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How to Wallpaper a Dresser

Jul 26, 2019

by Jackie Buddie

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

There are plenty of quick and simple, tried-and-true hacks to give your space an instant facelift: toss a few throw pillows on the couch, swap in a fresh print on your gallery wall, fill your windowsill with houseplants. And today, we’re officially adding “wallpaper your furniture” to that list. We know what you’re thinking: Quick and simple? Wallpaper? But it’s true! Not just for walls anymore, today’s colorful crop of peel-and-stick options allow you to easily add character to almost any flat surface, transforming everything from backsplashes to cabinets into attractively patterned focal points. And because most of these papers are removable, this low-commitment craft is perfect for serial redecorators and temporary living situations (looking at you, dorm dwellers)!

To show you how it’s done, we’re walking you through how to customize a dresser with wallpaper (and top it off with snazzy new drawer pulls), creating a stylish, one-of-a-kind accent piece to anchor your room. Click play to see the peel-and-stick magic in action, then read on to follow the steps and shop some of our favorite wallpaper and drawer pull picks.

How to wallpaper a dresser

At a glance:

Time: 1 hour

Difficulty: Beginner

You will need:

Step 1: Ready your drawers

Emptying the contents of your drawers will make them easier to handle. Depending on your dresser, it might also be helpful to take the drawers out and place them on an even surface while you work. Once your dresser is empty, use a screwdriver remove the hardware from each drawer. 

Step 2: Pick a paper pattern

A collage of peel-and-stick wallpapers featuring the following designs: yellow speckles, peach and red shapes, gold art deco hexagons, and a lemon and mint print pattern.
SHOP: (Clockwise from top left) Yellow speckle wallpaper from AccentuWall, from $27; peach and red shapes wallpaper from Kate Zaremba Company, from $25; gold art deco wallpaper from Sweet Pea Wall Design, from $28; lemon and mint wallpaper from Rocky Mountain Decals, from $34

If you want to be able to see the wallpaper’s full design, choose a print that’s small enough to fit on the front of your drawers. Consider how the colors will play with both the finish on your furniture and the overall vibe of your space. A bright and busy pattern adds a pop of contrast to a more neutral room, whereas designs with clean lines and soft, organic shapes make a great choice for modern homes. Feeling bold? Choose a different wallpaper for each drawer in complementary shades and create your own maximalist moment.

Step 3: Measure twice, cut once

Measure the length and width of the front of each drawer. Remember: Drawers from the same piece of furniture may be different sizes, so be sure to measure each surface individually! Use a ruler to plot the dimensions out on the backside of your paper, marking in increments with a pencil. Cut each piece to length. 

Step 4: Simply peel and stick!

Starting at a corner, carefully remove the backing of the wallpaper to expose the sticky side. Line up the short end of the paper with the corners of your drawer and stick, pressing down slowly from one end of the drawer to the other.

A woman smooths out air bubbles with a smoothing tool as she applies peel-and-stick paper to a dresser drawer

Step 5: Smooth out air bubbles

As you affix the wallpaper to the drawer, use a smoothing tool to eliminate air bubbles, working in the same direction that you’re laying the paper.

Step 6: Upgrade your drawer pulls

A collage of green ceramic, gray concrete, raw amethyst, leather, and turquoise drawer pulls
SHOP: (Clockwise from top left) Faceted green drawer pulls from By Viola Ceramics, $9 each; concrete drawer pulls from Mica Rica Shop, $8 each; amethyst drawer pulls from Stephen D Evans, $25 each; turquoise drawer pulls from Hooks Knobs Hardware, $8 each; leather drawer pulls from Bengjy Minu, $9.20 each

For a final flourish, swap out your old drawer pulls for a new set. Try playing with different colors and shapes, and consider unexpected materials like crystals and leather. You can even mix and match for added impact. Simply puncture the paper with a pen to create holes that line up with the drawer holes, then screw your new knobs in tight!

Step 7: Decorate with your favorite things

Reassemble your dresser, and style it with a curated collection of treasures. Some of our current faves? Vintage vases, mini planters, and personalized jewelry boxes.

Explore more ideas for the home

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