Easily add a floral transfer to your painted dresser for a unique look! These decor transfers are so easy to use on refinished furniture and come in pretty floral or text designs. Learn how we easily added this floral pattern to our teal painted dresser.
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Hey friends! I have a super fun furniture makeover for you today!!
This old vintage dresser was all sorts of bland and blah before we got our hands on it!
Here’s a quick picture of what it looked like when I bought it.
The finish was very orange, and it definitely needed an update!
Sooo I decided to go with the floral theme on this cute little dresser! What do you think??
I really wanted the painted finish and flowers to be chippy and old looking. I think it turned out perfect!
We used Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint in a custom mixed color for the gorgeous teal color on this dresser. Then the flowers were easily transferred onto the dresser using a Redesign with Prima Decor Transfer.
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- Thrifted Dresser
- Krud Kutter
- Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint in Kettle Cove Green and Sand (I mixed the two together)
- Budget Friendly Paint Brush
- Rose Celebration Decor Transfer by Redesign with Prima
- Water-based Poly
No matter what paint you use, it’s always always always best to prep the wood for paint.
Our favorite method is to wipe it down with Krud Kutter, then scuff sand by hand with sandpaper.
The combination of cleaning with a degreaser and scuff sanding gives paint something to hold onto.
If you skip this step, it’s very likely that you’ll end up with paint that easily chips and scratches off… even if you use chalk paint.
Once the dust from sanding is cleaned up, I always like to seal the wood with a tannin-blocking product.
We prep every single piece of furniture with a stain-blocking primer because sometimes the bleed through doesn’t show up until you’ve sealed the piece with poly.
Annnd then at that point, you basically have to redo it or touch up those places.
It’s not worth the extra hassle, and bleedthrough is not pretty!
Shellac dries super fast though! So prep doesn’t have to take very long at all!
Milk Paint – The easy way to get a chippy paint finish
Shellac also plays a big role in making the milk paint crackle, and this dresser has a lot of crackled paint!
Milk Paint creates a completely unique painted finish compared to any other paint out there.
If the conditions are right, it will resist the old finish and chip here and there, but not everywhere.
You can also make it stick to the old finish just like any other paint! Just add some Extra Bond into your mixed milk paint!
The Extra Bond will make the paint stick to the old finish, creating a completely opaque finish.
But even then, milk paint is completely unique to other types of paint!
Milk paint is also known for having a lot of variations in the color, making the painted finish look even more old and weathered.
I’ve tried a few different brands of milk paint, and I can honestly say (and no I don’t get paid to say this) that Shackteau Interiors Milk Paint is my favorite!
What really sets it apart from the rest is that Kristen of Shackteau Interiors is actually using her paint line almost everyday.
You can find her on Instagram, usually showing everyone her projects on her instagram stories! They are so fun to watch, and she is a wealth of knowledge.
She has really really pretty colors in her paint line as well!
How to Use Milk Paint on Painted Furniture
- Milk Paint comes in a powdered form. So it has to be mixed with water before you can use it.
- Mix 1 part water to 1 part powder. Mix it really well to get the clumps all mixed in.
- It also doesn’t last very long after being mixed up, so it’s best to only mix up the amount you need for the day.
- Let the mixed up milk paint sit for 10-15 minutes before you paint. It will gel up a little bit during this time.
- Paint with a high quality paint brush for better results.
- Milk paint needs to be sealed for durability and wipe-ability.
- Sand the milk painted piece of furniture down before sealing it with hemp oil, wax or water-based polyurethane.
Mixing a Custom Paint Color
This color was a custom mix of Kettle Cove Green and Sand.
To be completely honest, I’m really not sure of the exact ratio because I just kept mixing and adding until the color was perfect. But if I had to guess, it would be 1 part Kettle Cove Green to 2 parts Sand.
To mix a new color of milk paint, mix the powders together. You can test a small amount of paint by putting a sprinkle of the powder onto a paper plate and getting it wet with a drop or two of water.
Once I had the perfect paint color, I painted it onto the dresser using my Chiseled Wedge Zibra Paint Brush.
I highly recommend Zibra paint brushes if you’re on a budget but want a nice paint brush.
These paint brushes are made specifically to help get into details on things.
This dresser took a total of 3 coats of paint and I didn’t sand between coats or anything.
But I did let them dry out in the sun because heat can make the paint chip and crackle more!
Distressing the Milk Paint
When all 3 coats of paint were dry I lightly sanded all of the paint down with the 220 grit sandpaper.
Sanding after the paint has dried does two things.
It makes the paint really really smooth, AND it distresses the paint to help the paint chip more, creating an even more worn look to the paint.
Learn more about distressing painted furniture here!
If you don’t want to put a transfer over the paint, now would be the time to seal the milk paint.
BUT since we wanted to put a decor transfer on this dresser, we waited to seal the paint until after the transfer was on.
How to EASILY Create a Floral Design on Furniture
Now for the extra fun part!
I’m not going to lie, I was actually kind of nervous about it!
It was my first time using a transfer, but it went on easily and is just what I dreamed of!
I chose the Rose Celebration Redesign with Prima decor transfer for this dresser.
The transfer itself was actually just a little bit larger than the front of the dresser, but it came in 6 smaller pieces.
How to use a Decor Transfer
First, lay out where you want the design on the dresser.
I laid the dresser on it’s back, with all the drawers left inside the dresser.
Looking back, next time I will leave the dresser upright and just tape the transfers into place.
Laying the dresser on it’s back made the drawers fall back just a little bit, which made it harder to get the transfers perfect.
Don’t be afraid to cut the transfers up into smaller pieces if you don’t like one part of it, or if you need it to fit in a certain spot.
When you’re ready to transfer the design onto the dresser, just peel off the backing and place the transfer back onto the dresser.
Be super careful to not let it touch where you don’t want it to, because it will stick to the paint really easily and you won’t be able to get it back off.
When you have the transfer in place, rub it on really well with the little wooden stick that is provided and then peel the plastic off.
I worked on one section at a time, and then moved forward with the next area.
Once the majority of it was on, I went back with the scraps that I had and added the lettering here and there to fill in any gaps.
Making the Transfer look Old and Worn Out
After the transfer was completely on, I sanded it down with 220 grit sandpaper.
The sandpaper made the transfer look old and worn – exactly what I wanted!
Sealing the Dresser and Transfer
Be sure to seal the paint and the transfer with water-based poly.
The poly will give the finish extra durability, but it will also help the transfer stay on and give everything the same sheen.
You can wipe or spray the poly on, but I personally prefer to spray poly in a paint sprayer for a nice and smooth finish!
Now you can step back and admire your work!!
I’ve seen these transfers on so many different things. From furniture to decor! What would you put them on?
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- How to Apply Furniture Transfers
- How to Use Milk Paint
- The Chippy Mustard Yellow Dresser
- How to Prevent Bleed-through
- The Raised Stenciled Drawers
- How to Distress Furniture
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