Not Going Out Like That

Wallpapered Furniture DIY

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This is a story about wallpaper and furniture and the love that was discovered, when the two met.

When my son was born, I had his room all set up and ready before he arrived. Not so much with #2. I had hoped the kids could share a room, and we wouldn’t have to turn our office / guest room into a baby room but then I started worrying about the kids waking each other up and having different bed times so I caved and decided to give up the office and turn it into a room for our daughter. The problem was that I did not want to go out and buy all new furniture (dressers, crib, etc) I needed to incorporate my son’s crib, which we were handing down to his baby sister. The other issue was that my husband used the office for all his clothing. His closet and dresser were both in the office because our charming pre-war home is short on closet space. So another challenge was the dresser situation. I had hunted down a shabby chic dresser on Craiglist for $150 for our baby girl, but the dresser my husband was using in the room looked like this and the dilemma was how do I get this dresser, a crib and a shabby chic dresser to all work in the same room.

This is also a pretty unattractive photo of what the room looked like with a TV stand, and a desk.

I turned to a local interior decorator for some advice. Normally I would jump all over a project like this, but at this point, I was Mom to a 5 month old premature baby who still was not sleeping, a 2 1/2 year old toddler and I had been back at work and traveling for a few months. My brain could not function in interior design world. She gave me the idea of replacing the existing dresser with ANOTHER shabby chic dresser and painting both of them the same high gloss white. Since the first shabby chic dresser was from Craigslist, I wouldn’t be able to find a second matching one so the we needed to think creatively to get the two dressers to look like they belonged in the same room. In addition to painting them the same color, a way to tie them together would be to use WALLPAPER !

I had seen beautiful wallpapered furniture before and was in love but did not want to pay $1,500-$2,000 for a dresser and was too intimidated to do it myself.

I sold our original wood dresser on Craigslist (after 2 months of posting) and found a great store called NOT TOO SHABBY in LA, that has really well priced shabby chic furniture. The owner is WONDERFUL and all her stuff is very reasonably priced. She didn’t have what I wanted but she put me on a list and called me when something similar to what I was looking for came in. The dresser she had earmarked for me was pretty plain compared to the vintage one I previously bought on Craigslist, BUT we came up with a plan. In addition to the paint, she would attach clear knobs on both of them to make them look more alike. She sold me the dresser for $160 and I paid another $60 for her to paint the one I already had, plus add the knobs and some lovely little appliques around the knob to kick the shabby chicness up a notch. Once both were painted, I applied wallpaper to the front of the drawers on the more simple dresser, and applied wallpaper to the side of the more elaborate dresser.

I used an exacto knife to cut the wallpaper to size and did some final touch ups once it was attached to the furniture. The wallpaper is from Sherwin Williams. Who knew they had a wallpaper line ! It already has adhesive on it, so you just pull off the backing and stick it on. If you get bubbles, just use a pin to prick a hole and then smooth out the bump. You can also practice on the back of a piece of furniture to get more familiar with the process.

Here is a close up of the slighlty more simple dresser with the wallpaper on the drawers and a close up of the clear knobs and appliques that were added to the slightly more elaborate, shabby chic dresser.

This was my final product. In this shot you can see why I wallpapered the front of one dresser and the side of the other. Those were the parts of the dresser most visible as you walk in the room and even though the two dressers are very different from one another, the wallpaper and paint finish tie them in together.

The rug and ornate mirror are both from Ikea and I bought some orange lacquered boxes to place on top of one of the dressers. The room already had a beautiful orange, lacquered side table (not seen in these photos) which we decided to keep so I needed to continue to tie in the orange into the room. I found inspiration in these super cute Matroshka prints from Etsy, which I framed in pre-made frames from Aaron Brothers.

I already had these big orange pillows from CB2, but then I found these black & white pillows at Marshall’s and loved the way they play off the graphic black & white wallpaper.

I love my daughters feminine, but not overly girly room now. I feel like she can continue to use this furniture even when she is over her pink & purple stage. AND if she doesn’t like these dressers one day, I would be happy to take one and place it into my own dressing room or a guest room.

Russian Doll prints are from Zeppi Prints on


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