How to Dress Up a Dresser

Learn how to transform a dull dresser into a showpiece.


Take a dresser from ho-hum to heirloom with this easy project.

Materials and Tools:

paint in your color of choice
thick, embossed wallpaper


1. Apply a coat of paint to the dresser.

2. Cut the wallpaper to the size you want for the top or on the drawer face. Consider leaving a border around the paper, much like a mat on a picture. One inch is a good size. Try using a roll of border paper down the sides of the chest. You can also cut out portions of the pattern to embellish around drawer pulls.

3. Apply the wallpaper to the furniture, just the way you would to a wall (read the directions for your roll of paper).

4. Soak the paper in water and then press onto the surface, brushing out any air bubbles.

5. Let the paper dry. Use a hair dryer to speed up the process if you prefer.

Antique Finish

Materials and Tools:

acrylic paint
clear glaze
wallpaper brush
plain cloth
upholsterer’s tacks (optional)
felt pad


1. Add acrylic paint to a clear glaze and mix well. You can also purchase a glaze that has already been tinted.

2. Apply the glaze with a wallpaper brush, making sure the medium gets down into all the crevices of the paper. Layer on as much color as you want.

3. Lightly rub off excess paper with a plain cloth.

4. You can add upholsterers tacks to make the paper look more like tooled leather by marking 1-inch intervals around the border of the paper. Push the tack in firmly with your hands so it doesn’t have to be held while hammering.

5. Put a felt pad (try using the circles with sticky backing designed for chair legs) on the face of the hammer so you don’t mar the surface of the tack as you hammer.

6. Match your hardware to the tacks for a designer look.

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Go Shopping

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