Color-Blocked Dresser Using Paintable Wallpaper
A few weeks ago, I set out to give one IKEA Tarva dresser four unique makeovers, all using completely temporary techniques! So far, I’ve used tape, fabric, and vinyl to give this bland piece different looks; and today I’m finishing out the series with a makeover using paintable wallpaper! This fourth makeover was supposed to hit the blog last week, but I encountered quite a few bumps along the way. There were a few days there I wasn’t sure you were going to get a fourth look; but I persevered, and I’m excited to show you how it turned out. Let’s get to it!
This makeover features a color-blocked look achieved with paint, paintable wallpaper and wood veneer edging.
The paintable wallpaper provides an interesting texture and a dose of saturated color that could only otherwise be achieved with painting right onto the drawers themselves!
The wood veneer “frame” around each wallpaper panel blends with the wooden drawers to give a clean, polished look!
To keep the dresser from looking too busy, the knobs were painted to match the panel fronts.
The result is a fresh and vibrant look that would be perfect for a child’s room!
Before I dive in and give you all the details about this makeover, let’s catch up! I started with an IKEA Tarva dresser, of which I assembled and then painted the outside frame white.
I then gave the dresser a makeover with washi tape, then fabric, then vinyl!
Before starting the fourth and final makeover, I had to peel off all the vinyl decals I so carefully adhered to the dresser. I really didn’t want to because I was so smitten with that look, but I committed to four makeovers and four makeovers I was going to do! Admittedly, I was dreading removing the vinyl, but I was quite pleasantly surprised that it came off relatively easily. I just put on some good music and peeled each piece off one at a time…it was somewhat therapeutic!
With the dresser back into its original state, it was ready for it’s final new look!
How to Apply Paintable Wallpaper to a Dresser
To cover a piece of furniture in paintable wallpaper (as shown), you will need:
- A piece of furniture in need of a new look
- Paintable wallpaper
- Latex paint in the color of your choice
- 3/4″ wood veneer edging
- Re-positionable spray adhesive
- Tools: paint brush, iron, rotary cutter and mat, utility knife, tape measure, brayer/roller
For this final makeover, I REALLY wanted to achieve some sort of color-block look. Not only did I think it would look cute, but I really wanted to see if there was a way to paint a piece of furniture without painting it! After considering lots and lots of different options, I decided to give pre-pasted paintable wallpaper a try. I’ve seen it time and time again at hardware stores and on Pinterest projects, I figured it was worth giving it a try! Before getting started, I did a test on the inside of one of the drawers to see if it removed cleanly. Once it did…I was off and running…or so I thought!
UPDATE: Working with Paintable Wallpaper wasn’t the easiest! Check out my lessons learned post HERE before trying it yourself!
Start by measuring your drawers (or whatever surface you want to cover in wallpaper). Using a rotary cutter and long ruler, trim your wallpaper down to the correct dimensions.
Next, decide on what paints you want to use…
…and paint the paintable wallpaper with a brush or roller. Please note that because of the texture, it will take a bit of effort to get good coverage.
NOTE: It appears the paper below is already on the drawer…just pretend that it’s not. I HIGHLY recommend painting your wallpaper BEFORE securing it to your furniture. You’ll see why below.
While you’ve got your paint and brushes out, also paint the knobs coordinating/matching colors. I found using wooden skewers and a cardboard box is the perfect setup for painting the knobs and allowing them to dry.
While the paint dries, you will next trim down the wood veneer edging to frame out the wallpaper panels. Using a utility knife and a ruler, trim down the edging into correct lengths with 45 degree angles on each end. Make sure your longest measurement equals the length/height of your wallpaper panel. For example, my wallpaper panel measured 29.25″ x 8.75″. Therefor, I cut two lengths of veneer edging that were 29.25″ long (from the outermost point) and two lengths that were 8.75″ long.
Once the paint on the wallpaper panel is fully dry, use a hot iron and a press cloth to secure the wooden veneer edging all the way around the wallpaper panel, lining up the mitered edges on each corner.
When complete, you should have a painted wallpaper panel that is fully trimmed out in veneer edging, ready to go onto your furniture piece!
Before securing the panel, make sure your furniture surface is clean and dust-free. Then coat the back of your wallpaper panel with a good coat of spray adhesive. Place the wallpaper panel onto your furniture and smooth with a roller or craft brayer. Press firmly to ensure full contact between the paper and the furniture.
NOTE: You might be wondering why I used spray adhesive to secure these panels to the drawers instead of following the included directions (using water). I tried over and over to get the painted panels to lay flat on the drawers with just the water application, but they always curled up. The method outlined in this post is the only way I could get the panels to stay flat and smooth long-term.
Once the paper is attached, re-attached your knobs by carefully puncturing holes in the wallpaper with the screw.
Repeat on all the drawers (or other surfaces of your furniture piece). When you are done, slide the drawers into your dresser and step back to appreciate your hard work!
Lessons Learned from Working With Paintable Wallpaper
So that tutorial seemed painless enough, but that sure wasn’t the case in real life. Getting the paintable wallpaper fully painted and secured to my drawer fronts turned out to be quite a DIY debacle! Whether you’re considering using paintable wallpaper on furniture (like I did here) or a full wall installation, be sure to read my full post detailing the pros, cons, and lessons learned working with paintable wallpaper!
All in all, I think this dresser turned out darling from a visual perspective. I really, really, really wanted to show you all an option for painting furniture without really painting it, but the methods required to get this paintable wallpaper to stick might defeat the whole purpose of making it totally temporary (spray adhesive). Still, I really love what I did with the veneer edging, so I can’t call this one a complete fail!
I’d love to know what you all think about this fourth and final makeover! Were the results worth all my efforts? Next week, I’ll be doing a quick recap and opening up a vote so you can tell me your favorites! I’ll be curious to hear which one you all liked best! I hope you guys are having a great week! This Saturday, I’m sharing the tutorial for those DIY towel straps, and I think you guys will love it! See you back here then!
6 Comments on “Color-Blocked Dresser Using Paintable Wallpaper”
This one turned out great! Despite the time it took to get there! And I laughed out loud at the striked through I will never use it again words. So sorry this turned out so difficult. The finish look turned out fantastic. And so cute. Thanks for sharing all the hard work. And the tips to make it work out without all the extra hard work!
So…yea…the paintable wallpaper was a complete and total nuisance. I even think I left out a few other things I tried before getting it to semi-work, lol. But I’ve always been intrigued by the paper when I see it in stores, so now I know not to waste my money again!
I’ll be so curious to see which makeover everyone liked the most…based on the comments at least…this one was the winner, which is funny since it was such a pain!
Well what a hard work you did but the result is wonderful better than if you had painted directly the drawers ! I’m sorry you encountered so many difficulties as the dresser is really lovely. Yes let’s go to the vote, I’m looking forward to knowing the results. I wish you a nice week-end. Michèle
I am so glad to hear so many of my readers liked this final makeover…good thing because it was such a pain! Glad it was worth the effort. I’ll have the vote coming up this week so keep an eye out for it!
Happy Sunday Michèle!
I love this look. I have to ask though,how hard was it to cover the red base and turn it back to white?
You are observant! And I totally forgot to mention that I re-painted the base again in the post, whoops! The Sherwin Williams ProClassic paint (that I used for the outside of the dresser) is such a high quality enamel paint that it covered the red in two coats. Admittedly, I didn’t bother sanding off the red or using primer before adding the white (which I would do for a long-term piece for my home), but so far the coverage has been great and there has been no chipping or peeling!
Thanks for leaving a comment and hope you’re having a great weekend!