Can you wallpaper furniture? DIY wallpaper dresser tutorial


Inside: How to wallpaper a dresser; tips on using peel and stick wallpaper on furniture; plus a full step-by-step of a DIY wallpaper dresser makeover with textured wallpaper.

We’re back today with another project post that we are super jazzed about! We are talking about one of my favorite ways to update a boring piece of furniture…DIY Wallpaper Dresser Tutorial.

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If you’re into wall paper, you might want to see my entire post about accent walls and how to plan them in your house. I include stuff about wall paper there. I’ve also got a whole post on how to actually wall paper your walls too 🙂

But first let’s answer some really key questions. I like to have a lay of the land before I jump into any DIY project that could cost me money and time!

Can you wallpaper a dresser?

Absolutely, you can wallpaper a dresser, but you want to consider a few things first.

  1. What is the dresser or piece of furniture made from?

If you are wallpapering furniture that is made of wood, you’ll definitely want to prime it or seal it first so that the paper sticks to it. Wood is much more porous than a wall, and moisture will cause the paper to lift over time.

2. What is your wallpaper made of?

There are three types of wallpaper that you can theoretically use on furniture.

  • Pre-pasted wallpaper – which requires activation with some lukewarm water. (This is the kind I used in this particular wallpaper project).
  • Unpasted wallpaper – which requires you to add paste to the back of the paper and then stick it to your drawer front or furniture piece.
  • Peel and stick wallpaper – which is essentially like a big sticker that you will cut to size and stick directly to your furniture. I’ve done A LOT of projects with peel and stick wallpaper. You can see here where I used it on the walls in our primary bedroom, and then here when we updated our kitchen backsplash with peel and stick tile.

If you really want to get into it, you can check out my wallpaper buying guide to help you decide what type of paper will work best for you.

Supplies to Wallpaper Dresser Drawers

Wall Papered Dresser Before

This little dresser is our first real makeover that will be part of the space. Remember where it was in our new walk-in closet?

It was a $40 thrift store buy and truthfully, I think we over paid.  🙂 It was very beat up and the panel details on the front were obviously (and badly) glued on. I always knew I’d do something to it, I hadn’t made up my mind… until three elements came together.

How to add wallpaper to a dresser

Step one: Wallpaper a dresser

I started by removing the hardware and prying off the panel pieces. They revealed a nasty gross old brown glue mark.

But – you guys! Best trick ever! Textured, paintable wall paper! I simply measured my drawer fronts, cut the paper to size, rolled it pattern side in and dipped it in luke warm water to activate the glue. Then I let the glue cure for five minutes and applied the paper to the drawers. Seriously. Dead easy. Easiest fix for damaged drawer fronts of all time. Here is a link to the exact kind of wallpaper I used.

How to add wallpaper to a dresser

You can’t really tell from this photo, but the paper is textured, I swear.

I ended up trimming down the edges with just regular old craft scissors. This paper is fairly durable and can hold up to quite a bit of tugging so long as you don’t soak it  TOO much with water.

How to use textured wallpaper

Then I turned to the lovely and moody Basalto by PARA Paints*. Once again, I can’t even. This colour. It’s just so great. Not quite purple, not quite grey, but every single bit grown-up and sophisticated. I actually think it would look fab on a front door.

Dresser updated with textured wallpaper and paint
A tutorial for rehabbing a dresser with paint and textured wall paper!

It took a few coats of Basalto with a high-pile roller to get some nice even coverage. Then I measured and drilled and added my lion’s head drawer pulls. Once again, I can’t even.

Dresser updated with Brass Lion Head drawer pulls and textured wallpaper

I have a thing for lions. And horses. And elephants. And most animals … so these drawer pulls make my heart absolutely sing.

Dresser updated with Brass Lion Head drawer pulls and textured wallpaper

At this point, you’re probably jazzed to try this project out right? So you might also want to read this post about how to destink thrift store furniture. If you have a smelly piece, wallpaper won’t save you LOL

Meantime, you might also want to see some inspiration for how to outfit nearly every room in your house with thrift store finds!

Can you put wallpaper on wood furniture?

Yes! You can put wallpaper on wood furniture, just like I did above. You need to seal the wood first, either with paint, primer or varathane. Let that dry completely and then apply your wallpaper as per the manufacturers instructions.
One additional step you may want to take is sealing the wallpaper with ModPodge or another type of clear sealant once it’s on the furniture.
But only do this if your paper is not textured.

Can you stick wallpaper on furniture?

Yes. Another great way to use wallpaper to update furniture is to paper the back of a bookcase. You can see how to do that in this post I wrote about Wallpapering a small bookcase.

Can you use peel and stick wallpaper on furniture?

Absolutely! You can use peel and stick wallpaper on almost any surface. Look at this post where I cut vinyl wallpaper into polka dot shapes to add polka dot wallpaper to my closet. This can be easily done on a tabletop, drawers or bookshelf too.

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