Nondescript wood dressers can often be found for rock-bottom prices at garage sales. To give them a dose of character and contemporary styling, cover the top in color and embellish the fronts with stencils. Removing drawers in favor of lined and labeled baskets is another easy way to add color and charm.
1. Sand all surfaces of the chest and wipe thoroughly with a tack cloth. Apply one coat of water-base sealer if the chest is new or Liquid Sand if the chest is old. Let dry. Using a trim paintbrush, paint the entire chest with Dover White. Let dry.
2. Wicker-Look Dresser Top
To prepare the squeegee for use as a texture comb, use a ruler and fine-tip marker to mark the blade of the squeegee into 1/8-inch-wide sections. Working on the self-healing cutting mat, cut out every other section with a crafts knife. A little variance in the notches is desirable.
Using a plastic measuring container, mix 4 parts glaze to 1 part Hibiscus paint.
Use a mini roller to quickly roll long horizontal strokes of glaze mixture across the entire width of the dresser top.
Beginning at one edge of the dresser top and applying firm pressure, pull the squeegee across the entire width of the top through the wet glaze mixture in one continuous stroke; wipe the squeegee on a damp cloth. Continue making horizontal passes until the entire top is combed, wiping the squeegee on a damp cloth after each stroke. Let dry. Apply the glaze mixture on top of the combed area and use the notched squeegee to drag vertical strokes; let dry.
3. Make the Stencil (Repeat for each stencil)
Enlarge the patterns provided to fit your space. Tape a piece of stencil plastic over a pattern and use a fine-tip marker to trace the pattern onto the plastic. Lay the traced stencil plastic on a self-healing cutting mat. Use a crafts knife with a clean new blade to cut out the design with crisp edges. Trace separate stencils for the inner flower petals and flower centers; cut out.
4. Stencil the Motifs (Repeat for each motif)
Spray the back of the stencil with stencil adhesive. Apply the stencil to the dresser and firmly smooth in place. Dip the appropriate-size stenciling brush into a small amount of paint and blot the excess paint onto a paper towel. Use a gentle circular or light tapping motion to fill in the stencil openings.
Stencil the large daisy and tulips with a medium pink mixture of Fuchsia plus Light Ivory; let dry. Stencil the inner petals of the blue flowers with Caribbean Blue and the outer petals with a mixture of Caribbean Blue plus North Sea. Using the photo as a guide for color placement, stencil some of the remaining shapes with Caribbean Blue and some with Spice Brown. Remove the stencil.
Stencil the flower petal overlays, the daisy center, and the center tulip petal with a light pink mixture of Fuchsia plus Light Ivory. Referring to the photo as a guide for color placement, add final hand-painted details using an artist's liner brush. Make dots with the rounded end of a paintbrush. Let dry.
Brush on two coats of water-base sealer, letting it dry after each coat.
Remove top drawers and insert baskets in their place. If desired, decoupage the insides of the removed drawers with pretty paper and hang them on the wall as shadow boxes.