DIY 6-Drawer Dresser

Check out this super simple, two tone 6 drawer dresser build! I’ve got the building plans for you to build your own right here in this post!

Simple two tone white and wood 6 drawer dresser with modern pulls and locks

If you haven’t already noticed, I love building dressers.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

But this dresser I’m sharing now is actually just one part of a large entertainment type center I’m building for a local library.  See it there in the middle at the bottom??

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RELATED: Check out plans for a similar entertainment center here.

Large Entertainment center two bottom cabinets and a middle dresser with large sliding door top cabinet

Once you’re finished here, be sure to head over to this post to check out that pocket door cabinet and to this post to see how the sliding door cabinet on top was made, but in the mean time, let’s cover this 6 drawer dresser piece.

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So, if you’re ready to get building, let’s go.  I’ve got all the plans, dimensions, and details below and the video tutorial right here. This post contains affiliate links. See policies.

For this 6 Drawer Dresser, You Will Need:

Printable plans for the entire entertainment center (which includes this dresser) can be found here:

Step 1: Build 6 Drawer Dresser Side Panels

Like most of my dressers, I started off by building the two side panels.  I built this dresser frame from 2x2s and used plywood for the inside panels.  I’ve got a post here for how I cut my own 2x2s and another post here on how I cut down my plywood sheets.

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Once I had my dresser legs (2x2s) and side panels (3/4″ plywood) cut to length, I simply attached two side panels like shown using wood glue and pocket holes and screws. 

Side panel diagram for 6 drawer dresser

Since these will be covered by the drawers, I made this quick by using 3/4″ pocket holes and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws.  But in my next piece in this series, I used dowels.  Either way works fine.

Step 2: Assemble Dresser Frame

Once the side panels were together, I assembled the rest of the dresser frame using 2x2s at the front and back.  I used wood glue and 1 1/2″ pocket holes with 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws…but again, you could use another joinery method here as well if you wanted. 

6 drawer dresser frame diagram 2x2s between side panels

Step 3: Add Trim Detail to Dresser Sides

After the frame was assembled, I added a little decorative detail to the sides.  I simply nailed 1x2s at the top and bottom of the side panel, then I used some cove molding cut to fit to line the inside of these frames.

Diagram for trimming out side panels with 1x2s and cove molding
Shara nailing cove molding around side panel frame edges

At this point, everything so far was going to be painted white and everything else following this will be stained.  So I went ahead and painted this frame before moving on to the next step. 

Step 4: Install Middle Divider and Front Trim

So once the paint was dry, I moved on to all the inside details.  The first thing I did was install two more 2x2s into the middle at the top and at the bottom. I used 1 1/2″ pocket holes and 2 1/2″ pocket hole screws for this.

Diagram to install 2x2s in center frame of 6 drawer dresser

To add a little something to the design, I framed out the drawers inside the main dresser frame and inset them about ¾”. It’s subtle, but I felt it added something to the design.

Close up detail of inset drawer frame on 6 drawer dresser

I used some 1x3s for this and test fit everything together before staining (I used Minwax Early American Stain for this) them and installing.  I simply glued and nailed the 1×3 front trim pieces in place 3/4″ INSET from the front edge of the dresser frame.

Diagram of frame trim detail on 6 drawer dresser

Because of the spacing, I needed to add some scrap 1x material to the 2x2s in the middle before I could install the center divider, so I screwed some scrap plywood in place with 1 1/4″ wood screws as seen above.

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Then, I could add the middle divider between them.  I edge banded the front of the divider to cover the plywood edges, then installed it in the center using 3/4″ pocket holes and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws like shown.

Diagram of middle plywood panel installed into dresser frame

Step 5: Install Dresser Drawer Slides

Now, it was time for the drawer slides.  I installed 6 pair of 16” soft close drawer slides into the dresser.  To do this on the sides, though, I had to add some more scrap wood spacer blocks where the slides needed to mount.

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CHECK OUT MY COMPLETE DRAWER BUILDING GUIDE HERE FOR HOW TO BUILD AND INSTALL DRAWER BOXES AND DRAWER SLIDES!

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I screwed ¾” plywood scrap blocks in place using 1 1/4″ wood screws.

Diagram of scrap blocks for drawer slides on side panel

But in the middle, I could mount these slides directly onto the panel.  The trim detail on the front made everything else a little more complicated.

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At this point, I had forgotten that the library had requested that all the drawers and doors on this piece I was making be able to lock.  In order to do that, I needed to install some more 1x3s between each drawer.  You’ll see later that the locks will lock into slots cut in these pieces.

Drawer frame dividers installed into dresser frame in 3D diagram

So I installed frame pieces here using 3/4″ pocket holes and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws to separate each individual drawer box.

Dresser frame drawer dividers installed with pocket holes and screws

Then I could finally install the drawer slides like shown. By the way, I have a super detailed guide on how to build and install drawers and drawer slides here.

6 Drawer Dresser slides installed into dresser frame

Step 6: Build and Install Drawer Boxes

Now it was finally time to build and install the drawers. Be sure to check out the post here on how I like to build drawer boxes.

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I like to make my drawers from plywood.  So I cut down my plywood pieces, then cut a dado in them for the 1/4″ plywood bottom.  I used pocket holes and screws to assemble like shown.  I also edge banded the plywood for a cleaner look…but that’s an optional step.

Exploded view of 6 drawer dresser drawer box pieces

I made four drawer boxes 7″ tall like shown above in an exploded view. And I made two more identical EXCEPT only 4″ tall.

Overall dimensions of drawer boxes assembled

By the way, for this particular dresser, I made my drawer boxes shorter (in height) than I suggest in my drawer building guide. The only reason for this in this particular case was so that there was more room to place the lock in the drawer front later. If you aren’t installing locks on your dresser, feel free to make these drawer boxes a little taller.

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Once all the drawer boxes were assembled, I installed them into the dresser.  I have a super detailed guide for how to build and install drawer boxes and drawer slides I’ll link below if you’re interested.

6 drawers installed into dresser frame

Step 7: Install Drawer Fronts

Once the drawers were in place, it was time to add the fronts.  I cut these from plywood as well and covered all the edges with edge banding.  Once I made sure they fit, I stained them, then installed them using 1 ¼” wood screws from the inside of the drawer box.

Install plywood drawer fronts onto drawer boxes dimensions diagram

Step 8: Install Dresser Top

The last piece of the dresser was the top.  I cut this from ¾” plywood and edge banded the sides.  I figured it would be easier to stain before I installed it, so I went ahead and stained it.

3D diagram of top on dresser frame

I centered it on the base and screwed in place through the frame using 2” wood screws at the front and back.

Step 9: Add Hardware and Locks (Optional)

I gave the dresser some simple, modern pulls to keep with the clean lines and finally, it was time to add the locks. 

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I’ve never installed locks into my furniture before, so it was a little trial and error and I wish I had thought to cut the slots BEFORE installing these pieces, but I guess now I know for next time.

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I used a spade bit to drill a hole in the drawer front to insert the lock.  These locks have a tab on the back that rotates 90 degrees. 

Locks installed on drawer boxes of dresser with tab turned up

So once the lock was on the drawer, I closed the drawer, turned the key, and used a pencil to mark where the tab hit the 1×3 above it.

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Then I removed the drawer (the slides have tabs on the sides to allow you to remove the drawer easily) and used an oscillating saw with a flush cut blade to cut a slot at that mark.  I kept putting the drawer in and testing and seeing if or where I needed to take out more material. 

Shara using oscillating saw  to cut slots in dresser frame for lock tab

Once I had the slots cut, the drawers would be able to close and when the tab was turned up (in lock position), it would go into these slots so they would stay locked until the key was used to turn the tab back sideways.

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To finish up, I gave it a little distressing and it got a few coats of poly (I used Minwax Polycrylic Water Based Semi Gloss). Then, it was finished and ready to use.

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It’s definitely not a fancy, elaborate dresser by any means.  But it’s simple and clean and I think it’s going to be a great base for the rest of this entertainment center to be built around. 

Entertainment center with 6 drawer dresser as middle base

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the entertainment center series in these posts:

DIY Pocket Door Cabinet

DIY Sliding Door Cabinet

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If you’re enjoyed this build, don’t forget to pin this for later and head over to my DIY furniture project page for more building plans and inspiration 🙂

Pinterest collage of overall dimensions of dresser and Shara with finished 6 drawer dresser

Until next time, happy building 😊

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