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Paint a Dresser - Patchwork Style

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

If you really want to dress up a dresser, with paint, then paint a dresser patchwork style!

Once you have the pattern laid out on your dresser, (this is the hardest part) you are going to have fun painting a dresser in a quilted patchwork style.

Preparing the Dresser for Painting - Primer

If you have an old wooden dresser, and it already has a finish on it, then take it outside or to a garage or shop, and take all the hardware off and take out the drawers (you may want to number the drawers underneath, as sometimes with older dressers, each drawer has to go back in the same slot to work right). To paint a dresser, give it a good clean with fantastic or some other cleaner that will take off wax, polish and basically degrease.

If the dresser had really shiny paint or varnish on it, then lightly sand it to knock off some of the shine. You do not need to strip it to paint a dresser in this quilted patchwork style.

Now the next part will be your best investment yet. Purchase a good primer, one that will adhere to any surface, and the one I use is Zinsser Primer, it will go over any shiny (but clean surface) and not come off. This prepares your surface to take any kind of paint whether oil or water based.

Give your dresser a couple of coats of this high adhesion primer and let dry thoroughly. This primer is very fast drying, and totally seals the surface ready for your design.

Paint a Dresser Quilted Patchwork Style

Now take your yardstick or long ruler or straight edge of some kind and measure the width of your dresser and draw the dresser on paper and decide how large the squares will be for your painted dresser quilted patchwork design. For example: If your dresser to paint was 36 inches wide, then you could easily do 3 x 12 inches squares across for the quilted patchwork design. Now measure the height as well.

By drawing your dresser quickly on paper you can figure out how many squares will fit in your painted dresser. Example: If your dresser to be painted is 48 inches tall you could fit 4 x 12 inch squares. Therefore your painted dresser would consist of 3 squares wide by 4 squares tall on the front. Now do the same for the sides. If you have an odd sized dresser, then you need to work it out. You could also give the impression of a quilt square being wrapped around the edges. This is up to you, that is why it is always a good idea to draw it out on paper before you paint a dresser with your patchwork quilt design.

Paint a Dresser - Lay it Out

Now that you have it figure out, take a pencil and straightedge and measure out your squares for your pattern right on the dresser. Just a note here, you should have the drawers in the dresser to layout this design so that it looks like one big quilt when finished.

Paint a Dresser - What Color For Your Patchwork Quilt Design?

Figure out your color theme. Are they going to be similar colors or opposite colors. Then with your pencil, write the first letter of the color in the middle on the quilt square on the dresser, to make sure you get the color pattern you are looking for.

Once you are happy with the layout and the color theme, now paint your squares. You can use painters tape for the edges to be crisp if you like, or you can free hand in your pencil lines for a softer look. Once you have painted all your squares, and let them dry, you are now going to take a accent color and create cross stitches between the colors to represent stitches using a paint pen.

You can purchase paint pens in craft stores, or you can use a fine brush and your acrylic paint, but a paint pen can make it quicker. You decide on the stitch style for your painted dresser, Cross stitches are the easiest but you can decide on this pattern.

Once you have painted your dresser, you can add new hardware, that you have either painted yourself with unfinished wooden drawer pulls, or you can purchase some hardware that suits your project.

Although acrylic paint is tough, I personally like to give it two coats of water based varnish for added protection. Make sure to do two light coats and let it dry in between. Water based varnish is found at hardware stores and is tough and water wash and clean up, plus there is not the same fumes as with oil. Oil based varnish will tend to yellow any whites you may have on your painted dresser, so stick to the water based varnish.

Once you have this all done, now you have a great painted dresser quilted patchwork style. This would be a great dresser for a craft room for all your squares of fabric or "fat quarters" as they are called and any other supplies. Drawers can be a great place to store delicate fabrics.

To paint a dresser is a great way to recycle and old dresser, but this same project can be done on a unfinished wooden dresser that you can purchase. Just make sure to use the primer even on the unfinished dresser as this seals the wood and stops your colors from being absorbed into the wood, which can make the colors look uneven.

If you really wanted to get artistic, you could paint a "appliqué" in the center of each square or use a stencil and some paint for a pattern. But the best thing to do, is to draw this out on paper first, that way you don't run into any design issues while trying to paint a dresser with quilted patchwork design.

This is a great way to renew a dresser and create a unique piece of art at the same time! Also check out How to Paint a Dresser (for more great ideas), Wooden Drawer Pulls (to make your own unique hardware), and how using Zinsser Bulls Eye 123 Primer works as a great high adhesion primer to save you lots of time.


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Comments

Oct 2, 2010 10:54pm
Deborah-Diane
Very detailed instructions on how to paint a dresser. Sounds cute!
Oct 8, 2010 2:04pm
jeni10
I enjoy refinishing and painting antiques as well as new pieces. It's such a wonderful feeling of satisfaction to renovate something old and give it new life and purpose. Thanks for your article on how to paint a dresser patchwork style.
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