Decorate Painted Furniture With Adhesive Drawer Liner (2023)

Hey it’s Furniture Fixer Upper Day! My furniture makeover features a tropical flower design and blue and green paint. Another of my projects went through a lot of plan changes only to come back to the original plan. That’s how it goes in my world. The floral design is by way of a vinyl adhesive drawer liner! You guys know I can’t even draw a stick figure much fewer paint flowers.

I used the wet distress method to showcase the layer of green paint underneath the blue. There is a video tutorial later in the post showing exactly how I did the wet distressing.

Decorate Painted Furniture With Adhesive Drawer Liner (1)

This is how the wardrobe looked before painting. I can’t even remember where I bought it or the price. The piece has been sitting in the workshop for a long time.

Decorate Painted Furniture With Adhesive Drawer Liner (2)

As you can see the mirror is missing from the wardrobe. The JTS cut a piece of Luan to use in place of the mirror. That’s where the adhesive drawer paper comes in.

Decorate Painted Furniture With Adhesive Drawer Liner (3)

Before cleaning my furniture pieces I check all the drawers and the casing of the furniture to see if anything needs repairing. More often than not there is something to fix. I shot a few nails in the side using my Ryobi Brad Nailer and that’s all it took.

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I’ve been wanting to paint a piece of furniture a bold green color and decided this was the piece. I picked a color and had it mixed in the new Behr Scuff Defense paint. The color is Basil Pesto and I think the color chip is from PPG. I’ll double-check and correct the info here if I need to.

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The plan was to paint a layer of green paint then paint a layer of turquoise paint over the green then distress the top layer of paint heavily. I choose those colors to match the colors of the drawer liner paper. Well, it had been a while since I looked at the paper, and imagine my surprise when I pulled it out, the greens were a muted color and the turquoise was not turquoise but a dark baby blue color.

The Behr paint was mixed in a semi-gloss sheen just because I wanted a change. I decided maybe not to do the two-layer paint color and found white drawer knobs for the wardrobe. I wasn’t feeling that look at all so on to a new plan.

The problem with layering paint colors is to make sure the two colors don’t fight each other. What I mean by this is it’s best not to have two bold colors like the bold green and then a bold blue paint layered because the two strong colors will not complement each other. The finished look is likely to be glaring!

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Of course, I didn’t have the perfect color blue so I pulled out paints and started mixing. I don’t know why professional painters say this is wrong, hahaha. I mix all kinds of sheens, paint types, and brands. In the photo above you can see all the paint colors I mixed together. I started with the semi-gloss off-white and added the two blue colors and just kept mixing. I first had the paint too dark so I added more white. Next, I noticed the color looked dull and muted, not a cool shade. Do you know what color I mixed with the blue to give a cooler shade? Yep, pink and then a bit of red because the light pink wasn’t working.

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It took a while but I finally got a color I was happy with. The color ended up being a medium baby blue, not too bright and bold. The color matched the blue in the drawer liner really well considering the paper had various shades of blue.

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When I got to this point with the wardrobe painted blue I liked the color and decided to not layer the paint.

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I went on a 4-day trip to a blog conference and when I returned, I changed my mind once again. On to the distressing…..wet distressing using Simple Green and sandpaper. This is where the video comes in really handy because you can see exactly what I did. Keep in mind that the paint had been curing for several days. The longer paint cures, the harder it is to remove.

For this process, I had to spray the Simple Green onto the paint and let it sit for about half a minute. Next, I wiped it all off with a rag then I grabbed the sandpaper and started distressing it by hand. It worked pretty well but it was really difficult to remove that top layer of paint even in small bits. I kept thinking about how big the wardrobe was and I pulled out my power sander to see if it would work or would remove both layers of paint. Thank goodness it worked great.

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With all the distressing done it was time to replace the drawer pulls. I ordered the pretty blue ones from Amazon. The pack of 12 was $16. Not bad, and the knobs are so pretty.

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The wardrobe had those two cabinet doors with places for keys but the keys were gone. Maybe I could just add knobs to those holes?

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Worked out great. I didn’t have to do any drilling or hole filling. Below is the video of how I wet-distressed the paint....

How To Wet Distress Paint For A Layered Paint Finish

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Last part of the project was covering the luan board the JTS cut to fill the mirror hole. It’s easy to apply the paper when you don’t have to worry about working around corners and angles. I stuck the paper to the board and used a razor tool to trim off the excess.

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Vintage Wardrobe painted blue

The board fit perfectly into the mirror space and all I had to do was use a heavy duty stapler and put several staples in the backside of the door panel. Easy. So, what do you guys think about the makeover? I’m not going to lie. I love it.

It is definitely different than anything I’ve done recently. I still plan to use the bold green on a piece and not cover it up. I may mix a bit or white paint with it though. The layered paint look on this piece is subtle and it doesn’t show up very well in the photos but it’s there.

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The vinyl paper is listed on my Amazon page also and after looking at it on Amazon again I notice a difference in the design on the paper I got and the paper online. You might notice the floral design on the wardrobe has a blurred or 3-dimensional look around the leaves. This is not what it looks like on Amazon. I guess it’s okay but not as sharp looking.

Okay, leave a note if you have the time then head out on the Furniture Fixer Upper Tour. The blog links are below the “before” makeover photo collage…..

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Painting Over High Gloss Furniture - Salvaged Inspirations
Farmhouse Hutch Makeover - Confessions of a Serial DIY'er
Stencil Furniture With Chalk Paint - Girl In The Garage
Paint Furniture With Tropical Vibe - Petticoat Junktion (you are here)

As always, thanks for being here, Kathy

Kathy Owen


Author:Kathy Owen (Petticoat Junktion)
Kathy is the founder of, a home décor blog focused on repurposing and upcycling furniture, old hardware, rusty stuff, and thrifty finds into unique home décor. Kathy’s projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Read more about Kathy here.


What is the best material to line dresser drawers with? ›

Give drawers an upgrade by lining them with a soft and protective material—like felt or leather—which will protect the interior surface from dings and scratches (especially if you're storing valuables like jewelry). For a waterproof alternative, try colorful oilcloth.

What can I use instead of a drawer liner? ›

DIY Drawer and Cabinet Liners
  • Wax paper.
  • Wrapping paper.
  • Extra rolls of wallpaper.
  • Leftover linoleum flooring sheets.
  • Starched pieces of leftover fabric.
Aug 23, 2020

How do you put contact paper on dresser drawers? ›

So how do you line a drawer with contact paper? To line a drawer with contact paper, use removable contact paper that is measured to fit the drawer. Gently peel away the backing and smooth the contact paper into place within the drawer, cutting away any overlapping pieces of paper.

Are drawer liners a good idea? ›

Liners Protect Your Drawers + Shelves

From helping stop water damage in drawers or shelves like in the kitchen + bathroom to preventing stains from oils, seasonings or spilles — drawer liners provide a strong layer of protection. In many instances, they'll even help stop scratches.

Are drawer liners worth it? ›

Not only will the liners protect the wood from being damaged; but it also makes it easier to wipe down and keep these areas clean. If you want to keep a very clean, scratch-free kitchen, invest in the highest quality kitchen drawer liners of 2023.

Why use dresser drawer liners? ›

Liners are tough pieces of material, often vinyl, which create a layer between your dresser and the outside world. Anything dropped in or sliding around the drawer will not be able to damage the paper like the unfinished wood. Additionally, this tight seal over the wood will stop dust and grime from staining.

Will contact paper stick to paint? ›

Contact paper can be painted over but an appropriate primer must be used. Ordinary oil or latex paints will not stick very well, so a quality primer-sealer is essential for a long-lasting job and an eminently paintable surface!

Can you put peel and stick wallpaper on dresser? ›

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.

How do you stick paper to wood furniture? ›

Attach the paper to the furniture Paint an even coat of Mod Podge onto your furniture with a foam brush. Then quickly lay the paper on it. You will need to burnish the paper to make sure that it adheres well — do this by rubbing the edge of a credit card all over the paper while applying pressure.

How do you get paper to stick to wood? ›

Pour a thick line of tacky glue onto the wood.

Tacky glue is an extra thick type of glue that is perfect for adhering paper to wood. It's sometimes called PVA glue. This type is the best choice because other watery glues will make the paper bubble up.

Is adhesive or non adhesive shelf liner better? ›

When it comes to the best shelf liners, non-adhesive vinyl is what most professional organizers will pick, including the Order by Kate team. Vinyl is easy to clean and protects your surfaces from scratches and stains. Non-adhesive options can be reused and are typically more durable than adhesive options.

What can I use instead of contact paper? ›

The easiest way to do this craft is using clear contact paper. If you don't happen to have contact paper lying around the house, you can use clear packing tape and wax paper.

Do drawer liners go bumps up or down? ›

There is no right or wrong side. Either side can be the surface, it is a personal preference, however most of our users prefer the textured side up to allow for air circulation.

How long do drawer liners last? ›

If you open your drawers an average of once or twice per day, you can expect our scented dresser drawer liners to last about six to nine months.

Can you wash drawer liners? ›

Shelf liner is an easy way to protect shelves, cabinets and dresser drawers from wear and tear. It keeps surfaces scratch-free and prevents spills or drips from damp dishes from causing damage to shelves and cabinets. It's easily cleaned with a damp cloth or can be thrown in the washing machine—simply wash and re-use!

Are adhesive shelf liners good? ›

Adhesive shelf liners are a more permanent solution, and they have a sticky backing that makes them stick to the shelf. This type of liner usually has a smooth, easy-to-clean surface and will stay in place for several years. Cleaning: One of the main benefits of shelf liners is that they're easy to clean.

How do you make adhesive shelf liner stick? ›

  1. Step 1: Prepare your surfaces. ...
  2. Step 2: Layout your adhesive contact paper for proper fitment. ...
  3. Step 3: Peel back a small strip of the backing of your adhesive contact paper. ...
  4. Step 4: Apply pressure with a squeegee to apply exposed liner to surface. ...
  5. Step 5: Continue to remove backing in small segments.

Can you wash non adhesive shelf liner? ›

Non-Adhesive EasyLiner® Shelf Liners Details

The grip surface top and bottom provides cushioning and protection while also holding items in place. These are machine washable for easy cleanup.

Does shelf liner leave residue? ›

According to Kitchen Magic, most shelf liners with an incredibly sticky bottom leave a sticky residue on your shelves, which can be incredibly hard to clean. In fact, vigorously scrubbing the residue can actually cause you to damage your cabinets.

How do you remove left over adhesive? ›

Vegetable or canola oil can work wonders, as can peanut butter or mayonnaise. Spread it on, let it soak into the residue for about an hour, then wipe it away. For a tougher clean, try rubbing alcohol or vodka. Let it fully permeate the unwanted residue, then rub away completely with a cloth.

Should you paint the sides of dresser drawers? ›

All four sides of each face should be painted. Give them a couple of coats. The first drawer should be dry by the time you get to it again. So you can slowly paint each of them, making sure that no paint drips or bubbles.

Should I line my pantry shelves? ›

Helps Prevent Moisture Damage to Cabinets & Drawers

If you don't have a liner on your cabinet shelves, you can do some damage by putting away damp dishes. The water will soak into the shelf and leave a small raised area. Don't ask me how I know this. Moral of the story: a liner will prevent water and moisture damage.

Why are top drawers lined with velvet? ›

Felt lining keeps items in place as you open and close the drawer, preventing items from tangling and keeping them free from scratches. Dovetail joinery utilizes interlocking wood to ensure strength and durability.

Can I use Windex to apply contact paper? ›

She suggest lightly spraying the countertop with Windex before applying the contact paper to allow it to slip and slide on the surface easily. Once you have it in place, use a squeegee to push out the moisture underneath!

Can you use soapy water to contact paper? ›

Most contact paper is made to withstand cleaning with soap and water, so you should be able to wash it with standard cleaning materials. If any seams start to peel up over time, they may be patched with a new piece of contact paper.

How do you remove contact paper from painted wood? ›

You can use an adhesive remover to get the adhesive off on the wood. If the wood is well sealed with a good quality varnish, you should be able to apply and remove the contact paper with minimal damage. However, if the paint or varnish quality is not great, the paint will peel off with the contact paper.

Will peel and stick wallpaper stick to furniture? ›

Peel and stick wallpaper has risen in popularity for a variety of reasons. It's easy to apply, removes cleanly, and it can be applied to multiple surfaces including wood furniture.

Can you use self adhesive wallpaper on furniture? ›

Using peel and stick wallpaper is a great option for updating furniture. The paper can be removed without damage should you change your mind down the road. You can apply peel and stick wallpaper to the front, sides, top of furniture, or even to the insides of a drawer, for example.

What surfaces can you use contact paper on? ›

  • Tile floors. If you're a renter (or basically just someone with a non-renovated bathroom), the woes of bad floors plague you. ...
  • Picture frames. ...
  • Flat-panel doors. ...
  • Non-stainless appliances (that you wish were stainless) ...
  • Furniture. ...
  • More furniture. ...
  • Even more furniture! ...
  • You guessed it!
Jul 23, 2020

What can you do with adhesive paper? ›

Contact paper is an adhesive vinyl that is used for decorating, covering, protecting and lining drawers, shelves and other flat surfaces.

Can I use Mod Podge on contact paper? ›

Use Mod Podge

Mod podge is a sealant that can be used on various surfaces, including contact paper. It's easy to use and will protect your contact paper from the elements. First, apply a thin layer to the back of the contact paper to use a mod podge. Then, smooth it out with a brush or your fingers.

What is the best adhesive for paper to wood? ›

If you need to attach paper to a wood surface, try using Elmer's Wood Glue. Polyvinyl resin glue is similar to white school glue and can be used on many different surfaces, including paper and wood. You won't need any other supplies for this project – just make sure all parts are clean and dry before starting.

What kind of glue to use on painted wood? ›

Polyurethane Construction Adhesive (4-Pack)

How do you stick something to wood? ›

Using PVA glue for wood

PVA glues are great for use with porous substances such as wood. PVA wood adhesive is specially formulated to penetrate wood fibers, resulting in glue bonds that can be even stronger than the wood itself. PVA glues create durable joints and keeps wood looking great.

What is paper adhesive? ›

8 Dec 2022. Self-adhesive paper is a type of paper that has an adhesive backing. This adhesive allows the paper to be attached to surfaces without the need for tape or glue. Self-adhesive paper is available in a variety of colours, textures, and sizes to suit any need.

Does wet paper stick to wood? ›

If a piece of paper left on wood furniture becomes moist, such as when a drink spills on it, that paper may stick to the wood if it is left to dry in place, almost as if glued down. The same thing can happen if using paper as a coaster for a hot pan or beverage.

How do you stick paper to paper without glue? ›

Bobby pins will work better for larger ammounts of paper, and flat hair clips (pictured) will work better for fewer.

Do you put Modge podge over or under paper? ›

Apply Mod Podge to the back of the paper or to the project surface and press the paper firmly to the surface, let dry completely. (Do NOT apply a top coat until the paper has dried completely to the surface.)

Will Mod Podge seal paper to wood? ›

Mod Podge may be used to decoupage paper onto wood in much the same way it works with paper-on-paper projects, but the wood surface must be smooth and free of dirt and debris for it to adhere well. Mod Podge also acts as a sealer atop your handcrafted creations, so it can be used to seal the decoupaged surface as well.

What material should be used for drawer interiors? ›

Poplar is a great all-around choice for drawer box construction. It is stable, durable, and much less expensive than most hardwoods. The color of poplar heartwood ranges from a creamy white to a yellowish tan or brown. It is very easy to work with and has straight, uniform grain.

What do you finish inside drawers with? ›

Use a low-odor finish. Shellac, lacquer, or a water-based finish work best for sides, backs, and bottoms.

What finish is best for drawer interior? ›

Lacquer. The easiest finish for your kitchen drawers is lacquer. It is easy to apply and can either be sprayed or painted on.

Do you paint the inside of dresser drawers? ›

Paint the insides of drawers.

Depending on how detailed you want to get, you may want to paint the inside of your drawers. Use a brush to get into the corners, and start with the bottom drawers—leave those open to dry as you work your way up the dresser.

Can you use fabric for drawer liners? ›

To make your own DIY dresser drawer liners, you'll first want to find the right fabric. You can pick any kind of upholstery fabric and there are always plenty of design options to choose from! I love Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's for fabric but I was pleasantly surprised to find both of the fabrics in this post at Walmart.

What finish to use on a dresser? ›

Lacquer, specifically pre-catalyzed lacquer, is considered by many professional woodworkers to be the best finish for hardwood furniture, in terms of balance between beauty, protective qualities and ease of application and care.

What to put in dresser vs chest of drawers? ›

A chest of drawers tends to be tall and narrower, while dressers generally are shorter and wider, with more defined storage options for clothes, linens, etc. So, when a corner chest of drawers can be used to store anything in a bedroom, living room or office, dressers with mirrors are more suitable for large bedrooms.

Should I use shellac or polyurethane? ›

Shellac – Shellac is best used on lighter woods where durability is not a top priority. This finish is easy to apply, dries quickly, and is best on lighter-colored woods. Polyurethane – Polyurethane is a more durable finish and is recommended for heavier-use areas where moisture is a concern.

What is the most popular finish for furniture? ›

Varnish is one of the best wood finishes on the market. Not only does it give your furniture and floors a high-glossy appearance, but it also protects your surfaces from scratches, stains, and water damage. While varnish is available in a variety of shades, it is typically clear or has very little color.

What paint is best for drawers? ›

Latex paints are often the best choice for kitchen cabinets, especially acrylic paints. Water-based acrylic paint will have no chemical odor, unlike oil-based paint, and is water-resistant and easy to clean -- all-important distinctions for working in a kitchen space.

Do drawer liners prevent Mould? ›

Drawer liners prevent moisture gathering in enclosed spaces, but in that process, the liners soak up water from the air. You must replace your liners every three to six months to prevent mold and other contaminants from ruining your belongings. Drawer liners are a simple way to upgrade specific areas of your home.

Can wrapping paper be used as drawer liners? ›

You can make your own drawer liners rather simply by using pretty wrapping paper.


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