Thursday, January 2, 2014

Budget Friendly Dresser Revival

So you have a plain, boring dresser sitting in your house that you've been dying to makeover and you have no idea what to do to it. Sure, you can paint it, but primer, paint and sealer add up! Not to mention, would take a lot of time. The alternative?


Get ready to become completely obsessed with it. In fact, if you plan on doing this project, splurge for the big bottle, you'll be glad that you did! This Saturday DIY only took 1 day to complete and even better, it cost under $10!! I already had the dresser on hand and the knobs went with the new style perfectly so, I did save cost there. Mod Podge is usually around $8, download the Joann's app and you are bound to find a 40-50% off coupon! The sponge applicator, less than $1 at all craft stores and JoAnn's almost always has scrapbook paper on sale. I got mine 3 sheets for .99 cents.

Here's what you'll need:

A dresser with hardware
{my original hardware fit the new look well,
but Hobby Lobby has a killer selection!}

Mod Podge
{the finish is your preference, I used gloss}

A sponge applicator
{you know, the black tapered sponge on a wooden stick}

Scrapbook paper
{the amount you need will depend on the amount of drawers and their size. my drawers were 27.5" long so I used 3 12x12 sheets per drawer}

A piece of sand paper
{I just used a random sand block that I found on my husband's workbench in the garage}

A scraper
{not a sharp one though, you'll be using this to
smooth out bubbles in the paper}

Here is my plain, white dresser....boring!

First things first, remove all the hardware.

Sand the front of each drawer. This doesn't have to be done any special way. You basically just want to rough up any coating so the mod podge sticks better. I also sanded around the edges of the front piece of the drawer, but that's the only part of the drawer you will be working with.

The next few steps will be the most tedious, but its smooth sailing from there! Lay out each drawer's paper. Here you want to match up the designs and trim away the overlapping excess so that when you put all the sheets side by side the pattern continuously flows. I used a metal ruler as a straight edge and a skinny box cutter. Through trial and error I found it was easiest to keep the middle sheet as is and match up/trim the 2 end sheets.

There's really no top secret way to do this next part, but I'll share the 3 ways I tried. Bottom line, you need to cover the entire front piece of the drawer with mod podge. I originally poured little bits straight from the bottle, directly onto the sponge. That took forever! Then, I poured some onto a paper plate and just dipped the sponge into it. That worked better, but still wasn't cuttin' it for me. From then on out, I just poured a strip lengthwise across the front of the drawer and used the sponge to spread it evenly all over. Now, you do want a fair amount evenly covering the entire surface. However, you don't want it puddled up and lumpy when you apply the paper. Which brings us to step #5...

It's very important that you keep your paper lined up in the order that you trimmed it so the pattern matches up. Apply the middle sheet first to the center of the drawer. Using your scraper begin to smooth out any bubbles. Don't press so hard that you end up ripping the paper. It's a delicate process because the paper does become wet from the mod podge. Now you can line up and apply both your side pieces following the same technique. If your drawer has decorative edges, focus on the main flat surface first. Then, carefully start to form the paper over the edges and around the corners. Use your scraper to crease the paper into any crevices. In order to get those corners good you may need to trim off excess paper. This part was tricky for me and I never really got a good system down for the corners. Just get them wrapped as best you can, but careful not to rip the wet paper.

{If you notice the paper bubbling back up at any time throughout the process after you already scraped it smooth, don't panic! It happened to me and I panicked, ready to give up the whole thing. But after it all dries completely it's just as flat and smooth as ever!}

Add more mod podge to the sides and back of the drawer as needed if you find the paper not staying put well. Once you have the paper completely wrapped around to the backside, set it aside to dry and move on to the next drawer.

Once all your drawers are covered and completely dried, you can trim away any excess paper with an exacto knife or small box cutter.

You're almost done!! For each drawer you just want to completely cover it with mod podge. This is going to act as your sealer. Do 3 coats per drawer letting each dry for about 5 minutes in between.

When the last coat has completely dried, you can add your hardware. To find the hole I just poked the screw through from the back to make an indention.

And wallah!!

A new and improved dresser!

Have you ever revived a boring piece of furniture?
Was it complete success or epic fail?
I would love to hear your story, good or bad,
and see your before and afters!


  1. Very frugal, a great way to repurpose and old piece of furniture.

  2. love this idea. do you think fabric would work instead of scrap paper?

    1. Thank you. Yes, fabric would absolutely work. I have a dresser I'm dying to redo with lace!