32 Ways to Upcycle a Dressing Table

How do you upcycle a dressing table? With the right know-how and a bit of time, you can transform your old dresser into the centrepiece of any bedroom or living space – and a talking point for anyone who uses it. So check out our upcycled dressing table ideas and get your furniture looking like new.

32 Ways to Upcycle a Dressing Table

1. Sand down

First, you’ll want to clean your table and sand it down. By using sandpaper or a sander, you can quickly breathe new life into an old piece of furniture. You might even want to keep the natural wood look to match your taste or any other items of furniture nearby.

2. Paint to match your style

Looking to paint your dressing table? When choosing your shade, it’s best to think about your favourite colours, as well as where the table will sit in your home. If you use shades that you like, seeing the dressing table will always bring you joy. By using tones that complement the space, it will tie everything else in the room together.

Silver style

3. Silver style

If you’re looking to make a statement with your dressing table, how about spray-painting it in silver leaf? This will give the impression of an expensive table that positively shines in your room – especially if it’s near a window. Similarly, an all-gold spray paint gives a feeling of opulence.

4. Wonderland

Giving your dressing table a theme can reflect what you love in life. Painting scenes from your favourite books, movies or stories can bring your furniture to life. From Alice in Wonderland to Star Wars, anything can make a stunning and original design for a dresser. What will inspire you?

5. Detailed designs

If you have the time, then consider using small brushes to add some intricate design work. If you paint your dressing table white, consider painting the handles black. You could also paint around the sides and corners of the drawers to add a little more definition to the overall appearance.

6. Keeping lines clean

If you’re painting highlights, then a top tip to keep lines straight is to use masking tape. The tape will protect the dressing table from the paint and also ensure your lines are straight. You can remove it once your coat is dry and the risk of paint drips has passed.

Choose an era

7. Choose an era

You can bring different time periods to life by using particular colour palettes. So if you’re a fan of the 1960s, then browns and beiges can bring that decade back into your home. Flowers and bright colours could evoke the 1970s. Heavy blacks and silvers, meanwhile, can give the piece an 80s feel.

8. Sparkling designs

Doing up an old dressing table can help bring some glamour into your home. Are you keen to create a piece that catches the attention of everyone who comes near it? Then try using paint with glitter added. This adds a wonderful sparkle and makes an eye-catching detail.

9. New knobs

Dressing tables often come with beautiful drawer handles. But if yours aren’t doing it for you, why not try changing them out to something more your style? This way, your knobs will match your overall design. For a more modern look, you could swap individual handles out for bars that run the length of the drawer.

Upgrading handles

10. Upgrading handles

If you’re keeping the original handles, you can still give them a new look with a lick of paint. You can use any colour, from black and silver to pink and orange. Feel free to let your imagination run wild. To brighten the dresser further, try painting each drawer handle a different colour.


11. Loud and proud

Do you enjoy loud colours? Then your dressing table could be the perfect place to stamp your identity. Whether it’s neon orange or bright pink, your dresser can reflect your favourite shades. If you can’t choose, then why not try a rainbow design? This cheerful pattern will brighten up any piece, and you can continue the pattern across your stool, too.


12. Original and best

For many, the original style and design of the dressing table is best. In these cases, a slick coat of varnish will help to let the table shine. It can also bring out the delicate grain of the wood. A simple polish of any handles can bring out a long-lost lustre.

13. Rustic effect

Keeping your design simple and enhancing the original features of the table can give you a rustic effect. You can enhance this by using large hinges and ring drawer handles. A rough sanding, leaving some of the wood unvarnished, can also add to the overall look. Big and bold is the way to go here.

14. Drawers with a difference

Your drawers don’t always have to match the rest of the dresser. You can make them stand out by using a different colour on them, such as black on white. Or, you can go further and give them a completely different design, perhaps with spots or stripes. This will make your dressing table pop out from the rest of the room.

Mix and match

15. Mix and match

You could go for the eclectic look by mixing and matching different knobs, handles and designs. One drawer can be a different style to the next. One handle can be plastic, with a wooden one next to it. This gives your dresser a charming feel of something cobbled together to create a whole.

16. Hidden details

It can be nice to add some hidden details to create an extra layer of interest to your dresser. This could be a different pattern on the external sides of drawers. For example, pulling out a drawer and seeing leopard print along the edges makes for a fun surprise.

17. Seat with a view

For a coordinated look, We recommend you try matching the colour of the stool with that of the dressing table. Alternatively, you can opt to paint it a contrasting colour to create an interesting visual shift. If you’re looking to freshen up the cushion, choosing a design that complements the colour of the table will suit. If your table is green, something leafy will add an extra visual detail to your design.

Flower power

18. Flower power

A floral design is instantly eye-catching and pleasant to look at. It can transform your dressing table into a wildflower garden with blossoms of different colours, shapes and sizes painted all across it. This creates a cheerful area for sitting and a look that’s truly unique to your project.

19. Trim for the win

Taking time to paint around the edges of your mirror and desk can give any dressing table a touch of class. You can bring the furniture to life and elevate it with gold trim. You can add the same trim around the legs. By painting the table a light blue or aquamarine shade, you can give it a fresh beach cabin look.

20. Shabby chic

Do you like things to look well-worn, but still be functional? Then why not consider revamping your dressing table in the shabby chic style? By using faded colours around sides and corners, your dresser can be perfectly functional and still look like it’s hundreds of years old.

21. Reflect your personality

Many dressing tables come with a mirror attached. You can paint this feature like the rest of the piece, or you could accentuate it. For example, you can add a ribbon of lights around the edge. Small fairy lights will look cute, while larger bulbs can give the impression of being backstage at a theatre.


22. Add a mirror to your desk

If you’re looking to find the perfect separate mirror to add to on top of your table, the key to this is finding one that’s the perfect size for you. A large mirror will allow you to get a full reflection of your face. A smaller mirror will give you more space to work with on the table.

Hanging wall mirrors

23. Hanging wall mirrors

If you’re going to put your desk against a wall, one thing to consider is hanging a mirror. The beauty of this is that you can have a huge mirror which will not only give you the perfect view of yourself but make the room appear bigger, too.

32 Ways to Upcycle a Dressing Table

24. Repurpose desks into dressing tables

Did you know it was possible to upcycle old desks into dressers? If you have a lid-top table, then it’s easy to re-purpose it into a beautiful dressing table. That way, you can ensure all your belongings are kept hidden from sight when not in use. You’ll also get an extra handy flat surface to use when the lid is down.

25. Drawer design

A pro tip is to remember that you can also add your personal touch to the inside of the drawers, too. This will give you a blast of colour whenever you open one. It could be as simple as using paper with a design you like. You could also treat the inside as you would the outside and paint it matching colours.

26. Heavenly scent

By adding some scented pouches to the inside of drawers, you can help make sure the desk always smells nice when you need to use it. You could even match the scent to your table design. If you have rose flower handles, you can complement these with a beautiful rose smell whenever you sit down.

27. Pet central

How do you revamp an old dressing table to make it almost unrecognisable? ‘Upcycle’ can also mean changing the original use of an item or reusing parts of a piece. You can turn the bottom drawers into pet food stations by adding food bowls. Pull the drawers out at dinnertime, then slide them back to save space for the rest of the day.

28. Media centre

Your dressing table can even become a hub for your home entertainment system. The centre area gives you room to add a TV, perhaps even with speakers on the side. And all those drawers? They make the perfect place for keeping remotes safe. With wires tucked behind the drawers, your new setup will keep everything neat and tidy.

29. Hallway convenience

You can turn your upcycled dresser into the first thing people see when they enter your home. As a hallway table, this piece gives you plenty of drawer space for keys, hats and anything else you use regularly. The mirror is also handy for making sure you’re well-dressed for the outside world.

30. Garden delights

If you really want to impress your neighbours, you could try upcycling an old dressing table into a planter. By adding window boxes to hold your plants, you can create an easily changeable display to suit your mood. You can even decorate the dresser with plant-based designs.

31. Home bar

A dressing table can be upcycled into all kinds of things. How does making yours into a home bar, with room to store all your bottles of wine and beer, sound? You could keep wine glasses here too. If alcohol isn’t your thing, this makes the perfect place for a coffee station.


32. Bathroom storage

Whether it has a mirror or not, you can upcycle a dresser and revamped it into a handy storage area for the bathroom. It can create a tidy station for all your towels and the drawers can be used to keep all your products.

Taking the time to upcycle a dressing table can result in stunning and original pieces of furniture. Have you been inspired to take on other upcycling projects? If so, our article on upcycling lamp shades and guide to upcycling teacups and mugs are definitely worth a look. And remember, you can always check out Gumtree’s listings for items to use in your upcycling ideas, from handles to paint and mirrors.