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DIY wallpaper drawer

18 Mar 2020

For a stylish place to stash away small belongings, use some colourful wallpapers to update a plain drawer unit with this DIY. You can order cut lengths of a range of wallpapers at your local Resene ColorShop. Or, for bigger projects, buy a roll or two of your favourite designs.  

You will need: 

  • A small drawer unit such as a tallboy, side table or dresser. Sarah’s only had a single drawer and is designed for sitting on top of a table top, but this DIY will work just as well on larger pieces of furniture.
  • New hardware of your choice
  • Sandpaper 
  • Testpot brushes
  • Wood filler and tools (if repairs are needed)
  • Pencil and scissors
  • Resene Quick Dry waterborne primer undercoat
  • Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen paint in your choice of colour – Sarah used Resene Artemis
  • Wallpaper paste or clear drying glue
  • Resene Wallpaper Collection sample or cut length of your choice – Sarah used Resene Wallpaper Collection 527864, which is from an older collection. Try Resene Wallpaper Collection 36921-2, 605655 or KOS005 for similar current alternatives.

Resene Wallpaper Collection 36921-2, 605655 and KOS005.

Step 1 If your drawer unit has a lot of sticky residue and damage, give it a good sand to remove any uneven surfaces. Once completely sanded, remove the hardware from the drawers and wipe all surfaces down with a clean, dry cloth. Use Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat to prepare all surfaces for painting. 

Step 2 Apply two coats of your chosen colour to all surfaces of the drawer unit.  Sarah chose Resene Artemis. Sarah selected Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen as it is hard wearing and gives a nice low sheen finish which was perfect for this furniture. Always wait for your first coat to be completely dried before applying the second.

Step 3 While you wait for the final coat of colour to dry on the drawer unit, measure and cut your wallpaper sample to the right size and shape. Sarah decided to go with a large heart shape, cut horizontally so that it appears to ‘wrap’ over the front of the drawer.

Step 4 After the paint has dried, use clear-drying PVA glue (applied with a paintbrush) to glue the wallpaper heart down onto the top and front surfaces of the drawer unit. A plastic ruler or credit card can be handy for smoothing out bumps and excess glue. Make sure you always check and mark exactly where you want to position your wallpaper before gluing it down!

Step 5 Attach your new hardware to the drawer to complete the renovation. It’s amazing how some bold block colour and a modern wallpaper application can revive an old piece of furniture! 

Top tip: For extra detail, you could use wallpaper pieces along the inside panels of the drawer too, or inside the base of the drawer. 

Finished wallpapered drawer using Resene Wallpaper Collection 527865 and Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen paint tinted with Resene Artemis. Resene Wallpaper Collection 527864 is from an older collection. Try Resene Wallpaper Collection 36921-2, 605655 or KOS005 for similar current alternatives.

project and images Sarah Herring