How to Secure a Dresser to the Wall for Childproofing

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One child dies every two weeks from tipping furniture, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Most furniture manufacturers include a kit to anchor dressers and shelves to walls, but if you don't have a kit, you can purchase angle brackets at any hardware or home improvement center. Anchoring a dresser is simple, takes less than 30 minutes, and can save a child's life.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Things You'll Need

  • Provided hardware kit or 2 angle brackets and wood screws
  • Hollow wall anchors, 2
  • 5/8" wood screws, 2
  • Washers, 4
  • Hacksaw
  • Stud finder
  • Portable drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer

Prepare the Dresser

Remove the drawers and clear the area in front of the dresser.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Lay the dresser on its face on the floor -- cushion the front with an area rug, if necessary. Pry the nails from the dust cover on the back.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Remove the dust cover and pull any remaining nails.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Install Brackets Provided by Manufacturer

Line up a bracket with the pre-drilled holes inside the dresser. Drive a screw through a washer, tightly securing the bracket to the top of the dresser.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

OR Install Angle Brackets Purchased Separately

If you don't have brackets provided by the manufacturer, you can buy angle brackets at any hardware store or home improvement center. Position the brackets on the underside of the dresser top and mark the holes.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Tip

  • When purchasing angle brackets for this project, make sure the screws that come with it will not protrude through the top of the dresser. Buy additional screws separately, if necessary.

Drill shallow pilot holes, using a small drill bit. Be very careful not to drill all the way through the wood.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Drive wood screws through the bracket and into the top of the dresser. Again -- be careful not to drive the screws through the top.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Set the dust cover back in place to see if you need to make a bigger notch to accommodate the bracket. If necessary, mark a cut.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Cut along marked lines.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Replace dust cover and tack it back in place.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Anchor the Dresser to the Wall

Now that you have the brackets in place, you're ready to attach the dresser to the wall. Use a stud finder to locate and mark the studs in the area. Tip the dresser up and position it so at least one bracket will be located on a stud.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Line a bracket up with the stud and mark the bracket hole.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Drive wood screws through the bracket and into the stud.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

OR: if no stud is available in the desired location, use hollow wall anchors. Mark the bracket locations and drill 1/4" holes into the wall.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Tap a hollow wall anchor into each hole.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Position the dresser and drive a screw through a washer and the bracket, into the hollow wall anchor. Repeat on the other side.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Finish Up

Pull and shake on the dresser to be sure it's securely attached to the wall.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

Replace the drawers.

(Image: Debbie Williams)

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