Dressed Up Dresser, an Unlikely Pair

7 Materials
4 Days
So it’s trash day and I see this large painting along the side of the road. I do an Immediate bat turn and stuff it in my car. My idea was to combine the painting with an Art Deco dresser someone gave me. Not a fun dresser. The drawers were stuck, it’s foot was loose and two of the tracks were missing. But.... free is good.
The first step was to clean and repair. I cleaned inside and out with windex. The foot was easy to repair by just replacing old bent screws with new ones. I replaced the two drawer tracks that were missing which proved a little more challenging.
Second step. I sanded the chest using an orbital sander. There were a lot of scrapes but they eventually came out. Be careful if there is veneer that you just sand the surface and dont sand too deep.
Step three. For the top I wanted a darker contrasting color, so I stained it with Min Wax Expresso. Two coats of tung oil gave me the desired satin finish. The paint was someone’s reject quart for $5.00. It said gray on the top. It was a gray green which is now my favorite color.
Step four. This step I measutred and cut the painting to fit the front of the drawers. Don’t worry this was not a masterpiece. I bought Elmer’s spray glue and treated each piece like wall paper. I made sure each piece was covered throughly with glue on the back and applied it to the drawers. I started from one corner rolling the painting on with my hand to make sure it had no bubbles. You have maybe a minute before the glue hardens so you are on a bit of a time crunch. You can reposition but not too many times.
Step five. For this step I put two coats of Satin Decoupage over the paint to protect it.
The final step I thought about replacing the handles with something newer. Since these have been on this dresser since the 1930’s It would be like breaking up a family. So I cleaned and polished the handles with brillo pads and put them back on.

This was a fun challenge that gave a beautiful result. This unlikely pair have now started a true Art Deco Revival.
Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 37 questions
  • Renie Renie on Nov 21, 2019
    Did you check to make sure the painting wasn't an original before cutting it up? The dresser look awesome I would theme out the rest of the room Paris theme perhaps!

  • Trudy Trudy on Dec 27, 2020

    Love it! I have decoupaged a dresser with fabric because it "tougher" than paper and I am worried I will tear it. Now you've inspired me to try it with a poster. Why Windex? Because it was handy? Or do you have a secret weapon I am unaware of?

  • Kathleen Kathleen on Feb 07, 2021

    This is so beautiful! I am sure it is a conversation piece. Great job.

Join the conversation
4 of 818 comments