Colorful Dresser “Drawer” Makeover

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When you paint a dresser, should you paint inside drawers? If the inside is not pretty, then yes and I use this decorative painting method to make them the best part of the furniture makeover.

I have completed and shown you many dresser and sideboard furniture makeovers.  These are the pieces that have been handed down to me that are in good shape and still functional, but not the color or style I like.

With a little DIY, paint and in this dresser “drawer” makeover the addition of patterned fabric, I can transform them to fit my decorating style.

Use what you have decorating by repurposing furniture and using it for purposes other than it was intended for. Dresser drawer makeover

In one of the guest rooms in my house there is a dresser that is actually the bottom section of what used to be the dining room hutch in my previous house. We don’t have a dining room in lake house and no place to use the hutch. So I used the bottom as a dresser and took the hutch top apart and saved the crown from it to make a fireplace mantel for in the living room.

Unique ways to paint furniture. Dresser drawer makeover

Since the sideboard was previously painted white, it looked fine for the guest room decor. My furniture makeover idea was the sideboard itself, but to paint the brown drawer that comes to view every time I open the drawers.

Why Bother Painting the Insides and Outsides of Drawers?

Because painting any part of the drawer takes the whole furniture makeover up a notch on the style scale.

For most of the furniture I make over, I don’t paint the drawers. When I open this drawer though, the stark contrast of white and brown always makes me want to paint it. It was time for a dresser drawer makeover.

Coastal color fabrics used for a dresser drawer makeover

I used Waverly Inspirations fabrics from Walmart and used the top one to line the drawer.

Waverly Premium paints used to makeover a dresser drawer

I used Waverly Super Premium semi-gloss paint and the matching stencil that was also sent to add a little color surprise every time I open the drawer.

Chevron stencil

I also received this chevron stencil and stencil brushes, but used the stencil that matched the design of fabric I used.

Decorating ideas that only use one yard of fabric

Bye bye brown dresser drawer….

Dresser Drawer Makeover

supplies needed to line drawer:

  • Waverly Inspirations fabric. Cut to a little larger than the inside bottom of the drawer.
  • Waverly Inspirations Super Premium Paint – Color: Pool
  • Decoupage medium
  • Foam paint brush
  • Craft knife
  • Sandpaper – 100 grit on sanding block
  • Plastic spreader
  • Optional: Stain blocking paint primer
  • Waverly Inspirations Stencil
  • Waverly Inspirations Stencil Brush
  • Paper towel

Note: If you would like to line the drawers on your furniture, but don’t want the lining to be permanent, you may want to use one of these other drawer lining methods:

How To Line a Drawer with Fabric

Lining a drawer with fabric is not only a great way to add color to a drawer, but to also use up leftover pieces from previous projects.

  1. Sand inside of drawer and outer sides with 100 grit sandpaper on a sanding block. Clean off grit with a damp rag or tack cloth.
  2. Paint the inside of drawer and outer sides. (This was the first time I have used the Super Premium paint. It went on like a dream and dried to a perfectly smooth finish.) Use 2 coats, allowing the first one to dry before applying the second.

Note: I painted the whole inside of the drawer, but painting the sides is all that is needed since you will be covering the bottom with fabric.

If the wood in your drawer is old, stained, or has a sealer on it, you may want to put a coat of stain blocking primer on the surface first and let it dry before painting. This will keep the wood tannins stains or odors from seeping through to the paint which may change the color.

3. Measure the inside of drawer and cut fabric about an inch larger all around than the measurements.

How to attach fabric to a drawer so it stays in place

4. Once the paint is dry, apply one thick coat of decoupage medium to the inside bottom of drawer.

How to attach fabric to the inside of a dresser drawer

 5. Place the cut fabric over the wet decoupage medium. Make sure it is straight. Use a plastic spreader to smooth wrinkles in fabric and make sure there are no air bubbles under the fabric.

Furniture drawer makeover

6. When the fabric is smooth and there are no wrinkles or air bubbles, spread a thick coat of decoupage medium over the fabric. Use the brush to make sure the decoupage medium covers all the fabric. Let dry. If there is any excess fabric going up the sides of the drawer you can cut this away once the fabric is dry.

Furniture makeover idea suing fabric and paint

When the fabric is dry, use a sharp craft knife to cut away the excess fabric along inside of the drawer. To keep fabric from fraying, brush another coat of decoupage medium right along the cut edge of the fabric all around the drawer and let dry.

How To Stencil the Side of a Dresser Drawer

How to stencil a drawer

  1. Figure out placement. I wanted the design to look like an all-over design so I placed the edge of the design right up to the front edge of the drawer. Use painter’s tape or stencil adhesive to hold the stencil in place.
How to stencil with a stencil brush

2. Pour a small amount of paint onto a paper towel, then pounce the brush into the paint and then blot on the paper towel to remove some of the paint. When stenciling, you only need a little bit of paint.

How to use a stencil brush

3. Hold the brush straight up and down, not on an angle and pounce the brush over the open sections of the stencil. When more paint is needed, reload it with paint and blot excess on paper towel before continuing to paint over the stencil.

How to reposition a stencil

4. When finished painting, move stencil to continue painting the design on the rest of the side of the drawer. I cut the stencil to make it easier to keep it flat.

Decorative stenciling tips

5. When the side of the drawer was covered with the stencil design, I was left with empty spaces. This is fine to leave just as is, but I wanted the look of an all-over design.  To do this I ….

Stencil ideas to decorate a home

…placed this section (circled) of the stencil over each space and then applied the paint to continue the design.


Bedroom furniture painting idea

No more brown, but a surprise pop of color and style :-)

Drawer makeover idea using fabric

The decoupage medium seals and glues the fabric in place so it will not move around.

Dresser drawer furniture makeover

I now love seeing the surprise pop of color where you least expect to see it.

Ideas for unique furniture makeovers
How to line a drawer with fabric
Furniture makeover that includes the drawrers

It does take more time to paint the inside of drawers, but makes a painted piece of furniture even more special.

When painting cabinets and dressers, have you ever painted the inside?

Image shows two after photos of dresser drawer makeover. Text overlay on image says Colorful Surprise Inside! Furniture Makeover

This dresser drawer makeover is brought to you in partnership with Waverly Inspirations and its parent company, Iconix. I am compensated for my expertise and all opinions and ideas are 100% my own. Here is my disclosure policy.

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  1. Absolutely! A grand job you did here, and what gorgeous colors! I’ve always loved Waverly designs, very classy! The stencils you used were perfect for this piece! I just ordered some stencils from Royal Design Studio, and I have high hopes for the projects I intend to do with them…now maybe I can find some fabric for the lining of the drawers, I love the way yours turned out! Keep up the great work!

  2. What a great look! I also name my bedrooms after colors LoL…yellow room and blue room are the guest rooms. And you cannot go wrong with Waverly! Keep up the great work.

  3. Beautiful!
    I am going to try this! I love Waverly and they always have such great colors and designs.

    Thanks Diane for such a wonderful blog… I love your style and always look forward to seeing your blog amongst my emails :)

  4. I always paint the drawers and line them. Love the extra touch. But I’ve never thought of stenciling the sides. Genius! Love, love it! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Such perfect timing! I wrote to you the other day about repainting a chest I had previosly started chalk painting in a hideous shade of yellow. Over the weekend i bought a stencil and practiced stenciling on everything that didn’t move. I’m going to completely copy your ideas on my sad little 3-drawer chest.