My wife is always coming home with new furniture – chairs, dressers, nightstands, tables. She loves to redo them, and they always turn out really nice.
Recently Eileen’s aunt and uncle gave her an old dresser from when her uncle was quite little. The dresser needed a little TLC, and so we had a plan to make it over with milk paint.
However, after watching a little too much HGTV, Eileen saw a couple of DIYers run a dresser through a table saw. So as Eileen was out in the driveway getting ready to paint the dresser, she got a vision of how nice the tall dresser would look if it were shorter.
Now, I’ve never had to modify furniture in this manner before, so… challenge accepted.
How to Shorten a Tall Dresser
Here is the dresser in its original lanky self:
Eileen wanted the new height to be comparable to some existing dressers in our house, so I set my target height to around 34.”
There were a number of ways I thought to accomplish this. I settled on the simplest method of cutting a section off the bottom and relocating some trim to conceal my work.
To make a quick prototype, I toppled the behemoth and lopped off its legs to get close to our target height:
Once we were satisfied with the feel of the new height of the shortened, it was time to dig into the details to restore the look.
At this point, it looked like a giant box with just the legs cut off:
To unbox the look, I marked out cutting lines with my golden trio – measuring tape, speed square, and pencil:
My jigsaw made short work of cutting this dresser:
Here I extracted some trim for relocation:
Unfortunately, some of the trim had wood glued into some grooves that I needed to be exposed. So I clamped them down in my JawHorse and chiseled out the grooves:
In the process of shifting all the trim upwards, I exposed some more grooves in the new legs. I didn’t want to leave the grooves there and risk pieces of the legs breaking off.
So I filled in those grooves with scrap cut-offs accompanied by a generous serving of wood glue:
Once the wood glue dried, I trimmed and sanded the cut-offs with my random orbital sander, resulting in some solid-looking legs:
All the trim was now relocated and the dresser reconstruction was completed:
We were so pleased with how the tall dresser was now shortened. We were excited for the next step of the project – making it over with milk paint.
Check back next week to see the complete dresser makeover!