Converting a Old Dresser into a Baby Changing Table

It is a known fact that having a baby can be expensive. Caring for a baby requires a lot of specialized equipment, such as a baby changing table. In order to reduce these costs, converting existing furniture for new uses is a great money saving strategy. The essence of converting a dresser to a changing table is simply placing a changing pad on the top. You can do this with any dresser, but to get one perfectly customized for your baby, the dresser must be changed. This task is a simple one, and even a novice DIYer should be able to convert an old dresser into a brand new baby changing table.

Tools and Materials:

  • Sandpaper
  • Damp Cloth
  • Paint Brush
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Varnish
  • Baby Changing Mat

Step 1 – Choose a Changing Mat

There are many types of changing mats available for a baby changing table. The easiest kind to set up is a changing mat with grips on the bottom. This material is readily available in the form of shelf-lining, which is typically used for lining kitchen shelves to keep dishes from sliding. When placed on top of the dresser with a waterproof changing mat on top, it will also keep the mat from sliding around on the dresser. There are also flat foam mats that will provide a waterproof cushion for the top of the dresser. Most have straps for securing the baby to the mat, and some may have straps for securing the mat to the dresser, but you should never leave the baby unattended.

Step 2 – Place the Changing Mat

Place the changing mat on top of the baby changing table to ensure that it is not too big for the dresser. If it is too big, exchange it for a smaller size.

Step 3 – Prepare the Dresser

It is likely that the old dresser will not be the same color as everything else in the baby’s room. If this is the case, you will need to paint it. First, prepare the surface by sanding down to the bare wood, or use a commercial paint/varnish remover to remove the old finish from the dresser and then sand it smooth. Once sanded, wipe the surface down with a damp cloth to remove wood dust and any other particles in preparation for refinishing.

Step 4 – Paint or Stain the Dresser

If you've decided to paint, apply a layer of primer to the old dressing table using a paint brush. Once the primer has dried, you can apply the color of paint of your choice. Leave the paint to dry before reapplying a second coat. After the second coat of paint is dry, apply a layer of varnish. Varnish will act as a protective layer between the paint and any baby mess.

To enjoy the natural look of the wood, apply the stain of your choice and follow the recommendations of the stain manufacturer to get the look you want. Finish up with a good coat of varnish for protection against moisture on the baby changing table.