How To Cover A Damaged Dresser Top

Although deemed a minor issue, a damaged dresser top can affect how your room looks, especially if the dresser top is visible from anywhere in the room. The best fix is to have it professionally repaired or to purchase a new one entirely. But sometimes, it is more practical to just cover it. So how do you do it aesthetically? We researched answers for you.

There are many creative ways you can cover a damaged dresser top, but it all still depends on the severity of the damage. Here are some quick fixes you can try:

  • Put the fabric on top and cover using a glass top
  • Get colored glass and put it on top
  • Cover with contact paper
  • Cover with laminate
  • Put a runner on top and cover it with appliances 
  • Use paintable wallpaper

If all else fails, sand down the dresser and repaint it. 

How to cover a damaged dresser top

Having a damaged dresser top can be a bummer, but it's an opportunity to be creative and possibly spruce up your room with some added character. Keep reading below as we elaborate on what you can do to beautify your dresser top and make it look good as new.

How To Cover A Damaged Dresser Top

Covering a damaged dresser top takes a bit of creativity. However, you'd want to make sure that the dresser top only has aesthetic flaws and damages that don't take away the structural integrity of the furniture.

If the top of the drawer is so severely damaged that it fails to protect the contents inside, you're better off getting a new one.

Here are some ways you can cover the flaws on your dresser top.

Put the fabric on top and cover using a glass top.

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Place a piece of fabric on top of the dresser to give it a visually pleasing and put-together appearance. The fabric can be a solid color or be rich with patterns and designs.

You can also sew two or more fabrics together for an artistic flair. Make sure to follow your style either way!

After that, measure the dimensions of your dresser top. Then, find a glass of that size or have someone cut the glass to size. Place the glass on top of the fabric, and you're done!

Get colored glass and put it on top.

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If you want a more effortless approach, and if the flaws on top of your dresser can easily e hidden by the translucent glass, you can just purchase colored glass that fits the dresser's exact dimensions. Carefully place the glass on top.

For better aesthetics, you can put other decors on top of the drawer to distract the viewer from the damage beneath it.

Make sure that the glass is properly fitted on the surface to prevent it from falling and causing an accident.

Cover it with contact paper.

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Putting contact paper on top of any furniture is a convenient way to upgrade it, so you can use it to spruce up your dresser. You can use the contact paper not only to cover the top but also each individual drawer.

This will add character to the furniture and make your room look more aesthetically pleasing. Just make sure you use contact paper with a design that's cohesive to your room.

There are many designs available, from floral to vintage to geometric and minimalist. You can also purchase contact paper that matches the wood grain of your dresser top so it can look good as new.

Make sure to use a precision craft knife to cut the contact paper and a surface smoother to make the job easier.

Cover it with laminate.

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Covering your dresser with laminate sheets is an excellent way to make your dresser look brand new. Not only will it make your dresser look sleeker, but it will also make it more durable.

Laminate sheets are known to be scratch, impact, and mold resistant. This will ensure that your dresser top won't incur damages in the future.

Put a runner on top and cover it with appliances.

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A runner is a narrow cloth intended to provide friction on top of a smooth surface. They are also used as decoration as it makes the space look effortlessly elegant. It can give definition to your dresser, especially if it's long.

You can choose a neutral color for your runner for aesthetic versatility, but you can also choose more vibrant colors as long as it matches your room's color scheme.

After putting a runner to cover the flaws, you can also put appliances or decorations on top as long as the dresser can handle its weight. Bigger drawers can handle a lamp or a small TV, while you can put aroma diffusers, small lamps, radios, and vintage CD players on top of smaller drawers.

Use paintable wallpaper.

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Paintable wallpaper is like peel-and-stick paper, except it is usually thicker and can be painted over. It has intricate details that add texture to the surface, making it visually pleasing for your furniture.

Make sure to cut it to size, but it's better to cut larger at first and trim it later on the dresser. That way, there's less room for error, and you would not waste the wallpaper. Coat it with paint several times to cover the details entirely.

Use a roller brush to coat the surfaces, then use a paintbrush to cover all the grooves and details.

How To Repair the Dresser Top

If you would rather repair and refinish your damaged dresser top, that would work too--but it would require more time and energy.

Before repairing the dresser, make sure you have all the tools you need, such as a sealer, primer, sandpaper, and your preferred stain.

It is best to do this project outside your space since it could get messy, especially once you start sanding the surface.

Here is how you can effectively repair your dresser top.

Clean The Surface

Mans hand dusting dresser

The first step to refinishing any furniture is to clean it. Clear out all the items on top, and brush away the dirt. The debris can get stuck and show later once you've finished the surface.

If the dirt is extreme, spray it with a heavy-duty powder mixed with water. Make sure to carefully read the instructions to prevent accidents.

Sand the Surface


After clearing out the surface, sand down the dresser. It is best to do this for the entire dresser instead of just the top since it is more practical and it will make the colors match later.

Sanding will remove the old finish, and it will make way for a new stain.

Apply Wood Conditioner

Man's hand with a rag for applying varnish

After sanding, you need to first wipe the sanded surface to get rid of the granules. Use a wet cloth for this. The wood conditioner will act as a primer as it prepares the wood for another stain. It will make the color stick, and it will prevent peeling.

Let the primer permeate the wood for 15 minutes, but refer to the brand's instructions for a more accurate waiting time. Don't panic if the primer turns the wood orange since you will cover it with stain later.

Proceed On Staining

Once the wood conditioner has soaked into the wood, you can now apply the stain you've chosen. The stain should match the aesthetic of your space to create a visually cohesive look. Make sure to choose a stain without orange undertones that will make your furniture look outdated.

Use a brush and rug to distribute the stain on the surface. Wait around 20 minutes before staining the rest of your dresser. Cover all the sides, and wait 24 hours for the stain to dry. Apply a second coat to achieve the stain you want.

Apply A Sealant

Applying protective varnish on a wooden furniture

After successfully staining the wood, it is time to seal it. The sealant will prevent the wood from rotting or getting mold. A sealer ensures that your dresser will remain durable for a long time.

Apply the sealer with a brush, and apply the sealer on all parts of your dresser.

Final Thoughts

Having an aesthetically pleasing dresser drawer will make your space feel more cohesive. Make sure to maintain it well, so it doesn't get damaged anymore.

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