How to Paint a Retro Floral Design on a Dresser

See how we used ice cream sticks to give an old dresser a funky 1970s-inspired look.

January 13, 2022
By: Joanne Palmisano
Painted Floral Dresser


Painted Floral Dresser

Photo by: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Susan Teare, Joanne Palmisano

We bought this old dresser for just $40. It had good bones but a bad paint job. With a vibrant coat of paint and a little floral detail, we brought it back to life with a fun new look.

Tools and Materials

  • old wood dresser
  • paint (we used Benjamin Moore Peruvian Chili)
  • screwdriver
  • (3 to 4) wide-tip white paint pens
  • 12 mini wood craft spoons (ice cream spoons)
  • scissors
  • paintbrushes in a variety of sizes
  • painter's tape
  • sandpaper and a sanding block
  • rags

Step 1: Sand and Prep

Remove drawer pulls and hardware. Use sandpaper (going with the grain) to remove the top layer of the finish. Sanding not only smooths out the surface, it also helps the new paint adhere better. After sanding, wipe down the dresser with a damp rag to clean off the dust and debris.

Step 2: Paint the Dresser

Use a larger paintbrush or small roller to paint the entire dresser. Let it dry completely, then apply a second coat of paint.

Step 3: Make Flower Templates

Cut a few of the mini wood craft spoons in half using scissors. Fold over a piece of painter's tape onto itself and put it on the backside of each stick.

Adhere the sticks onto the dresser in a flower petal design. Use five to six of the spoon sticks for each flower. Leave room in the middle of the petals, about the size of a quarter.

Step 4: Trace Petals and Remove Templates

When you have the petals in the location you want, press each one down and trace around the outside of each petal with a white paint pen. When you have completed a flower, remove the wood sticks and the tape. Then freehand draw a spiral in the middle of the flower or use a quarter or something about that size to trace a circle in the middle of the petals.

Add flowers randomly around the entire dresser. Remove the spoon sticks after a couple of flowers are complete, this way you can gauge what it looks like and where to place the next flower.

Let the paint dry completely before re-attaching the hardware.

Painted Floral Dresser


Painted Floral Dresser

Photo by: Susan Teare ©Joanne Palmisano

Susan Teare, Joanne Palmisano

Next Up

How to Paint an Abstract Landscape Design on a Dresser

Learn how to revive an old piece of furniture by refinishing it in a colorful trompe l'oeil-inspired design.

How to Paint an Ombre Effect on a Dresser

Use several shades of the same paint color to bring a colorful touch to a piece of furniture.

How to Modernize an Old Trunk

The DIY experts at HGTV Magazine went digging in the attic for treasures that deserve a second chance.

How to Properly Paint Your Home's Exterior

Give your house a fresh, updated look with exterior paint.

How to Paint Wood Furniture

Learn how to strip, sand and paint wood furniture.

How to Paint a Block Pattern on a Midcentury-Mod Credenza

See how an old beat-up dresser was refinished with a combination of paint and stain to create a bold, one-of-a-kind design.

How to Turn an Old Washing Machine Drum Into a Fire Pit

Transform what otherwise would be trash into an outdoor treasure. Start with a tossed-out washing machine drum, which you can pick up at an appliance repair shop or scrap yard.

How to Sand Furniture Before Painting

Whether you want to spruce up an old wooden Adirondack chair or give a fresh coat of paint to a great thrift store dresser find, you need to prep your furniture before painting. Here’s how.

Top 10 Ways to Paint Like a Pro

For a professional-looking paint job, do what the experts do.

Turn a Vintage Dresser Into a Bathroom Vanity

Customize any bathroom by using a vintage dresser or buffet instead of a builder-grade vanity. Scour thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets for a piece that is the right size for your space. You may even be able to shop your home!

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.