Textured Panel Dresser Makeover

By Kate Riley May 16, 2013

I was talking with my friend who wants to update her master bedroom and her style is coastal meets modern (love!) and she was saying she could use a new dresser in the space. I mentioned I had an idea for an original piece (my latest crush is furniture with fabric texture) and asked if she’d be willing to let me create something really cool for her and she agreed.

ikea dresser makeover with blue burlap panels

Last week I headed to IKEA to pick up a basic six drawer pine dresser I know they carry in stock. I brought it home, we assembled it, and then I primed and painted it, adding blue burlap inset panels to the front for texture, color, and dimension and satin nickel ring pulls. It’s quite a transformation and totally reinvented with a modern look!

ikea dresser makeover centsational girl


This project is in partnership with ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape and The Home Depot to kick off the Summer DIY Blog Hop. To recreate a similar version, here are the supplies you’ll need and the step by step to go with it. All supplies purchased at The Home Depot (except the fabric, pulls, and dresser).

painter's tape, scotchblue painter's tape, tape

Supplies:  Zinsser Cover Stain Primer (spray or brush on); Rust-Oleum Gloss Enamel paint (quart and spray); angled 1.5” paintbrush; foam rollers; mineral spirits; ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape; burlap or linen fabric; spray adhesive; 3/4” pine screen moulding; miter saw or miter box; lightweight spackling; wire brad nails; ring pulls. Optional: 1.5” x .75” wood trim for sides.

First, we assembled the IKEA dresser which takes about an hour. I wanted to see a little more definition on the sides of the piece especially around the drawers so I added a 1½” x ¾” inch piece of wood to beef up the legs on the sides.

ikea dresser

side of dresser


I don’t paint the sides of drawers or the unseen inside of furniture, so to keep any primer or paint off of those parts I used the ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape to protect them. scotchblue tape to line drawers

My go-to primer is Zinsser Cover Stain (perfect for raw wood). I roll one coat on vertical surfaces but two coats on horizontal or frequently used surfaces for greater durability.

zinsser cover stain primer

zinsser primer on raw wood


Tape off the internal sliding mechanism hardware to keep it free of primer or paint so you can roll it on quickly and without worry.

scotchblue tape for internal hardware


prime outside scotchtape to protect


I wanted to use a gloss white paint so I chose the Rust-oleum formulas in spray and quart. After the primer was dry, I rolled the paint on the dresser with a foam roller in very light coats to get a smooth finish. Note, these are oil-based formulas, not a big deal with a spray but with any brush on formula you’ll need to clean paintbrushes with mineral spirits or paint thinner (or simply choose a different water based white paint for easy cleanup). I like to use enamel paints on furniture for a lasting and durable treatment and this version has a nice gloss finish.

white enamel paint

I grabbed enough of this screen moulding at 58¢ per foot to spray paint and to attach to the surface of each drawer.

screen moulding and nails


I trimmed the screen moulding with a miter saw (but a simple $9 miter box at Home Depot will cut it precisely for you too).  The blue burlap I purchased online and trimmed to the size of the panels created with the moulding.

trim blue burlap


To attach the burlap to the drawers, use a light coat of spray adhesive then secured it on all sides with the painted trim and small brad nails every 12 inches. Touch up the corners with lightweight spackling and paint over the nails to disguise them.

attach with wire brads

It turned out so gorgeous, I love this unique dresser with textured panels!

blue burlap panels on dresser


Light blue burlap and ring pulls both purchased online.

burlap panels on dresser

blue burlap panel ikea dresser makeover


This project brought to you in partnership with The Home Depot and ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape. Follow the Summer Blog Hop by liking the ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape’s Facebook Page and follow the ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape Pinterest Page for all the latest ideas and inspiration!  Be sure to like The Home Depot’s Facebook Page too for home improvement ideas and specials throughout the summer.

painter's tape, scotchblue painter's tape, tape

painter's tape, scotchblue painter's tape, tape


  1. This looks amazing, Kate! Now I want to go out a buy an IKEA dresser and replicate it. Thanks for the inspiration (and great detailed instructions!).

  2. Wow it looks amazing!
    Could you provide an estimate of the cost for the project?
    thanks! :)

    • Hi Aryane, the dresser is $149 at IKEA (less with a family discount membership) and the pulls are $4.47 each which adds up quick when you use 12! Burlap is $6 a yard (I bought 2 just in case). I already had the primer but the paints were $20 and the molding was $25 so roughly $245 or so?

  3. This is so gorgeous, you’d never know how it started! And I can’t stop looking at that beautiful blue ombre lamp on the dresser. Do you know where that’s from?

  4. Gorgeous! I had no idea what “coastal meets modern” would look like, but if that’s it, I’m all in! Very inspiring to see something so plain out of the box get such a custom look.

    • Thank you Sharon! I didn’t either until I started looking around online. Joanns also has a few colored versions in their store but the quality is rougher than the version I used which feels and looks a bit more like linen. But I think it would also be pretty in the basic tan burlap too!

  5. Oh My goodness I love this!!! This would go perfectly in my daughters’s room. I will have to try to replicate this here at home!

  6. I love this! I’m in the process of making over a lot of our IKEA furniture. These are great tips!

    Thank you!

  7. Oh my! I am resisting the urge to drive to IKEA right now! You are an incredibly creative person Kate! Where did you find that burlap? That lamp is just PERFECT for that dresser! Ah! I literally have chills! Nail on the head girl!

  8. I have a chest that has been screaming for a make over!! CAN’T WAIT to do this! Now the decision ~ nail heads or trim…nail heads or trim…. hmmmm. LOVE IT! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Simply fabulous! I like that you don’t paint the insides of the drawers etc. I have painted those areas in the past, but sometimes the drawers then stick. I felt badly not painting the insides, but now I don’t!
    Thx Kate!

  10. This dresser is fabulous! I bought a RAST dresser a year ago with plans to add trim like something I saw on Pinterest, but I like this fabric treatment even better. Hopefully this will be the inspiration that I need to get it done :).
    I have to comment, too, that I looked at the source of the burlap and saw it comes from a store in my hometown of Winfield, Alabama. It is a very small town and I am always proud when you mention warehousefabricsinc. It is run by several older ladies that all remind me of my mother. The burlap is very nice and I know they appreciate your business.

    • Oh how nice to read this Kim, say hello to the people over at Warehouse Fabrics for me!

  11. Another creative & gorgeous makeover job! I wish I lived closer than 5 hours to an IKEA!! A couple questions for you. 1. Where did you use the spray enamel paint? 2. Can the roll-on enamel paint be tinted/colorized?

    • Hi Shannon, I used the spray enamel on the moulding (it was faster) but to save the $$ you could certainly paint it by hand with the brush on formula. Such a great question about tinting, I think the oil based enamel would have to be compatible with the tints at Home Depot but I’ll find out for sure from my contact at RustOleum.

      ** Update: this is the response from RustOleum: “I spoke with our chemists, and unfortunately we would not recommend tinting our Stops Rust Enamel paint. Home Depot does not have the colorant formula since it is not a tint-base product.”
      Now you know!

  12. That turned out really great! Love the turquoise, I just bought a burlap lamp shade in a similar color from World Market today.

  13. Wow – love this idea! So creative and the fabric really softens up the wood. Great job as always!

  14. What a difference!!! I love that you took a basic IKEA dresser and turned it way up. Fabric panels in that shade of blue with the white paint and drawer pulls….it really is beach meets modern. Kudos, CentsationalGirl!

  15. This is my favorite transformation yet! This dresser is so amazing. I love the blue burlap. Thanks for the step by step instructions and inspiration.

  16. Sensational make-over, Kate! It’s a pity we don’t get all the tools for the same here in India, but this summer I’m headed to Maryland to visit my sister and she wants me to help her with re-doing her daughter’s room and T.V. lounge. I’ll be looking up you posts for DIY guidance for sure! xx meenal

  17. I rarely comment on blogs, but that may be the most beautiful dresser I’ve ever seen.

  18. This looks amazing! Beautiful work–I need a piece for our front room. I wonder how I could do this with a cottage/farmhouse/traditional look. Perhaps a linen/burlap in tan, and a darker more “bin pull” style handle? But what color paint??? I have black accents and you can’t go wrong with black right? Or an off-white? (Thinking aloud to many people here!) LOVE IT! I am saving this one for some thought!

  19. Wow, love, love, love…. you never disappoint!!! i’m sure your friend is just thrilled :) I would love to see everything else you did in the room. Your a decorating genius Kate!

  20. What a stunning makeover Kate! I have a dresser that needs a facelift and you’ve inspired me to try this! Thanks for your detailed tutorial and pictures!

  21. Absolutely beautiful! I love your projects. They always look so ….well….CLEAN :) And pretty!

    If you don’t mind my sharing, this reminds me of a project I just did recently with a wooden kids kitchen from the thrift store. I also used the miter box from Home Depot (and did a little video on how to use it), and I used vintage fabric and mitered pieces to line the front for a cute vintage look. I would soooo love if you checked it out, Kate! :)


    Your site is amazing, by the way! But you already know that ;)


  22. You are really amazing! I love your creativity. It totally amazed me how you make it looks so easy to do. It is really inspiring. I wish I can try doing my own version. Thanks for the tutorial! :-)

  23. Hi Kate, That is beautiful. I must ask where did the lamp come from? Love it all. You are so talented. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Kate-
    As always you did a fantastic job on this diy project. I think I will copy you on this one but wanted to ask you a questions first……how would you rate the quality of the Tarva dresser?

    • Hi Beth, thanks! The Tarva is less deep than the IKEA Hemnes (a dresser we have in my boy’s room) which retails for over $100 more. The Hemnes is more substantial and much heavier, the Tarva is solid pine but a softer surface than the Hemnes. It assembled easily but it’s top heavy so it comes with an earthquake strap. It’s pretty decent quality.

  25. Wow! This is simply amazing! Thank you for shaing. I’m inspired and can’t wait to start a new project. Where did you buy the fabric?

    • Hi Taylor, I linked to the source of the blue burlap and ring pulls above the second to last pic.

  26. Kate– I’ve been following your blog for a while and I’m hoping to do a few of my own IKEA hacks this summer! I love this dresser– the fabric looks great! Even my husband likes it! I’m wondering how you measured/cut the fabric — what dimensions did you use? I’m thinking of doing something similar with that dresser and maybe the nightstands, too. :)

  27. Love it – I bet your friend is thrilled. I thought when I first looked at the blue that it was grasscloth. I had no idea burlap came in different colors. I know it is pretty bad to ravel so how did you handle that, please?

    • Hi Debbie, it depends on the quality of the burlap. This version is smoother and more tightly woven, more like linen. But it stays in place with the help of the spray adhesive I mentioned. If you’re careful about how you trim the ends (take it slow!) the moulding covers the edges nicely.

  28. Hi Kate,

    What a great project. I had the same idea to do this on an extra dresser in the guest room with left over grass cloth wallpaper and moulding. Now I know how fabulous it will look!

  29. Beautiful! I love the finished piece. I’m thinking of doing this with some of the specialty burlap I’ve recently seen. I may use nail head trim around it instead of the screen trim for a different look.

  30. Kate… you are just too amazing! I remember when you went to the Minwax conference (a while back) to learn the latest tips in stain products, and I was thinking how great it would be if you hosted a conference chock-full of CG projects! So today, after seeing yet another inspired Kate idea, I started putting change in a coffee can… just in case you ever do it. I’m sure you’d have a waiting list a mile long. But if you ever do it, I’ll be the first to send in my registration fee! You rock!

    • Aw so nice Ally, thanks! Not planning any conference anytime soon, you’re sweet to think of it! I wear all my creativity here, so so glad you enjoyed the project!!

  31. Drop-dead Stunning! So creative. Love the old-fashioned pulls but in modern nickel. Perfect colors for coastal modern.

  32. This is incredible! You have such vision when it comes to furniture makeovers. I am in the middle of rehabbing a dresser as a media stand and the drawer fronts don’t look so pretty right now. This idea might just save my dresser!

  33. This is beautiful. I have an unfinished bureau that is in desperate need of being refinished. Looks like I found my next project!

  34. This is one of the cutest makeovers I’ve seen in a long time! Excellent:)

  35. Kate, I can’t keep up with your amazing ideas! An overlay project was on my to do list, now this beautiful transformation may be first. Love the added touches you did with the molding. Did you add that center leg support? I didn’t see it in the original picture. Just wonderimg. It is such a stunning piece, and such a nice gift to do for your friend. I bet she loves it! I know I do :)

    • Hi Stephanie, thanks so much! The leg support is part of the dresser, don’t know why it’s missing from the “before” pic on IKEA’s site !

  36. It looks gorgeous. Can you possibly tell me where the canvas picture came from?


  37. Lovely transformation. I like that its all wood and not partical board but your transformtaion made it even more pleasing with not a whole lot of extras. Simplly beautiful :-)

  38. I love the contrast of wood, metal, fabric, and paint in this project! I’ve used the Cover Stain primer on wood too (although mine was previously varnished knotty pine wall paneling) and it works great. Thanks for sharing!

  39. this is amazing. I would love to try this. thank for the inspiration.
    I have been inspired by your blog to try and make some headboards which came out beautiful.. I also undertook a bedroom makeover- paint, floor, molding and just finished. I feel great about it. This dresser would really finish the room….

  40. My daughter wants me to do this dresser remodel for her room. Where did you get the blue burlap and ring pulls? I have not seen any online. Maybe I’m overlooking something.

  41. Wow! Love the way you framed out the drawers and added the colored burlap! Gorgeous!

  42. Late to the party, but impressed nonetheless. I saw some fancy ($1200) burlap-covered dressers today and came home to research a DIY alternative. This is fabulous. The dressers I saw in person were coated with something, so the burlap doesn’t hold dirt. Can you think of what that top coating would be? Could you ever poly over fabric?

  43. Just Wow! I love this idea!

    To answer the previous poster’s question, I had a trial and error experience sealing canvas when I was making journal covers where I actually mounted the canvass to cardstock with spray adhesive and fed the canvass through my regular inkjet printer to print it with original photography. It worked greater but the the ink then had to be sealed. I first tryed fabric medium from the art supply store but I ended up the a weird shinyish plasticy texture similar to oilcloth which was not the organic canvas texture I was hoping for. What actually worked was to spray each piece with clear matte spray paint and then iron over it with parchment paper to smooth out the texture and settle it into the fabric fibrers. After something like three coats the surface was impervious to dirt and water stains but retained its organic texture. Hope that helps.

  44. Thanks to you, my husband and I are working on this very dresser make-over as we speak. While we’re waiting for the paint to dry, I’m wondering if you can tell me the measurements for the molding? How did you get it so straight? We can use a leveler and try to mark where it goes and it looks like there’s maybe an inch between the edge and the molding but if you have further information, we would appreciate it. Thanks!

    • Hi Meg, I made a template of the molding on one drawer then cut the rest the same size, but I don’t have exact measurements. I think they’re about 1″ inside the outer drawer frame.

  45. It’s beautiful!

    But that gorgeous ombre lamp really steals the scene. Is that an IKEA hack as well? Di you publish a tutorial for it? I’d love to try my hand at it!

  46. I love this but why not buy a nicer quality dresser for $50 off Craigslist or a yard sale as your starting point ?

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