

Denise Sabia, interior decorator and author of “The Painted Home” blog, takes everyday items found in flea markets, thrift shops or simply along the roadside and turns them into unique pieces that freshen and warm your home … without breaking your budget. Denise began dabbling in design over 20 years ago and studied at Philadelphia University. Her client base continued to grow as did her portfolio of work, branching out to decorating entire homes. Denise lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. with her husband, 3 kids, a dog, rabbit, 3 chickens, a gecko, and the oldest living hermit crab known to man.

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