Vintage Waterfall Dresser Makeover With Decoupage Fabric

Friends, those of you who have been following me know that Mr. Frugalista is my official furniture buyer. He knows I prefer not working with previously painted pieces, especially old furniture because you never know if it's been painted with lead paint. This art deco style dresser had a dated faux bois paint finish that was chipping and obviously used in a child's room because it was full of stickers and crayon marks.

We made an exception this time because of this old dresser's art deco style and the whopping $5 price tag. Besides, I had some French burlap fabric that I was itching to put to use. So today I'm going to show you how to update a vintage waterfall dresser with decoupage fabric. I've included before and after photos of the furniture makeover plus a DIY decoupage tutorial that I hope you find helpful.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser Makeover With Decoupage Fabric

Vintage Waterfall Dresser Makeover With Decoupage Fabric

This is what the dresser looked like before. Other than the faux bois paint finish, stickers, and crayon marks, the dresser itself was in pretty good shape and a great candidate for a makeover.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser Makeover BEFORE

But before we get into how to decoupage furniture drawers with fabric, there is much to do with this furniture makeover to get it ready for the decoupage stage. With the French burlap taking center stage, the rest of the dresser was painted a neutral warm white.

DIY Decoupage Furniture With Burlap

In sticking with the Parisian theme, I also stenciled the top of the dresser with a French Postmark stencil.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser with French Postale Stencil

I always like to do the top drawer on my dresser makeovers a little different than the rest, either with unique hardware or paint finish. To pull the black print from the burlap fabric, I painted the top drawer black and added some pretty mercury glass teardrop pulls from Hobby Lobby. You can read about that adventure here in my Canadian girl's maiden voyage to Hobby Lobby post.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser Makeover With Mercury Glass Pulls

Another thing I often do with my dresser makeovers is adding a surprise inside by painting the sides of the drawers a bright color. But like this dresser, if the inside of the drawers is looking worse for wear I will paint them too.

DIY Decoupage Furniture With Burlap

I also like to line the drawers with either pretty paper, fabric, or wallpaper. I had this lovely striped wallpaper that I picked up at the Habitat ReStore a few years ago in my stash.

Unique French Burlap Decoupage Dresser

Protective Finishes

I used a few protective finishes on this makeover. The white paint was protected with clear wax applied with a wax brush, a little went a long way. Before the wax dried and working in sections, I brushed brown glaze over the wax and removed the excess with a lint-free rag. You can also do this by using brown wax in much the same way.

To tone down the red paint and make the finish look aged, I wiped Tobacco Road gel stain over the red paint with a lint-free cloth. Before it dried I removed the excess stain with the same cloth. This will also protect the finish on the drawers.

Materials List

These are the products I used for this makeover and the supply list contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Vintage Waterfall Dresser Makeover Supplies

Now that the dresser is painted, time to decoupage that pretty French burlap onto the dresser drawer fronts.

Decoupage Tip:

If you're using a light fabric and the drawers are a dark color, you will want to paint the drawers white first so the dark finish doesn't show through the fabric.

How To Decoupage Furniture With Fabric

How to decoupage fabric onto furniture

  1. Lay the dresser on it's back with the drawers set in place.
  2. Lay the fabric over all the drawers and line up the print how you want it. You may want to tape the fabric on the top to hold it in place.
  3. Working one drawer at a time, apply a generous amount of Mod Podge with a foam brush over the top drawer.
  4. Lay the fabric across the drawer, adjusting as needed.
  5. Wear clean latex gloves or place your hand inside a sandwich bag and rub your hands over the fabric to smooth out any air bubbles and press firmly for good contact.
  6. If need be, with a small art brush apply more Mod Podge to the fabric around the edges.
  7. Repeat for the remaining drawers.
  8. Cut the excess fabric around the perimeter of the dresser and in between each drawer with scissors but not flush with the edges just yet.
  9. Let it dry completely.
  10. With a sharp retractable knife carefully cut the extra fabric around each drawer.
  11. Lightly sand any stray fibers with sandpaper for a nice crisp edge.
  12. This next step is optional but you can apply a coat of Mod Podge over the fabric to keep the edges from fraying and protect the fabric. It will dry clear.

I hope you found this tutorial helpful. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below or the Contact Me tab at the top. I love hearing from you!

Here are some other decoupage furniture pieces I've done that you may like. How to decoupage a shopping bag onto furniture or How to decoupage fabric onto a bookcase or How to decoupage drawer sides with napkins. I'm a little embarrassed to add a link to my How to decoupage a dresser with maps because it is one of my first makeovers on the blog and the pictures are terrible.

If you enjoyed this decoupage furniture with fabric tutorial, I'd be so thankful if you shared it with a friend and pinned it to your upcycled furniture board or decoupage furniture board on Pinterest.

How To Decoupage Furniture With Burlap

French Burlap Decoupage Vintage Waterfall Dresser Makeover

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  1. Replies
    1. Thanks a bunch, Anita! I love the instant wow factor fabric adds to an otherwise plain piece of furniture.

  2. Nice job! I love the wooden phone. Where did you find it?

    1. Hi Michelle, I got the phone from a local online auction site. It's pretty sweet, isn't it!


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