How to Replace the Bottom Panel of a Dresser

The bottom panel of a dresser is obviously not very noticeable when it’s secure and intact on the dresser frame. However, a broken, sagging, or misaligned bottom dresser panel can be extremely noticeable and can make an otherwise nice-looking dresser look like an eye sore.

Fortunately, this is a relatively easy fix. In this post, you will learn how to replace the bottom panel of a dresser.

Tools and supplies

Purchase the following tools and supplies to replace the bottom panel of your dresser:

  • Hammer
  • Tape measurer
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Finish nails (1 inch – 1.25 inches)
  • Plywood or particle board (1/8 inch – 1/4 inch thick)

Step 1: Measure the faulty bottom panel

To fix the bottom of a dresser, you’ll need to remove the bottom panel. But before you do, take note of how the panel is secured into place.

Not all dressers are built the same way. Some have a bottom panel that is secured in grooves at the bottom of the frame. Other dressers have a bottom panel that is nailed or stapled into the inner edges of the frame itself. The dresser used for this tutorial is the latter.

To change the bottom of a dresser, flip the piece of furniture upside down. If you are working on the furniture on hardwood floor, consider using a towel to prevent the furniture from marking up the floor.

Dresser with a broken bottom flipped upside down

Take a tape measurer and get the dimensions of the bottom panel. Jot down the length and width and take note of the thickness. You will need to use the old panel’s dimensions as a reference for purchasing the replacement panel.

Measuring the bottom panel of a dresser

Related: How to Replace the Back Panel on a Dresser

Step 2: Purchase a replacement panel

You can purchase a new panel at any hardware store. The replacement piece for this tutorial was from Lowes.

Plywood sheets are perfect given that it is about the same thickness as most bottom panels. For this project, purchase a plywood sheet that is 1/8th to 1/4th inches thick. As for getting the exact length and width, you can have the wood cut at the big box hardware stores free of charge.

For this project, I purchased a 1/4th inch thick panel. 

Step 3: Remove the faulty bottom panel

Once you have the replacement panel, observe how the old panel is positioned so you have something to reference when you secure the new panel into place.

Get ready to pull the panel out. Determine how the panel is secured into place. If it’s nailed into place, use the back of a hammer to pull out the nails. If it’s stapled into place then you can use needle nose pliers to pull the staples.

Removing a nail with a hammer

Once the nails are pulled out, pull the bottom panel out of place.

Pull out dresser bottom

Related: Best Nails for Furniture

Step 4: Secure the replacement panel

bottom panel for replacement

Take your replacement panel and position it in the frame of the dresser. For this particular dresser, the bottom panel extends from the very back of the dresser to the very inner part of the front of the frame. With an inch of space between the front edge of the frame and the edge of the panel, the edge of the panel wasn’t noticeable by looking at the dresser head-on.

Next, hammer the new bottom panel into place. Brad nails, finishing nails, and similar types of nails are great for furniture. As long as the frame is thick enough, 1-inch to 1.25-inch nails are perfect.

Nail the bottom panel into place. For large dressers, four or five nails along the edge of the front and back of the dresser are all that is needed to secure it into place.

Nailing in new bottom of dresser

Below you can see the final result: 

Finished new dresser bottom

Final words

If you feel like you need to change the bottom of the dresser, consider how rough the rest of the dresser is. If you need to replace the back of the dresser or any other part of your furniture, consider getting the supplies for these repairs as well while you are at the hardware store.

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