How to Cover a Chest of Drawers With Fabric

Updated November 21, 2016

When you want to try something new with an old piece of furniture, like a chest of drawers, consider covering the piece with fabric for a unique, custom finish. Depending on the colour and thickness of your fabric, as preparation, you may wish to paint the chest of drawers with a cheap primer in white or grey to avoid having whatever you're trying to cover up show through thin or light-coloured fabrics.

Remove the drawers from the dresser and the drawer pulls from the drawers.

Cut strips of fabric to cover the front of the chest of drawers. Apply spray adhesive or découpage medium to the small areas between drawers and the sides. Carefully position the fabric strips to cover these areas, smoothing air bubbles out as you go along.

Determine if you have a piece of fabric long enough to go from the bottom of one side of the dresser up over the top and down the other side. If so, lay the chest of drawers on one side. If not, leave it standing upright and start at the top.

Apply spray adhesive or découpage medium to about half of the area you're starting from (side or top). Slowly begin positioning fabric, smoothing air bubbles out with your hands as you lay the fabric down.

Continue to apply spray adhesive or découpage medium to small areas, and then apply the fabric, working your way up one side of the chest of drawers over the top and down the other side. If you started with the top, do the top first and then work from the top down the sides, rather than from the bottom up.

Apply spray adhesive or découpage medium to the front of one drawer, and then smooth a large piece of fabric over the front. Lay the drawer face down, and trim the excess fabric around the edges of the front of the drawer.

Run your fingers along the front of the drawer to find the holes where the drawer pulls are inserted. Cut a small "X" over these holes, and reattach the drawer pulls.

Repeat Steps 6 and 7 for the remaining drawers, and then put the drawers back into the dresser.


You may want to protect the top of your dresser with a piece of glass or stain-repellent spray.


If using spray adhesive, work in a well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Fabric
  • Spray adhesive or découpage medium and large paint brush
  • Utility knife or rotary cutter
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