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

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