Decalicious Dresser Makeover

Refinishing an old or castoff dresser can include the use of pretty decals along with new paint or stain. This page offers a dresser makeover including the addition of a lovely rose decal motif.


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This was an unwanted, inexpensive dresser someone had set out in front of their house. I took it home and decided since it was free, I could be a little adventuresome with it. And this is what my husband and I did!

Total Time: 5 hours


  • 2.5 Tbsp plaster of paris
  • yardstick
  • 1 can paint
  • 1 can Varathane water based spray varnish
  • 4 sponge paint brush
  • 1 can base coat paint "Kilz"
  • 1 decal
  • 3 pieces sandpaper
  • razor blade knife
  • pencil
  • craft stick for smoothing decal


  1. Clean dresser thoroughly and remove any hardware if necessary. Paint with a base coat of "Kilz" to even out the surface and so the decal will adhere more easily to surface.
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  3. Make chalk paint with 1 cup latex paint, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, and 2 1/2 tablespoons Plaster of Paris. Paint. Let dry for 48 hours.
  4. Apply decals according to instructions on decal. We had three decals for four drawers, so we had to measure and cut the decals to fit accordingly. We also had to work the design around the hardware "hearts" in the middle of each drawer.
  5. Apply Varathane varnish to the entire dresser, including decals, and let dry.
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