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How to Update a Hand Me Down Dresser

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I have a hand me down furniture makeover for you today…one that you will love if you like pretty gift-wrap.

I love anything and everything having to do with typefaces. So it is no surprise to me that I have had my eye on this vintage typographer gift-wrap.

Furniture Makeover Ideas

I wanted to find a way I could use this gift-wrap where I could enjoy the pattern in my daily life instead of only wrapping gifts with it and giving it away.

When I started to update my guest room I got an idea on how I could incorporate it into the room.   The gift-wrap comes in 20” x 28” sheets that cost $4.00 each.  I needed 3 to cover the top of my dresser and the drawer pulls.

Dresser BEFORE Makeover

Furniture-how-to-paint hand me down furniture

This piece of hand me down furniture is a classic piece, but the top and left side have cracks in them. It would need too much work and expense to fix , so I am going to add my own style to it using the gift-wrap and paint.

How to Paint a Stained and Sealed Wood Dresser

supplies needed:

  • Paint – I mixed together: Sherwin Williams Creamy and Alabaster
  • Kilz Stain Blocking Primer – Original Formula
  • Glass Beads –  I got mine at The Dollar Tree
  • Mod Podge – Matte finish
  • Sandpaper
  • 2″ – angled Purdy paint brush
  • Paint roller
  • Clear Glue – I used Aleene’s Platinum Bond Glass and Bead

I didn’t have enough white paint, so I mixed together 2 white colors I had so I would have enough to cover the dresser. 

I roughed up the wood just a tiny bit with sandpaper.  Cleaned it up with a tack cloth and then rolled on two coats of Original KILZ stain blocking primer. KILZ comes in a few different formulas, but the Original formula is the best in my opinion. I let that dry and then I applied two light coats of the white paint I mixed together.  I used a roller and an angled 2″  Purdy brush to paint the edges of each drawer and the trim on the bottom.

How to Update Brass Draw Pulls With Spray Paint


I didn’t like the drawer pulls, but it was not in my budget to buy new ones, so I had to come up with a way to make them more interesting.  I removed them from the dresser, washed and then spray painted them white.

How to Add Embellishments to Draw Pulls

Since the gift-wrap has a tan background, I wanted to add a bit of it into the pulls. They also needed a bit of contrast and I was inspired to add the flat glass beads after seeing glass number knobs at Anthropologie.

  1. Cut letters out to the shape of flat glass beads.
  2. Use clear glue to attach the cut-outs to the back of flat glass beads.
  3. Glue beads on to center of drawer pulls and let dry.  Rough up edges of pulls with a small piece of sandpaper.
  4. Attach to the dresser.

Covering the Top With Gift Wrap

1.  Use Mod Podge to attach the sheets of gift-wrap to the top of the dresser. I figured out the placement of the gift-wrap first and then spread a thick coat of Mod Podge on the top of the dresser where the first sheet would go.

2.   Line up the paper and leave enough to turn over to the underside of the top.  Lay the sheet on and then use your brush and spread more Mod Podge on top of the paper.

3.  Make sure you press out all the air bubbles.  If you get an air bubble and you can’t remove it. Carefully cut the paper with a mat knife and then use the tip of the knife to hold the paper up so you can get some Mod Podge under the section.  Press it back down and smooth it over. Once it is dry you won’t notice. When using Mod Podge – especially on large pieces you are going to get a few wrinkles, but in this case – they look good  – like leather.   Use your brush or fingers to make sure that the gift-wrap is adhered to the underside of top.

4.  Repeat the process for each sheet of gift-wrap. I had to piece the back section as the sheets were not as deep as my dresser.  On the corners I left the excess hang over and then cut a diagonal line to the corner then turned the excess under and used more Mod Podge to make sure it adhered.


5.  After the first coat of Mod Podge was dry, I added a second coat.


AFTER: Dresser Makeover

how to create a 3D gallery wall using small framed mirrors

I am thrilled with the way it came out. The most expensive part was the gift-wrap that cost me just under $15 with the shipping.

The glass beads were $1.00 for a pouch filled with them that I found at The Dollar Tree.


To learn how I attached the mirrors above the dresser in a 3D effect:

More Furniture Makeovers:


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  1. Hi Diane ,
    The dresser is gorgeous, What a great way to use a unique wrapping paper and the drawer pulls are the “icing on the cake” I like the black and white theme and can’t wait to see the whole room. What a difference painting the bed made too!