How to Decoupage Dresser Drawer Fronts

By on February 27, 2014

How to DecoupageThis past week, I rescued a damaged dresser from my backyard. You can read more about why it was in my backyard on the project page, but the dresser itself was still in fantastic shape. The drawer fronts however, had all bubbled and warped due to moisture damage. Still, I painted the whole thing with plans to do either a decoupage or wallpaper finish on the drawer fronts to hide it and that’s what I did with this project.

If you’ve never attempted decoupage or worked with mod podge, you will love seeing this because I’m going to show you exactly how super simple it is to use this on your dresser drawer fronts.

First, I gathered up my supplies including this really cute red rose motif craft paper that I thought would go perfect with my red buffet table. I picked mine up for .59 cents each at Hobby Lobby. Also, I grabbed my bottle of mod podge , a sponge brush, an exacto knife, my decoupage tool set and some Polycrylic to seal it all up when I was finished.

Mod Podge Tools

I removed all the hardware plus, for this particular set of drawers, I removed the carved looking inset piece because I wanted the decoupage behind it. I applied a nice layer of mod podge on the dresser drawer face and on the back of the paper and then applied to the face of the drawer.

Red Drawers

I’ve seen other decoupage tutorials and many of them use a technique where they rip the paper up into pieces and then glue those around. I decided not to do that with this project. I wanted more of a wallpapered feel to these drawers with a more uniform appearance. Because I used this route, I applied the first piece on the left and then had to line up the piece on the right, so I did my cutting after the tops were glued. Then I cut all around it using a small 1/4 = 1/2 inch border so I could fold them in on the edges.


Once the pieces were in place, I did another thin coat of mod podge on top of the paper. Since the drawer fronts on these were fairly damaged, I knew I wouldn’t get a smooth perfect surface so I used this to my advantage and wrinkled it up a bit and left wrinkles in place so there was no single focused point of imperfection.

Once the mod podge dried…I left mine for about 5 hours, it dried to a nice clear finish.

One thing I noticed right away was that the red rose paper was a bit brighter than I had hoped for. The dresser these drawers are going into is painted a darker red and I had finished it with a black glaze which darkened it up even more. I knew I wouldn’t be happy with the brightness of the paper as it was, so I went ahead and also applied a thin layer of the black glaze that I used on the dresser directly on top of the decoupaged paper. Then I wiped it off with a wet rag and it had added just the right amount of glaze to darken the paper up to just the right shade to match perfectly.


Since these drawers would open and close quite a bit and be touched often, I decided to do a quick single coat of Minwax Satin Polycrylic to give it some durability. Using a bristle brush, I applied a thin even layer of the polycrylic to the front of the dresser drawers and then let it sit for a few hours to dry.

The last thing to do was to replace the insets and the hardware and replace the drawers into the dresser. I absolutely LOVE the finished the result.

Decoupage Drawers

What do you think?

About Misty Spears

I absolutely love all things DIY, especially when it comes to decorating my own home. I’m a thrift store junkie and my head just explodes with ideas to repurpose old junk into something practical and beautiful when I come across that perfect treasure. I’m a wood furniture rebel and try to paint every surface I can to bring color into my life. My life revolves around my family and enjoying every moment that life serves up to me. You can connect with me on Twitter @diyhomeinterior, Instagram @mistyspears and see my pins on Pinterest for a sneak peak into all the DIY projects I am working on and crazy life happenings.


  1. Bonnie Gean

    February 27, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I’m glad you like it Misty, but I preferred the dresser without the paper. :)

    To me, the front of the dresser looks uneven because the top 2 drawers are paper and the bottom are plain. If you were going to do this, why not just do ALL the drawers for uniform look?

    • Misty Spears

      March 3, 2014 at 9:29 pm

      Just a personal preference Bonnie. I don’t always like the whole “matchy” type of feel to my own home so this was right up my alley. Plus…I saw something similar in a designer magazine awhile back that did something similar and I loved the look. You definitely could do a more uniform look if that’s what you prefer though.

  2. Nate

    February 27, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    I think it looks great! You did an awesome job on the drawers!

    • Misty Spears

      March 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      Thanks Nate! Glad to see you over here again. :)

  3. Marilyn Thompson

    February 27, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Personally I like that the bottom two drawers don’t have the paper, I would think that would be to much. Just saying –

    • Misty Spears

      March 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

      That’s what my husband said too…although I’m sure it had something to do with it being flowers…you know how men are.

  4. Pam

    March 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Wow ! That looks great! I love that you covered just the top 2 drawers. Interesting looking. I don’t like items that are too matchy matchy. Saw an idea similar on a chest in a furniture store..the top 2 drawers were painted in an ocean wave design & the bottom 2 a solid color. Love!

    • Misty Spears

      March 3, 2014 at 9:31 pm

      Thank you Pam! I may have to try and find the dresser I saw done with only some of the drawers done, it was such a cool piece.

  5. Lisa

    March 3, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Can you tell a bit about painting the dresser itself? The red is fantastic! What brand is it and what shade? Did you spray or brush it on? Do you have a stain of any type over it – it appears to be more than just red paint. I am trying to achieve this look but need the above information. It is gorgeous!

    • Misty Spears

      March 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      Absolutely Lisa! Actually if you go to the top of this article, there is a link to this page: this is actually the original project I did from start to finish. The paint is just a cheapy old red from Walmart…be sure to read my review of it though because it was awful to work with and I would NOT recommend it. And you’re right I also used a black glaze. Definitely check out that link and you should find all your answers there. But feel free to send me an email or just comment here if you have further questions.

  6. kitty newsom

    March 3, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    I love what you did with your piece! Makes me think of my mom who used to do some decoupaging as well as many other crafty things. I would like to try this on a chest that I have. Thanks for the post!

    • Misty Spears

      March 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      I highly encourage it Kitty! And…I’d love to see it if you do.

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