Etsy Journal

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How to Wallpaper a Dresser

Refinish a basic set of dresser drawers in a flash with peel-and-stick wallpaper with this quick and simple DIY.

A dresser decorated with peel-and-stick yellow speckled wall paper.
Photo by: Jen Hsieh

There are plenty of quick and simple, tried-and-true hacks to give your living space an instant facelift: toss a few throw pillows on the couch, swap in a fresh print on your gallery wall, fill your windowsill with houseplants. And today, we’re officially adding “refinish a dresser with peel-and-stick wallpaper” to that list.


We know what you’re thinking: How can wallpaper be quick and simple? Yes! You can use peel-and-stick wallpaper on a dresser. In this easy DIY tutorial, we’ll show you how to add some of the best wallpaper designs to a dresser’s drawer fronts. You can also add wallpaper to the sides, top, and inside the drawers. And perhaps the best part is, it’s temporary! If you change your mind later, simply peel the old wallpaper off and add a different removable wallpaper design to the dresser to change things up. To show you how it’s done, we’ll walk you through how to refinish a dresser with peel-and-stick wallpaper (and top it off with snazzy new drawer pulls), creating a stylish, one-of-a-kind accent piece to anchor your room.

Click play on the video below to see the peel-and-stick magic in action, then read on to follow the steps for refinishing your dresser.

How to refinish a dresser with peel-and-stick wallpaper

At a glance

Time: 1 hour

Difficulty: Beginner

You will need

Step 1: Ready your dresser drawers

Emptying the contents of your dresser drawers will make them easier to handle. Depending on your dresser, it might also be helpful to take the drawers out and place them on an even surface while you work. Once your dresser is empty, use a screwdriver to remove the hardware from each drawer. Be sure to keep track of the screws—you’ll need them later.

Step 2: Pick a wallpaper pattern for your dresser

Peel and stick wallpaper designs from Etsy
SHOP: (Clockwise from top left) Yellow speckle peel-and-stick wallpaper from AccentuWall, from $5; Muse in June removable wallpaper from Kate Zaremba Company, from $30; gold art deco temporary wallpaper from Sweet Pea Wall Design, from $5; vintage floral peel-and-stick wallpaper from Rocky Mountain Decals, from $18

Now for the fun part—choosing the best wallpaper for your project! If you want to be able to see the full design on the removable wallpaper once it’s applied, choose a print that’s small enough to fit on the front of your drawers. Consider how the colors will play with both the finish on your furniture and the overall vibe of your space. A bright and busy pattern adds a pop of contrast to a more neutral room, whereas designs with clean lines and soft, organic shapes make a great choice for modern homes. Feeling bold? Choose a different wallpaper for each drawer in complementary shades and create your own maximalist moment.

Step 3: Measure twice, cut once

Measure the length and width of the front of each drawer. Remember: Drawers from the same piece of furniture may be different sizes, so be sure to measure each surface individually! Use a ruler to plot the dimensions out on the backside of your paper, marking in increments with a pencil. Cut each piece to length.

Step 4: Add peel-and-stick wallpaper to your dresser

Starting at a corner, carefully remove the backing of the wallpaper to expose the sticky side. Line up the short end of the paper with the corners of your drawer and stick, pressing down slowly from one end of the drawer to the other.

A woman smooths out air bubbles with a smoothing tool as she applies peel-and-stick paper to a dresser drawer

Step 5: Smooth out air bubbles in the wallpaper

As you affix the wallpaper to the drawer, use a smoothing tool to eliminate air bubbles, working in the same direction that you’re laying the paper.

Step 6: Upgrade your dresser’s drawer pulls

Handmade drawer pulls from Etsy
SHOP: (Clockwise from top left) Amethyst drawer pulls from Stephen D. Evans, $40 each; jade green drawer pulls from Hooks Knobs Hardware, $8 each; concrete drawer pulls from Mica Rica Shop, $9 each; leather drawer pulls from Minu Studio Co., $15 each

For a final flourish, swap out your old drawer pulls for a new set. Try playing with different colors and shapes, and consider unexpected materials like crystals and leather. You can even mix and match for added impact. Simply puncture the paper with a screwdriver to create holes that line up with the existing holes in the drawer front, then screw your new knobs in tight.

Step 7: Decorate your dresser with your favorite things

Reassemble your dresser, and style it with a curated collection of treasures. Some of our current faves? Vintage vases, mini planters, and a personalized jewelry box.

Jackie Buddie image
Jackie Buddie

Jackie Buddie is a writer and wilderness explorer working full-time as a content producer at Etsy HQ in Brooklyn.

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