Unique Wine Rack

Unique Wine Rack

Hi everyone! It’s Jessica from Décor Adventures, back again and ready to show you a furniture makeover project I’m just in love with. This isn’t just any furniture makeover. This is how to turn an old dresser into a rack to hold your favorite reds and whites – wine that is!

One of my favorite things to do is redo furniture. Chairs, mirrors, tables, dressers, you name it. A while back I found this dresser at a thrift shop for only $10 and took it home only to find the drawers didn’t work well at all. I had an idea to ditch the two large drawers and turn this piece into a wine rack. If it doesn’t work for clothes, why not make it work for wine! Here is how to make your own unique wine rack from a dresser.

Many of these materials are based on how I painted the dresser and how we cut the shelves. We cut them ourselves with a table saw, but if you don’t have one, you can have them cut at the home improvement store or use a circular saw.

  • Dresser with a few drawers removed


  • primer, paint, stain, paint brush and roller;
  • Furniture wax or sealant/polycrylic (or whatever you might want to use to finish the dresser)


  • Two 2’x4’ sheets of ½” MDF
  • Two pieces of quarter round to finish fronts of shelves;
  • Several feet of ½” square wood dowels {they come in 36” pieces}


  • Table saw {unless you have the shelves cut to size at the home improvement store};
  • Nail gun
  • nails
  • air compressor
  • Random orbital sander {Optional if you distress the dresser}
  • Miter saw or hand saw


  • Wood glue;
  • 220-300 Sand block or sand paper.

These instructions will be in a three sections, so you can easily see how this project comes together. First you will paint or stain your dresser, {or maybe you love it as is and will leave it}, second you will prepare the shelves and put them together to create the wine racks, and last you’ll put the whole dresser together.

Preparing the Dresser
This was a piece I bought at a thrift store and it was already painted but I had to fix it up. The back was not painted and didn’t look very pretty so I ended up painting that too. You can see in this picture how wonky the bottom large drawers were.

Dresser BeforeTo re-paint a dresser, sand it down and prime it with a oil-based (one made to “grip” well or for glossy surfaces.) Then you can paint it the color you prefer. For furniture I usually use chalk paint, which needs no priming, or enamel paint, which is harder and more durable than regular latex paint.

Here is what it looked like after a two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in graphite. If you follow me on Instagram you got to see all of this in action! The back was primed and painted with oil-based paint only because I had it on hand but you can use the same primer and paint you use for the rest of the piece.

Painted Dresser
To add some interest to your furniture you can do different techniques like glazing, distressing, colored finishes and more. On other pieces I’ve used Martha Stewart’s Metallic Finishes paint, which is semi-transparent and works well to provide a little sheen. I used it in ‘Tin’ on a silver dresser you can see here and decided to use it on this one too.

Unique Wine Rack
To get this look, dry brush on the second color. Dry brushing means you dip it in the paint, wipe most of it off, and then lightly brush the paint on. Before sealing it, I lightly distressed it with my random orbital sander. You can also use sand paper, or a block sander. I like the orbital because it takes about 5 seconds total, it’s very quick! Don’t let it sit in one place, but move it aroiund very quickly over the flat surfaces and edges to give a nice worn look.

Sanding Dresser
Next you want to seal the piece. Lately, I’m liking furniture wax, so this got a quick layer of Annie Sloan soft wax in clear. Look up instructions online on how to use it. You’ll get a nice, smooth shine.

Be sure to paint inside the dresser, the parts where the drawers normally go will be seen. I painted with the graphite chalk paint so they would match.

Unique Wine Rack
Preparing the Wine Rack Shelves

To prepare the shelves to hold wine bottles, measure the inside space of the dresser where the shelves will go. The dresser should have brackets inside for the MDF to rest on. Then cut the MDF to fit into the spaces. You can either have this done in the store where you buy it or at home with a table saw. My husband and DIY partner in crime, Dan, was super excited to use his birthday present {a table saw from me} for the first time, so option 2 was for us – table saw!

Table Saw

You can dry fit the shelves to make sure they fit right and you might find one works differently on one of the shelves. Make sure to mark which shelf goes where and which side is the front if your shelf spaces are uneven.

After your MDF shelves are cut, cut the square dowel to fit inside the shelves either with a miter saw or hand saw. Since the dowels we purchased were 36 inches, we made two cuts to make 12 inch pieces. The spaces in between the dowels were four inches. Dan made a little jig of scrap wood to insure the spaces were even.

Square Dowels
Use wood glue to attach the dowels to the MDF shelves. Lay something heavy on top of them to dry.

Square Dowesl
Once the glue is dry, prime and paint the dowel rods. For this dresser I painted the shelves in the graphite, which was the base color of the dresser. I didn’t distress these shelves, but I did seal them with clear soft wax.

DIY Wine Rack
To hide the front edge of the shelves, you can add quarter round trim at the front of each shelf. All you have to do is cut it to length and paint it.

Putting the Dresser Together

Time to secure the shelves into the dresser. We used a nail gun with an air compressor, but this could be done with wood glue. To make it more secure, I suggest nailing them in. Nothing like a little DIY right in the foyer!

DIY Dresser Makeover
This project seems like a lot of steps, but it comes together quickly. After you prepare the dresser and shelves, all you have to do is secure the shelves/racks in and soon you’ll be arranging your favorite bottles of wine on the shelves. Here is the makeover!

Unique Wine Rack
Although I love the modern look of a solid paint finish, I also love this slightly distressed look with the different color paints too.

Distressed Dresser

This is such an easy project to upcycle a piece of furniture that would otherwise be discarded. This wine rack would look great in a dining room or hallway. And if you don’t drink wine, store rolled up towels or books inside. I made over a dresser like this with only shelves too.

Furniture Makeover Ideas

Dresser Turned Wine Rack

Next time you see a dresser with drawers that just won’t slide like they are supposed to, don’t pass it up! You can make yourself a simple wine rack. See all of my furniture makeovers here.

Do you like the distressed furniture look? Think you’ll ever make a dresser into a wine rack?

Jessica at Decor Adventures Blog~learn more about Jessica~


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DIY Unique Wine Rack | Pretty Handy Girl

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