DIY Your Own Designer Dresser

It's easy to transform a basic dresser into something high-style. Use this reference photo to tape your drawer fronts for this graphic X design.


If you were wondering how we created the X shape on the wooden dresser in our September issue, this photo should help you DIY the look. Copy the placement of the pieces of painter's tape as shown here, and mark each of these pieces with an asterisk. Then cover all the exposed areas of the dresser front with more painter's tape and remove the original asterisked pieces of tape to reveal the X stencil. Here's a full list of the materials and all the instructions you'll need for this DIY project.


Painter's tape in 1-inch and 1 1/2-inch widths

Ruler or tape measure

2 foam trim rollers and paint tray

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paloma

Paper towels

Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax

Lint-free rag

Sharpie permanent marker


  1. Remove drawer pulls or knobs. Create a design on the dresser front using low-tack painter's tape. Once your desired shape is in place, use a Sharpie to mark each piece of tape that's part of the design with an asterisk. Next, cover all the exposed areas of the dresser front with painter's tape. Remove the asterisked pieces of tape to reveal a stencil of your original design for painting.
  2. Dilute chalk paint with water (1 part water to 2 parts paint). Lightly roll a trim roller through it, then apply paint to a small area of your design using long, even strokes. Immediately roll over the paint with a dry foam roller to pick up excess pigment. Wipe that roller clean on a paper towel and repeat the rolling process until you achieve the desired opacity. (We made several light passes so that the grain and color of the dresser would show through our design.) Repeat the painting and paint removal process until the entire dresser front is covered.
  3. Once paint is fully dry, apply a small amount of protective clear wax over the painted areas using an end of the lint-free rag. Let the dresser dry for 24 hours before buffing to a sheen with the rag. Reinstall dresser hardware.