How to decorate a chest of drawers on a budget

Updated November 21, 2016

A chest of drawers is a necessity for organising most bedrooms. Depending on the size, it can also be one of the focal points of a room. There are many reasons to decorate a chest of drawers or change its appearance. For instance, a substantial amount of money can be saved by purchasing a used chest of drawers and refinishing it instead of buying a new one. Or perhaps a child is redecorating his room and would like his furniture to fit in with a more mature theme.

Evaluate the piece of furniture that you wish to decorate and determine if you wish to strip off all the paint and stain the piece. Keep in mind that this could take a substantial amount of time. It is usually easier to sand off any loose or chipping paint and simply paint over it.

Sand the dresser, beginning with rougher sandpaper and ending with a finer grain, until all loose paint has been removed.

Apply a paint stripper with a paintbrush according to manufacturer's instructions. Use a flat-bladed paint scraper to carefully remove the paint.

Caulk any gaps or knot holes in a wooden dresser with caulk that is specifically designated for wood and reasonably matches the colour you will be painting it with.

Paint the dresser carefully with a latex-based paint. Remove the drawers and paint those separately. Paint small sections at a time, following the wood grain on each section. If the original colour still shows through, you may have to apply multiple coats.

Affix stencils to the area of the dresser you wish to decorate with painter's tape. Apply craft paint over the stencils with a stencil brush or a sponge. Alternatively, use craft decals.

Sponge-paint the dresser in complementing colours using a craft sea sponge and latex paint.

Embellish the dresser by installing decorative drawer-pulls or knobs. These are available from a craft supply store or home improvement store.

Make copies of pictures from children's books and create a collage on the front of the drawers. Apply d├ęcoupage crafting solution to the front of the drawers with a paintbrush and affix the pictures. Cover entire area with a thin layer of d├ęcoupage solution with a paintbrush and allow to harden.


Be sure that any paint stripping or paint application is done in a well-ventilated area.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Commercial paint stripper
  • Paint brush
  • Flat-bladed paint scraper
  • Wood caulk
  • Latex paint
  • Stencils or removable decals
  • Craft sponges
  • Latex craft paint
  • Decorative drawer-pulls or knobs
  • Children's pictures
  • Découpage craft solution
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author