How to recycle a dresser using stencils and furniture paint

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  • Learn how to recycle a dresser to create a trendy piece of furniture using different textured paints. Experimenting with matte and satin finishes will make your design really pop – so what are you waiting for?

    If you don’t have a piece of furniture for this recycled furniture idea yet, why not head to your local charity store or search online for an item you love looking for a little TLC?

    How to recycle a dresser – what you’ll need

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Before you jump into the project, make sure you have everything on our shopping list …

    • Chalky finish furniture paint
    • Satin furniture paint
    • Foam rollers
    • Brush
    • Pencil
    • Paper
    • Stencil sheet
    • Craft knife
    • Cutting mat
    • Sugar soap and cloth for cleaning

    How to recycle a dresser – step by step

    1. Find a dresser to recycle

    Dark wood sideboard with drawers

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    We’re going to breathe new life into this shabby old dresser with chalky satin furniture paint and a jazzy geometric design. You might already have a project to work on. Otherwise, check out your local car trunk, charity furniture store, or Facebook Marketplace.

    We’re going to be applying a geometric pattern, but if you fancy something more wild, learn how to paint a dresser with a leopard pattern.

    2. Prepare your furniture

    Hand wiping a clean wooden sideboard

    Image credit: Rust-Oleum

    If you are using Rust-Oleum Furniture Paint, you probably won’t need to sand your furniture as the paint is specially designed to cling to the surface. However, it may be a good idea to gently rub the pre-painted or varnished wood with sandpaper. This will provide a key for the paint to adhere.

    Then clean your furniture thoroughly with a damp cloth. Use sugar soap to remove any dust or grease on the surface.

    The best advice: If you plan to remove and move the drawer handles, fill the holes with wood putty and sand them down before painting.

    3. Start painting the dresser

    Close up of hand using a roller to paint a gray sideboard

    image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Use satin finish furniture paint and a small foam roller to paint each section of the drawers. Let dry completely. Apply a second coat if necessary.

    Buy now: Rust-Oleum Satin Furniture Paint in Slate, £ 15 for 750ml, B &Q

    4. Create your stencil

    Close-up of hands cutting out a stencil using a craft knife, ruler and cutting mat

    image credit: Rust-Oleum

    It’s time to create your stencil! Draw it first using a pencil, ruler, and stencil sheet. We used triangles for a geometric repeat. Cut it out using a cutter and a mat.

    Buy now: Sew Easy plain plastic model, £ 3.25, Hobbycraft

    5. Stencil on your design

    Close up of hands stenciling a triangle on a wooden sideboard

    image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Use your stencil and chalk furniture paint to add your design to the drawer fronts. Use a stencil brush to fill in the shape using dotted movements. Move the stencil and repeat, making sure not to smudge the previous pattern. Let dry completely.

    Buy now: Rust-Oleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint in China Rose, £ 15 for 750ml, Homebase

    6. Add new drawer handles

    Bosch screwdriver adding drawer handles to a wooden sideboard

    image credit: Rust-Oleum

    If you wish, protect your painted furniture with a coat of varnish or lacquer to make it more resistant to impacts and scratches.

    Finish your new dresser with modern drawer pulls. Screw them on securely to complete this cute DIY and decorating project.

    Recycled dresser with geometric pattern stencil decorated with a plant and books

    image credit: Rust-Oleum

    Take a step back and admire your recently recycled dresser. Pair it with a lush potted plant for a touch of greenery.


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    Margarita B. Bittner

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