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technique: painted “lace” dresser


As mentioned, I am fond of dressers.  I wanted to do E.’s first room in pale colors and antiques and this dresser became a beautiful focal point in the room.  The photographer who took E.’s two-year pictures thought it would make a great prop.  I think she was right.

Anyway, here’s how I did it:

You’ll Need:

  • Two contrasting paints – your main background paint, and a second, contrasting SPRAY paint (spray paints come in a wide variety of colors now – available at Walmart, Joanns, or Lowe’s)
  • A half to a yard or so of inexpensive lace (I found mine at Walmart)
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • The usual tools – paintbrush, sandpaper, etc.
  1. Start with a piece that’s ready to paint: sanded down, cleaned off, hardware removed, etc. Remove the drawers and stand them on their backs for separate painting.
  2. Brush, roll, or spray paint the entire piece and drawers in your main color (I chose a chalky white). 
  3. Once dry, lightly spray the back of your lace with a temporary spray adhesive and lay the lace over the drawer.  Press smooth with your hands.  You can do one drawer at a time, or buy enough lace to cut as many pieces as you have drawers.
  4. Lightly spray even strokes over the lace with your contrasting spray paint (I chose a beige-y pink), being careful not to spray too close to the piece, until you’ve achieved the desired effect.  I didn’t want a very solid pink, so the variations in the spray turned out well.
  5. Wait a few minutes to dry. Carefully remove the lace and DONE!


P.S.  I thought I was so clever when I decided to do this several years ago.  Only a few months after I finished it, I saw Debbie Travis do something similar on an episode of Painted House and I totally felt "scooped."  Kinda like that commercial – "I invented that first." tee hee.

Amanda - Beautiful! Stumbled upon your blog tonight, I’ll be a frequent reader from now on. :)

charlotte - o, it’s so darling…so perfect for E! well done!

Christine - It is beautiful. Looks like you are getting set in your new home.

Joelle - this is so cool that i went and bought an old dresser and my hubby is right now sanding it so i can try this technique (or, rather, so i can watch him do it … i’m 37 weeks preggo and not supposed to be painting). can’t wait to add it to the nursery decor!

Casey - love this idea! I think I might use this idea for the drawers on my girls’ new beds

Brenna - Exactly the effect I was looking for and sounds super easy! Bless You!

Sam - I’m just about to try this technique on a little vanity and am glad I did. I see you just did the drawer fronts, which is a much better idea than what I was planning! Thanks!

Sam - I came across your post and had to comment how nice your dresser looks. I saw that episode of Debbie Travis and thought “what a cool idea!” I originally was going to do the whole little vanity I have, but saw yours had just the drawer fronts and thought that’s a much better idea. :)

Retro Jordan - In overcast conditions the skylight is always blue (clear skies are needed for the pink light) and it is generally much darker, with night falling much more quickly.