Image: © 2016 by Paige French
Looking to give your room a summer makeover but can't afford any new furniture? Then this Make it Monday is going to be right up your street. We are giving you the chance to replicate this beautiful map-papered dresser; it's hard to believe that this vintage looking beauty didn't cost an absolute bomb isn’t it? Here is how you can create your own using your very own second hand chest of draws…
One tip before you start, these drawers already had a vintage stain and finish, so all they required was a quick sanding, vacuuming, and wipe-down. However, if you are applying wallpaper to unfinished wood, you need to first prime and paint the wood. It is also important to sand well, making sure the surface is smooth. If you leave any surface defects behind, the wallpaper will shrink right into them as it dries.
You will need
Purdy china series brush
When the drawers are ready, start planning out how you want the design to work on the drawer fronts. It is important to know exactly where the paper will go, especially if there is a large pattern or stripe. Arrange the drawers in your workspace in the order they will appear on the finished piece of furniture. Then, spread your wallpaper out on top of the drawers. I do this to determine placement and to be sure the pattern will continue seamlessly down the drawers.
Using scissors, roughly cut out a piece of paper for each drawer. Cut generously for this step. Precise trimming will come later in the process.
Once you have your paper placement exactly as you want it, crease off the wallpaper around one drawer front using your fingers. Crease around all four sides of the drawer. The creases will be your cutting guide. Make sure the crease marks are visible before you cut.
Place your paper on a smooth clean surface. Use a ruler and craft knife to cut along the crease lines. Repeat for all drawers. Lay down drop cloths.
Once the paper for each drawer is cut, use a foam roller to apply Mod Podge to the surface of the drawer front and the back of the paper. Use a foam roller to ensure that the Mod Podge is applied thinly, smoothly, and evenly. Clumps and thick streaks will show up in your paper and cause air bubbles and difficulty when smoothing.
Place your wallpaper on the drawer surface, being careful to avoid getting Mod Podge on the fronts of the paper. Keep lots of paper towels and shop towels handy to keep your hands clean. Smooth the paper with your hands as much as possible, then use the squeegee to smooth out and remove any remaining air bubbles.
When all of the paper is in place, flip the drawer on its front and trim any excess paper with a sharp craft knife. Use the wooden part of the drawer as your guide and let your knife glide easily against the drawer sides for a nice clean cut.
Use a clean, damp shop cloth to wipe down the entire surface of the paper to remove any excess Mod Podge.
Allow the wallpaper to dry completely, then apply two or three coats of Minwax water-based polyurethane for the protective finish using a Purdy China Series brush.
And if you wanted to go the extra mile, you can even line the insides of the drawers as well...
How to line the insides of the drawers
You will need
Wallpaper or wrapping paper
Double-sided mounting tape
Vacuum out all of the drawers to remove dust and dirt that may have collected over time. When the entire surface has been vacuumed, clean the inside of the drawers with wood cleaner and a damp shop towel. I use Murphy Oil Soap wood cleaner with orange oil because it not only cleans the wood but also refreshes it and smells wonderful. Be careful not to saturate the wood—just give it a quick wipe-down to clean the surface.
Have your scissors, ruler, and craft knife handy. Place the roll of wallpaper beside the drawer, grasp the loose edge, and pull the wallpaper over the top of the drawer. This is the easiest way to measure the length and width that you need for lining the drawer.
Use scissors to cut the wallpaper to the outside measurements of the drawer. This will leave excess once you place the paper inside the drawer, but that is what you want.
Place the paper inside the drawer and use one of the straight, uncut edges of the wallpaper as your guide for the front of the drawer. When that guide is in place, use your fingers to smooth the paper and crease it into the other three inner walls of the drawer.
Place the ruler against the edge of the drawer as tight as you can, still leaving room for the craft knife. Keeping the knife to the right of the ruler at all times, trim the excess paper.
When the paper has been trimmed to fit the inside of the drawer perfectly, cut four pieces of double-sided mounting tape. Place one piece of tape in each corner of the drawer, and press the paper down onto the tape to hold it securely in place.
For more DIY projects check out the fantastic Furniture Makes the Room by Barb Blair.
Photo Credit: © 2016 by Paige French
Book Credit: Furniture Makes the Room by Barb Blair, published by Chronicle Books