DIY Tutorial: Doing Up An Old Dressing Table

I was recently challenged by Voyage Wall Art to use their wallpaper in a DIY project, in a way other than just on the wall. Well you know how much I love wallpaper, and here’s how to use it when you’re doing up an old dressing table.

As you probably know we are undergoing major renovation work at the moment, converting the attic into a bedroom and so I’ve been planning the decor for a little while. I came across this incredible old dressing table in a charity shop for just £30 and knew it was perfect for the space, and for this challenge. All it needed was a little TLC.

Doing Up An Old Dressing Table:

Original dressing table

And here’s how it looked, once I finished:

Dressing table makeover

dressing table

dressing table drawerIf you want to have a go at doing something similar, here’s how –

What you need:

  • Voyage wallpaper (I used Azim in Indigo)
  • White matt spray paint (Valspar or Rustoleum)
  • Copper knobs (H&M Home)
  • Spray mount
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper

Step 1:

sanding the dresserSand down the dressing table, to give it a key and remove any fine scratches. Go with the grain and do it really lightly. We also gave the front of the drawers a little remedial work and glued on the veneer that was peeling. It’s not going to be perfect but hopefully the matt paint will dull down any imperfections. Clean off and wipe down.

Step 2:

Give the unit the first coat of spray paint. I used Valspar Primer and Paint in one (around £12 per can) and remember to give it a really good shake as per the instructions. With a steady arm, work backwards and forwards, keeping the same distance throughout to ensure an even coat.

After one coat this is how it looked –

One coat of spray paintThe spray only takes 10-20 minutes to dry so give it another coat and so on. It’s better to have many light coats that a few heavy ones, to ensure even coverage and a good finish. Do spray in a well ventilated area, and if you’re outside ensure it’s not too windy so your paint doesn’t blow as it’s spraying. This happened a little to me, and so my final coat was a bit patchy.

I used 3 cans to do the whole dressing table with 4 coats.

Painted dressing table

Step 3:

With the unit fully painted, including the drawer fronts, it’s time to cut the paper to fit.

I measured the width of the drawer base, added the height of the two sides to create one long panel. Then did the same for the back panel too. I also added 3 cms overlap to give it a nice finish. The beauty of this method is there’s no cutting involved at all once you have the correct size pieces.

Azim in Indigo from Voyage

Step 4:

Using the spray mount, spray the back panel and then leave for 30 secs to go tacky. Put the wallpaper in place. If it’s not quite right you can lift it and reposition; the spray allows you to do this several times if you need to. Work quickly though.

wallpaper drawerOnce the back panel is in place you can apply more spray to the sides and base, and glue on your larger piece. I allowed a slight overlap on the base with the back panel just to ensure there was no wood showing. Smooth from the centre, and then up the sides to ensure you have no creases and bubbles. Then fold the remainder over the top of the drawer for a colourful edge.

voyage wall art drawers

Step 5:

Allow the drawers and glue to dry off then add the copper knobs. These were from H&M Home and just £4.99 for a set of 2.

You won’t need to seal the paint although you can give it a spray with Valspar matt sealer to ensure you don’t get any scratches.

Put your dressing table back together and enjoy!

Total Cost: £90 plus wallpaper from Voyage Wall Art

dressing table drawer voyage wallpaper

Completed dressing tableI love how opening the drawers gives a burst of watercolour pattern and is a complete surprise to the rest of the dressing table. I can’t wait to get this in the finished loft bedroom.

DIY Dressing table makeover tutorial

If you want to see the other projects in this challenge, check out the hashtag #VoyageWallArtChallenge and you can see more of the Voyage wall art collection on their website here.

Have you ever tackled doing up an old dressing table? I’d love to know how you got on.

In collaboration with Voyage Decoration

Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Stephanie
    September 18, 2015 / 11:07 am

    I LOVE it! It is really really beautiful, I didn’t realise Valspar did a sealant. That would be good for my son’s desk that I’ve sprayed up.

    • Jen Stanbrook
      September 18, 2015 / 11:21 am

      Aah thanks Steph x Yes the very helpful assistant in B&Q pointed it out and said it was good for preventing colour fade – I decided against it in the end (it was another £8, so am crossing my fingers).

  2. becky
    September 20, 2015 / 8:06 am

    jen this looks fabulous well done

  3. Molly
    September 21, 2015 / 11:35 pm

    Wow, I’d never have recognised it as the same piece of furniture – what a transformation!
    I did a home project this week with wallpaper too – it was fun (but won’t be blogging about it for a couple of weeks) – I’m on the look out for new knobs too, so will check out H&M home, which I hadn’t thought about, so thanks to you for that lead!

  4. Amanda
    September 22, 2015 / 11:02 am

    Oh my, what an amazing transformation. I will Molly on this one, I honestly wouldn’t ave recognised it, its so different. I absolutely love the colours in the wallpaper, and the design. It given me a few ideas for a project I’m dong soon, thank you!

  5. Fritha
    September 22, 2015 / 1:31 pm

    wow it looks SO much better! It’s amazing what a bit of imagination can do when looking at old items to do up! I’m desperate to do some DIY around the house (nesting much??) but my body is thinking otherwise darn it! x

  6. Laura
    September 23, 2015 / 3:26 pm

    Thank you for this fab makeover idea, I wouldn’t of thought to line the drawers, what a great way to give a piece of furniture a new lease of life.

  7. Huguetta Laine
    September 24, 2015 / 4:20 am

    Amazing result! The paint job is not so easy, but the result is really worth it.

  8. Emma
    September 25, 2015 / 1:34 pm

    Well, this is one of the best DIY ideas I have ever seen! So chic, stylish and vintage.

    Best regards,

  9. Jane Berrow
    October 3, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    I love this transformation. I have painted 2 bedside cabinets in a similar colour and they are so useful now. Best wishes

  10. Urooj
    March 18, 2016 / 6:04 am

    Great work Jen, you transform it very well and simply. That’s called creativity.

  11. Michelle
    August 2, 2016 / 9:22 pm

    You make it sound really simple! Thanks a lot for this tutorial! I can’t wait to try it!

    Please check out my blog and let me know if you would like to collaborate:

    xoxo Michelle

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