Make a DIY Island using a Dresser

Kitchen islands can be expansive to buy and even more frustrating to make. Why not make a DIY island by re-purposing an old dresser? Most dressers are already around the right height and only need a few modifications to become a kitchen island. Not to mention it will save you a small fortunate and a weekend of headaches!

So save yourself some time with this simple DIY idea!

DIY Kitchen Island


Items Needed

  • Old Dresser
  • Wood stain
  • Paint
  • Waterproof sealer (Waterlox works well)
  • Wood Glue
  • Counter-top Wood
  • Screws
  • “L” or “T” brackets (optional)
  • Wood shims (optional)


Tools Needed

  • Drill
  • Paint brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Painter’s tape (optional)

DIY kitchen Island



1.) Prep the dresser by sanding it down and cleaning it out.

prep diy island

(Optional) You can also add wheels you the bottom of your dresser before you begin. If you want a mobile kitchen island, that would be a terrific addition.


2.) Apply a base amount of wood glue to the top of the dresser and set the counter-top wood on top of it. You would also be wise to use either “L” or “T” brackets to further fasten the counter-top to the dresser.

apply wood glue


3.) Sand the counter-top and apply your stain of choice. Finish it off with a few coats waterproof sealer.

Apply Stain

(Optional) You can use wooden shims something else to cover the backside of your dresser. Often dressers are made with cheaper or thin plywood on the backside that is traditionally facing the wall. Otherwise you could just sand any rough spots.


4.) Finally throw a few coats of paint or stain on the former dresser part of your new kitchen island. You can also use any remaining sealer on it too if you so desire.

paint diy island


Final Word: Make a DIY Island for your Kitchen

In many ways, this DIY is a bit of a blank slate. You can add or remove things as you see fit. I’ve seen where some people remove the drawers from their dresser island and make it look like a bunch of cubby holes. Others have use old desks instead of dressers and turned the gap under the desk into a space where a stool can stay. Having a place to sit in the kitchen is can be handy when prepping a long recipe!


Ultimately, this DIY island isn’t too hard to pull off. It will certainly cost a lot less than the retail price of buying a pre-made island and certainly less aggravating than building one from scratch. Not to mention you can re-purpose an old dresser laying around which will save you money. Alternatively, you can also hit the thrift store circuit and look for a unique dresser that would look amazing as a kitchen island.

Also, remember to check out our other DIY project ideas. You would be amazed what creative ideas you can come up with when checking project ideas out! Our sections include, DIY Kitchen, DIY Outdoors, DIY Home Décor, and DIY Cleaning Remedies. Take the opportunity and become inspired!


2 comments on “Make a DIY Island using a Dresser”

  1. Pingback: DIY 3 Tier Kitchen Stand Idea - Frugal Living for Life

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