How to Make a Dresser Look Like a Toolbox


Refinishing a dresser to look like a toolbox is a great way to add flare to a room that is being decorated in an automotive theme. Fortunately, nearly any dresser can be transformed into a toolbox with just a few coats of paint and new hardware, eliminating the cost of purchasing a whole new piece of furniture. Re-purposing a dresser that's already in the bedroom is not only cost effective, but also highly creative.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Sand paper
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Chrome handle hardware
  • Clean the dresser with a mild soap and water mixture to remove any dirt or furniture polish residue on the surface. Remove the drawers from the dresser so that they can be easily accessed for cleaning and painting. Remove any hardware, such as knobs or pulls, from the dresser.

  • Prepare the dresser for painting by sanding the outside surfaces to remove the old finish and create a smooth surface for the new paint to adhere to. Wipe down the sanded dresser to remove any particles left over from sanding and paint all of the outward visible surfaces with a paint primer. Allow the primer to dry completely, approximately 24 hours, before moving on with the project.

  • Choose two paint colors that resemble the color scheme of a popular brand name toolbox. Most commonly, toolboxes are recognized in bright red and black color schemes. Other options may include yellow and black, or blue and black.

  • Paint the outside of the dresser in the selected bright color, such as red or yellow, using a paint brush or roller. Paint the faces of the dresser drawers in black. Apply a second coat of paint to all of the painted surfaces after the initial coat has dried.

  • Install the chrome handle hardware. This may be chrome colored handles, or decorative knobs featuring tools in their design. For a more playful look, adorn the completed dresser with automotive-themed decals or stickers.


  • Photo Credit paint brush image by Vladislav Gajic from
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