How to Decoupage a Poster on a Chest of Drawers

Before I decided to start my blog back up, I was still doing repurposed furniture and furniture makeovers for family members.  Even though repurposing is my passion, I will give a piece of furniture a makeover when asked. For this project, we will take a look at how to decoupage a poster on a chest of drawers

And these particular clients were very special to my heart.  My three granddaughters, Amanda, Ashley, and Amber.  Amanda, the one who first made me a Nay Nay just turned thirteen!  Yes, a teenager!  Ashley is ten and Amber is nine.  Like my sister and I, they might as well have been twins.  

Of course, each had their style which I love!  It amazes me how three tiny humans can have different personalities and tastes.  This is makeover one of the three!

Chest of Drawers 

All three of my granddaughters are being raised on a homestead with chickens, pigs, and hunting.  I am a huge fan of them being raised by their country roots.  Amanda has been into cows lately.  She has a cow rug, a cow bedspread, and several cow pictures on her wall.

She asked me if I could do a “cow” themed dresser.  And who says no to a grandbaby?

Anyway, it was in pretty good shape other than having scratches and a few dings.  This had been sitting in my shed for some time, and now it was time to put it to use.

Black ugly chest of drawers before makeover.

Since the chest of drawers is long, I decided that I would need a cow poster to have the appropriate length.  So I took to Etsy.  After about thirty minutes of searching, I found this highland cow design.  Of course, I sent it to the boss for approval (Amanda), and she loved it!

The highland cow poster

Prepping for Paint

The first order of business was to clean the dresser, removing all the dust and spider webs (eeeek) from the bottom.  

After a good cleaning, I brought it inside and got it prepared and ready for paint.

The first thing I did was remove the drawers and the hardware.  I planned to purchase new hardware that was more “girl” appropriate.  I wasn’t feeling the dark handles.  (see the scratches!)

Removing the black pulls from the chest of drawers with a screw driver.

I lightly sanded the piece using 220 grit sandpaper, just to smooth out any scratches.  To remove the sand dust, I just wiped it down with a damp cloth.

When I lightly sand by hand, I sand in my shop inside my home. I just cover the floor with a tarp. However, if I use a sander, the job is done outside!

Painting The Cow Chest of Drawers

The color choice for the dresser was gray.  I chose Dixie Belle’s Manatee Gray.  Since the poster was black and white, I knew this would be the perfect color.  Not too dark, yet not too light.  We wanted the poster to be the main attraction for this project.

Jar of Dixie Belle Chalk Mineral Paint in Manatee Gray

I applied the first coat of paint to the drawers and the chest itself.  After allowing it to dry overnight, I applied the second coat of paint was applied.  What a beautiful gray!

The chest of drawers with one coat of paint.

Since this piece was farmhouse style, I decided to lightly distress the edges using a piece of 220-grit sandpaper, lightly sanding to remove just a tad of the gray paint to give it a more rustic look.

Decoupage a Poster on a Chest of Drawers

Now let’s take a look at how to decoupage a poster on a chest of drawers.  Honestly, decoupaging seems like a daunting, scary task, but I promise it isn’t.  Before using Mod Podge for the first time, practice on something small.  You can use napkins, scrapbook paper, just about any kind of paper or material!  After you get the hang of it, then try it on bigger pieces.

First, place the drawers back into the chest carefully and make sure they close.  Place the poster and center it on the chest.  Then, trim any access.  We used a sharp razor blade and a straight edge to trim the poster.

Measuring the poster to fit the front of my chest of drawers.

The next step is determining where to place the poster by measuring to find the center using a measuring tape.

The easiest way to apply the poster, I found, was working in small sections and having a second pair of hands (thanks D), working from the top of the chest to the bottom.

We applied the Mod Podge to the first drawer.  We added the poster and used the Mod Podge tool to flatten any bubbles to make it as smooth as possible.  Don’t worry if there are a few wrinkles here and there, it adds character!

Using my Mod Podge tool to smooth out poster on chest of drawers.

We continued the same process, drawer by drawer until the decoupaged poster was completely applied to the chest, using our Mod Podge tool to flatten out the bubbles and wrinkles as we went along.

This is what it looks like once it is applied.

How the cow poster looks applied to the chest of drawers.

Allow to dry overnight.  Then, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over the entire poster using a paintbrush and let it dry overnight until completely dry!

Finishing Up Cow Poster

The next day we took a sharp razor and cut in between the drawers. After they were cut, I sanded lightly to remove any edges that were left. In some places, there was enough edge to fold the access towards the inside of the drawer and apply Mod Podge.  Continue this process until you reach the last drawer.

Using a razor to cut the decoupaged cow poster in between the drawers

I lightly sanded the poster after it was completely dry just to give it a smooth finish.  If you’re looking for a more rustic, worn look, you can lightly sand the edges of the poster.

Hardware for the Cow Chest of Drawers

Instead of using pulls, I decided on these flower-looking knobs. They just seemed more “girly” but did have the farmhouse vibe.

D carefully measured and drilled the holes for the hardware.

White flower hardware knob for decoupaged cow poster chest of drawers

I applied wax to the exposed chest (where the poster was not applied) to seal the paint. The Mod Podge acts as a sealant for the poster itself.

My granddaughter LOVED it!  I thought it turned out amazing.  

The after decoupaged cow poster chest of drawers.

I also made her a cow print cork board from a thrift store cork board I found for $1.00 (project to come later)!

Check out this makeover, How to Make a New Bottle Look Old while you’re here, and discover my secret for adding rust!


  1. I just watched you for the first time and wow what an amazing wonderful idea with the dresser love it my mom did that stuff for us and I have a daughter now and I love the idea looking forward to doing something similar

    1. Hi Tammy! Thank you so much. If you do try it please share it with me I would love to see how it turned out 🙂

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