Repairing a Damaged Dresser Top
Repair a Top to a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges
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I’ve had this dresser for awhile and although it was covered with a heavy duty tarp (the kind that covers lumber when it is delivered to the home improvement store), the top veneer was heavily damaged. I’m almost ashamed to say that I built this dresser but it is what it is… Anyway, I had an idea to repair the top and add pieced trim to the edges in lieu of using edge banding, and I have to say this is probably my favorite project yet (next to this one)!
I bought a package of scrap moulding at Hobby Lobby (actually, I bought several packages) because I thought it would add interest to the dresser with “pieced” or “patchwork” trim around the top. This worked out so well, I can’t wait to add pieced trim to another project!
I started by removing the damaged veneer from the top with a scraper. Then I decided to remove the top layer of the plywood since it was slightly damaged as well. This would also allow me to put a new piece of 1/4″ plywood on the top and keep the thickness at 3/4″ so the scrap moulding would fit along the edge properly. Matt used a prybar that he calls the “Big Wedgie” to remove the plywood layer and let me tell you, he is really good at picking wedgies, ha ha! It peeled away very easily.
I sanded the remaining plywood on the top as well as the edges to remove any adhesive from the edge banding. I cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood to fit the top (twice because “someone” can’t do simple math) then secured it in place with glue, clamps and 5/8″ staples which can be filled later. Ideally, contact cement would be better so that staples wouldn’t have to be used. If the 1/4″ piece is slightly bigger, a router with a straight bit can be used to cut the piece flush with the existing top. I got too excited and forgot to photograph this step…
Next, I added the strips of moulding along the front and sides. I centered the first piece, making marks on the top so that I had it in the correct position, then glued it in place with DAP® Rapid Fuse Wood Adhesive (this stuff is the BOMB!). I added strips of moulding on either side and when I got to the corners, I cut miters in the pieces with the miter saw to go around the corner then continued adding strips.
Once I had the front and side edges covered, I used a sander with 220 grit sandpaper to knock down any high spots where the trim pieces butted against each other. It made the transitions “flow” better…
I stained the top and the feet using a wood stain and sealer in one (that has since been discontinued – BOO!) in a dark brown color, then painted the body and drawer fronts of the dresser. I think the hardest part of this project was picking a paint color! I chose Deep Amazon by Clark+Kensington.
I’m so glad I decided to repair the top of the dresser and add pieced trim to the edges – I love the way it came out! This is the perfect way to cover exposed edges of plywood and I plan on doing it to many future projects. Have any questions about how to do it? Leave a comment below!