Monday, June 3, 2013

Dresser Makeover with Fabric

I've had a little project brewing in my mind for a long time... It's one of those projects when I just needed to find the right piece of furniture and the time to tackle it.  Over the years, I've seen some beautiful furniture makeovers by applying fabric directly to drawer fronts, etc and after seeing another dresser with linen applied to the drawer fronts on my trip to High Point Market, I knew I just had to try out the technique...

Sometimes tackling a new project or technique just doesn't turn out like how I pictured it would be and I'm happy to announce that it was way easier than I thought and I'm really thrilled at the results!  Since I was sort of winging this project, I didn't take pictures as I went along for a tutorial, but the steps are pretty clear-cut and I'll share the process.  You'll need the following:

  • Dresser, sideboard, or other piece of furniture (preferably with flat-front drawers or panels)
  • Fabric (I used a thick, linen-type fabric - outdoor fabric would work well too)
  • Mod Podge (Matte) & small foam brush
  • Razor blade (with new, sharp blade)
  • Cutting mat or cutting surface
  • Fine-grit sandpaper (I used 320)
  • Desired Paint, topcoat 
Prep the piece as you normally would for painting (sand, clean, etc), paint and topcoat (wax) the frame and anywhere else that you are not going to cover with the fabric.  I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White for the frame as it coordinated with the fabric (purchased several years ago) and knobs (from Hobby Lobby) I'd already selected.
To apply the fabric to the drawer fronts, you'll first need to measure and cut the fabric for each drawer.  It helps to add a good 1/4'' to 1/2'' excess around drawers, which are later trimmed.  With a small foam brush, apply a nice even coat of Mod Podge to the drawer fronts, attach the fabric panels and smooth them down all the way to the corners.
The trickiest part of the process is to get clean, smooth fabric edges on the drawers.  Mod Podge dries very quickly and after the fabric is initially adhered to the drawer, flip the drawer over onto a cutting mat and trim the excess fabric with a razor blade.  It helps to use the sharpest blade possible...the fabric was catching on the first drawer until I changed out the blade and it made a world of difference.
After trimming and cleaning up the edges of the fabric, apply the Mod Podge on top of the fabric and around all the edges.  It's important to apply liberally around the edges to keep the fabric from lifting and any fraying from happening.  Remember that Mod Podge looks white when it is applied, but dries clear.  After the first coat dries, repeat...I only needed two coats for this project.  At this point, the edges are going to feel a bit rough and the drawer fronts far from smooth.  Simply take the fine-grit sandpaper or sanding block and smooth out all the edges and drawer worked wonders!  The matte Mod Podge leaves a nice, smooth finish that is easy to clean.
I applied the fabric to the drawer fronts before I painted the sides and top edges of the drawers, but the order isn't important.  I did find that waxing along the paint edges afterward made the fabric/paint edge even smoother.
To add the drawer hardware after the fabric covered up the pre-drilled holes, I simply poked a pencil through the hole from the inside of the drawer to mark where I needed cut the fabric with the razor blade.  You don't need a to cut much... Just enough for the screw on the back of the knob to fit through.
As I mentioned, it was a fairly easy project that can lead to endless possibilities of fabric and paint combinations!  I think you'll be seeing some more of these from me in the future :)


Note:  This is not a sponsored post...all opinions about any products mentioned are my own.

Sharing here:
Coastal Charm
Cedar Hill Ranch
Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Home Stories A to Z
Savvy Southern Style
Common Ground
French Country Cottage
Miss Mustard Seed
Home Stories A to Z


  1. Love it!! I also like to decoupage onto furniture.

  2. This is absolutely adorable. I just love it. Well done. :)

  3. I've never tried this - but it's just gorgeous!!!
    Beautiful job
    Visiting from Coastal Charm

  4. Kristen, I love it. I applied the toile to my buffet in the foyer and it was such a fun project.

  5. This is so pretty! I've been wanting to try this out and you just motivated me :)

  6. I've had a very similar dresser in my dining room that I have been wanting to do something with for months and could never come up with something I knew I'd love. You've solved my dilemma. :) Thank you! I can't wait to do this.

  7. Beautiful effect and I love the fabric you chose!

  8. I love it too! What a pretty fabric choice and just a really special piece!

  9. So pretty! You've inspired me to try fabric on a piece!

  10. This is just beautiful! Thank you for the great tutor, can`t wait to try this.
    Anne Dees

  11. Since navy and white is probably my most favorite color combination of all time, I am obsessed with this dresser makeover!! The fabric choice is definitely one I would have picked myself. Just gorgeous!

    Thanks so much for giving the instructions on how you did this. I may even get up the courage to try it at some point!


  12. Love that fabric on the dresser, very bright. You did a great job on it.

  13. Hi Kristen, You chose the perfect fabric and knobs! Lovely!

  14. Very inspiring! Might have to try this one! Jo :)

  15. Very pretty! I'm always afraid of trying a new technique but you've encouraged me!

  16. This turned out so good! I love it! I am new from southern charm. I would love for you to check out my blog and hopefully follow me back. Nicole

  17. I've done this before and it really is a great look! You chose the perfect fabric for this piece....beautiful makeover!

  18. Beautiful job!!
    Using fabric on furniture is something I'd like to try, yours turned out gorgeous!!

  19. Oh, my! That is gorgeous! OK, this is going on my to-do list. Thank you so so much for the inspiration (and sharing a new idea).
    His blessings,
    Kim @ Curtain Queen

  20. Hi there. Just found your blog via Cedar Hill Ranch. I love your mom's front porch! Then I headed over to today's post about the Vintage Market and I realized you are in Raleigh! I am in Holly Springs! I'm hoping to come out to the market. Will follow on FB.
    Have a stylish day!

  21. Hi Kristin,
    Do you mind if I use I pic of your dresser on my blog. Loved this so much.

  22. just wonderful, Kristen. love the fabric choice, so summery!!


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