DIY Makeover – Decoupage Chest of Drawers

I get a lot of love for this chest of drawers over on Instagram so thought you’d like to see how I changed them from ugly orange pine to any Cath Kidston lovers dream.

I actually got the idea whilst strolling around Hobbycraft & looking at their decopatch papers – I actually did a quick google search whilst I was there as I had some floral fabric already so was unsure if it could it even be used. Luckily people had tried it out before but not on such a big scale, or at least I couldn’t find anybody that had attempted a huge chest of drawers.

In good old Charlotte style I obviously came home & immediately started trawling Gumtree/Ebay/Facebook buy&sell sites for a chest of drawers. I came across this 8 drawer tall orange pine chest of drawers which was for sale for £30. Again in true Charlotte style I managed to barter the lady down to £15 & went off to pick it up that evening. Above was the picture of it on Gumtree…just a bit of imagination needed eeeek!

I first started by using Annie Sloan ‘Old White’ which is my favourite white from the AS range to paint the entire drawers, it needed 3 coats to cover the ghastly wood but in the end looked completely different. I painted the drawers too even though they were going to be covered as I didn’t want the wood to grin through the fabric.

In the end I realised my floral fabric wasn’t going to do the entire thing so after a trip to my local fabric store Fabricland, I came home with 2 other similar fabrics. I went for the thinnest cotton material that I could find to allow for the glue to be able to soak through, i’m not sure how thicker fabric would hold up as it tends to absorb more. The fabric was really cheap & i’ve seen it in a few places, it’s very Cath Kidston’esque’. 

I mixed PVA craft glue with water (50/50) instead of buying the official decoupage glue as it’s a complete waste of money…it’s literally glue & water for about 10x the price so don’t be sucked in to thinking it’s anything special or will be any better.

So, after doing all that prep I started off by covering the drawer with the PVA/water mixture (be generous…I made sure I put the drawers on to a large bit of cardboard so any splashes didn’t go on to the carpet), I cut the fabric to size(ish, make sure it’s bigger than the drawer however) then stuck it on.

After it was in a good position (easy to slide around so you don’t have to be too accurate) I then slapped on more glue mixture over the top & cut the fabric to a better size round the inside of the drawers. I probably could have been a hell of a lot tidier with this but who see’s the inside of a drawer?

The most important part to get right is then smoothing the fabric throughout…I’d recommend starting this when you can keep checking back throughout the day as whilst it dries you can get air bubbles forming. I used an old credit card to smooth it but still ended up with a couple….again, I probably could have been more careful but wasn’t really aware it’d dry that way! I used a cheap paintbrush but if I were to do it again then i’d probably use a sponge so you can smooth at the same time as applying the glue.

You can all learn from my mistakes there but it’s barely noticeable in real life or from far away unless you really look for it.

To finish, I used sandpaper to ‘shabby chic’ the Annie Sloan paint (tutorial coming up soon) the finished by waxing.

I also did a bedside table top but ended up selling that as it didn’t sit right in our old house bedroom which was in the process of being done up in to Elsa’s ‘big girl’ bedroom….but we sold & moved before she had a chance to even move in! Now I wish I had it as it’d look lovely in this house….might have to make myself another.

I absolutely LOVE this piece of furniture…it brings so much character to Elsa’s bedroom & is ‘one of a kind’. Plus it cost be about £20 in total! 

Any questions please do let me know – as always i’d love to help 🙂

Love, Charlotte x


  1. Lizzy
    August 21, 2017 / 11:13 pm

    Love the chest of drawers, you have done an amazing job. I have just purchased a set of chest of drawers and have applied 3 coats of ballet shoe pink chalk paint. Tomorrow I shall decoupage the two top drawers. How did you get around the drawers knobs?

  2. Jules
    December 27, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    Looks gorgeous!!
    How do you clean the drawers though?

  3. Luisa Bardelli
    August 4, 2021 / 5:37 pm

    È bellissimo