How to Build a Rustic Dresser

What You'll Need
Electric sander
Ice pick
Wood putty
Wood glue
Metal file
Tack cloth
Wood stain
Sponge brush

A rustic dresser is a beautiful addition to any room. It provides a utilitarian function as well. Whether furnishing a country home or city apartment, a rustic dresser has charm and appeal. Depending on your do-it-yourself skill level you can choose to build the dresser from scratch or to distress a pre-existing dresser to give it the rustic look. Whatever you choose, this is guaranteed to be a unique piece of furniture for your home.

Step 1 -  Measure the Space

Select the area where you want the dresser to sit. Take careful measurements of the area. You will use these to either decide the size of the dresser you will build, or as a guideline for selecting a dresser.

Step 2 - Prepare the Dresser

Build or select the dresser you are going to use for the project. If you are working with a used dresser, make sure that all structural elements are firm. Clamp and re-glue any weak joints. If there are any cracks, fill them with wood glue. Make sure the dresser is completely dry before beginning.

Step 3 - Sand the Dresser

If using an old dresser remove all paint any finish. For either dresser completely sand all the edges. Pay close attention to remove any sharp edges.

Step 4 - Distress the Dresser

Using the chain, beat the dresser to start giving it a unique old and distressed look. Make sure to work in a random pattern. The dresser will begin to scar. It is the scarring that gives it the unusual look.

Step 5 - Further Distress

Now take the hammer and continue to beat the dresser with it. You want to take care to hit firmly, but not crush the dresser. Note which areas would be naturally worn over time and distress them more thoroughly such as the sides and top of the dresser.

Step 6 - Make Wormholes

Select random spots on the dresser to create wormholes. Don't overdue it, but make several spots. Make these holes using the icepick.

Step 7 - Distress the Handles

Take a metal file and scrape the handles as well as the front edge of the dresser. This part is tricky, as again, you want to make the dresser look distressed, but you don't want to splinter or crack it so that it is unusable. Take care and use precision.

Step 8 - Sanding

Sand the entire dresser once again. You want to remove any areas that may cause splinters and make sure the whole surface of the dresser is smooth.

Step 9 - Stain the Dresser

Divide the dresser in sections and using the rags and wood stain, stain the entire dresser. The stain will set more in the distressed areas and give it an overall interesting effect. Repeat if you like.

Step 10 - Dry

Allow the entire dresser dry fully (24 hours) before using. Enjoy,