Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Trim to the Edges

Repairing a Damaged Dresser Top

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 of the dresser 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)!

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges

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. I used a prybar (<– affiliate link!) to remove the plywood layer and it peeled away very easily.

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Removing Ply on Top

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Top with Ply Removed

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 DAPĀ® 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.

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Trim & Adhesive

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Centered Front Trim

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Fitting Side Trim

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…

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Mitered Corner

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Sides Sanded

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.

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Front View

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Angled Front View

Repair the Top of a Dresser and Add Pieced Trim to the Edges - Top View

The top of this dresser was severely damaged. I removed the veneer and the first layer of the plywood then replaced it with 1/4

I’m so glad I decided to repair the top of the dresser and add piecedĀ 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!

Originally posted 2016-07-08 08:00:29.