Wednesday, 9 July 2008

how to... wallpaper a dresser

The wallpapered dresser in Layla's end of our room

I've had a few people ask me how I did this. I originally didn't post as there was a possibility it'd go in the magazine. It still might, but I can give you rough instructions! It wasn't hard - the trickiest part is probably getting the wallpaper samples. I was lucky enough to have access to scraps through work, but I did use my own as well. I was originally going to wallpaper the wall this dresser is against but the hubby didn't like my choices and I couldn't be bothered to look anymore so we painted it! So I put the samples I did have to good use on my dresser. Try wallpaper places for samples - you might have to pay a tiny fee, or if you can't seem to find any, try using pretty paper instead.

Step 1 Take off any handles and remove drawers. My father-in-law taught me a little trick with drawers: if it's an old piece of furniture, it's likely the drawers only fit in one space properly. Instead of trial and error, take out the top drawer and write "1" on the underside, then "2" on the second one etc. Then you'll know where they go when it's time to put them back!

Step 2 Paint or stain the cupboard frame if you wish. I painted mine a glossy white.

Step 3 Arrange the wallpaper samples on the floor in a pattern you'd like to replicate on the drawer front. You might need to cut some up to spread them around, just don't cut to fit just yet - a little overhang of the drawers shape is ideal. A mix of colours and patterns can look good - just don't go too crazy with a rainbow of colours. A palette of three or four main colours and a few accents always looks best.

Step 4 Use a cutting mat or chopping board, stanley knife and ruler to cut one neat edge of the wallpaper. This is the piece that will be joined to another on the drawer. Paint the back of the wallpaper with wallpaper paste (or just a good glue if you're using paper) and stick the piece as far along the drawer as you desire.

Step 5 Firmly press the paper over the drawer, smoothing out any lumps. A word of warning: no matter how well you do this, it might dry a tiny bit warped. Well it did for me anyway - I have a few wrinkles. Let's call them character lines!

A cloce-up: bumps and all!

Step 6 Repeat with the second piece of paper, only this time make the neat line on the other side so they line up nicely on the drawer.

Step 7 Turn the drawer over and place on the cutting mat or board. Use your stanley knife or razor blade to cut off the excess paper - the drawer edge should be a sufficient ruler and ensure you get the paper to fit perfectly.

Step 8 Repeat on all drawers. Replace handles (be careful not to tear the paper when poking through the screw - you might need to use a sharp needle to piece it first and then wiggle the screw through.

Step 9 Done and wait for the compliments! hah

If anyone does this themselves, let me know - would love to see your version!


The House That A-M Built said...

ooooh, oooh I have just found your blog... fabulous... lots of wonderful inspiration and a link to one of my most favourite magazines! You are now on my daily 'stalk' list! A-M xx

Unknown said...

I have a beautiful old table/dresser that was left in our house from the past owners - I repainted it and now it has gone "warped" from the sun - I was thinking of either wall papering it or putting fabric over it!
I think you just made up my mind :)


Courtney said...

this turned out just lovely, Belinda! thanks for the how-to instructions, too. xoxo

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