Tutorial: Painting Furniture {anyone can do it!!}

Mar 17th, 2012

Howdy howdy All Things Thrifty Readers! Beth here again, from Sawdust and Embryos! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s hard to believe a whole month has passed since we had our very first contributing post where we featured our Woodgrain Coffee Table. And we’re totally stoked to be back for a brand new furniture makeover to share with y’alls!

So my friend brought us this serious clunker of a dresser. Solid, chunky and 80’s if I do say so myself. She wanted us to make it purrrty for her impending baby girl to use as a changing table in their nursery!


She had purchased this absolutely adorable bedding for the nursery, and wanted us to coordinate the crib sheet into our design for the changing table. Isn’t this bedding absurdly cute?


Image source

The dresser had some funky-weird engraved designs on a couple drawers that needed to be gone… like yesterday.




So after wood-puttying/sanding about 5 times, and lightly sanding the whole dresser and drawers, we primed with Kilz, and painted the whole thing a lovely shade of Krylon Peekaboo Blue. Easy enough, no?


Then, using a photograph of the crib sheet, I cropped it around one of the roses and printed the image blown up to 8.5 x 11, and then traced the flower onto a transparency via Sharpie! Do you see where I’m going with this?

P3102767 - Copy


You guessed it. With my handy overhead projector I blasted the flower image asymmetrically onto the dresser (similar to our very own changing table in our twin girls’ nursery!). When I had it just where I wanted it, I used a pencil to lightly trace! Or if you’re super-human, consider freehanding it and let me know how that works for ya!



Then I got busy painting, using simple Folk Art acrylic paints. Obviously the more complex your design, the more time-consuming and tedious things become. But the outcome is soooooo worth it! No creativity needed! ANYBODY can do this. All you need is a relatively steady hand!



The original hardware wasn’t altogether unfortunate, but it was just a little too… brass. Ain’t nothin’ a little sanding, priming and painting white wouldn’t fix! And whatdoyaknow? It looks amazing! I was worried we might need to hunt down some perfect hardware… but NO! Lucky break for sure.

Pin It


Pin It

rochelle's changing table

So there you have it! Just a quick little makeover by us over here at Sawdust and Embryos! Check out our other projects that we’ve used the overhead projector for here, or just feel free to stop over and shuffle through some of our other furniture transformations and various tutorials! Thanks for letting us stop in!


  1. Oh My!! That turned out GORGEOUS!! I love it! :)

  2. WOW!! That is absolutely beautiful!!

  3. That is so adorably awesome!!

  4. So cute… thanks for sharing. Definitely will keep this idea in mind during my house makeover.

  5. It's fabulous! Need to find projector asap!

  6. That looks absolutely amazing!!!! Very inspirational :)

  7. That looks amazing! That fabric is from Joel Dewberry's heirloom collection and I really think he'd be impressed with your creation! I've got that print for sale in my fabric shop, http://www.fabricenvy.com. Once again fantastic creative work!!!

  8. That is amazzzzzinnnng. I cant even believe how great that came out. Where do you get an overhead projector though? Seems like I need one. And since I dont have one, I wonder how I could make the same effect. Although Im an artist, freehand would be dangerous lol

  9. Linked your page from my facebook, just wanted to share with everyone I knew, cause its so awesome!!

  10. It turned out awesome!!

  11. does not look at all like the original piece even in all blue, good job.

  12. WOWZA!!!! Amazing job…just amazing! I am so inspired to try something similar. LOVE how you used the fabric for inspiration!

  13. Wow!! that is amazing and so freakin' cute. You did such a great job. I am inspired.

  14. I LOVE This! Such a great idea and really adds that bit of unexpected!

  15. What a beautiful transformation!!! I love it!

  16. That's insanely Beautiful and Brilliant!

  17. it looks so awesome

  18. Ok, that is really gorgeous!

  19. I can't even believe how much I love this! SOOOO beautiful!! I'm linking this up to my FB page to share with my readers! Fabulous!

  20. Oh MY!!! I love it! Can't wait to try something similar! Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. wow. WOW. just WOW. that is beautiful!

  22. Wowza! Jaw dropping adorable!

  23. I LOVE this transformation! Stunning!

    I wonder if I could REALLY pull that off, even with the right tools…

  24. Wow. That dresser is AMAZING! I'd love it if you would come share it on my new Link Party!

  25. Hello, i'm a follower from Holland.
    I love your tutorials! They are great! Greatings Joanike

  26. OMG, I love this!! Fantastically creative and gorgeous! Those carvings on those old 80's dressers intimidate me, but there is hope after seeing this!!

  27. So awesome! Loved the end results!!!

  28. This looks absolutely amazing!! Fantastic job!!!

  29. That is adorable! Great idea using the projector and painting.

  30. moondoggle says:

    Awesome! When you painted it, did you use paint and brush, or did you spray paint it?

  31. Love it. I never would have thought to fill in the engravings. Thanks for the tip.


  32. Oh. My. Gosh. Amazing! You did a fabulous job! I wish I had your creative vision ;-)

  33. WOW!!!! That is Sooo creative and unique. I am totally motivated to finally paint my son's dresser now. Not with flowers, of course, lol!

  34. Adorable!

  35. What an amazing piece! Great work! Next to the baby, this will be the highlight of their nursery:)

  36. This is so fabulous I'm getting palpitations!!! I can't believe how great this turned out and seeing the before picture makes me want to scream cuz I've passed up soooo many pieces like this! You guys are just blessed with talent, skill, patience and creativity – thank you for sharing this!

  37. This is so awesome! Love that flower detail – totally worth all the time I bet it took to paint

  38. This is an amazing project! I love it! I'm so wanting an overhead projector now – you are an inspiration!!

  39. loooooooove it!

  40. carol jane says:

    Did you use Krylon spray paint?

  41. Yes! It was Krylon Peekaboo Blue.

  42. What wonderful job. Congratulations!

  43. Ladi Adra says:

    WOW WEE, how magnificently beautiful your transformation is. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVEEEEE it. I’ve wanted an overhead for years, now I understand more clearly as to the reason why. The color choice is spectaular in my opinion.

  44. Luanne Pang says:

    You’re a SUPERWOMAN! I really love you! Love this blog too

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