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.
Get more DIY dresser makeovers here!
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!
Get more painting furniture tips and ideas here!
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.
Supplies Used for Easy DIY Teal Dresser with Floral 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
Prepping Dresser Before Painting
No matter what paint you use, it’s always always, always best to prep the wood for paint. Learn all about how to prepare furniture for painting here.
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.
For this dresser I used shellac. But there are other products I love to use when I have to paint indoors and don’t want the fumes and smell of shellac in my workspace.
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!
If you like the that look, check out these crackle painted furniture for ideas.
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!
Learn everything you need to know about how to use milk paint on furniture here.
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!
She has really really pretty colors in her paint line as well!
How to Use Milk Paint on 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.
How to Mix a Custom Milk 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. Learn more about mixing milk paint here.
Painting the Dresser
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.
Check out the best paint brushes for painting furniture here.
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 Painted Dresser
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 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.
*Update: I loved doing this floral transfer so much that I decided to try it again with a slightly different floral design on this chalk painted desk with floral transfer in this chalk painting furniture makeover!
Get more floral painted furniture ideas here.
How to Use a Decor Transfer
First, lay out where you want the design on the dresser. I laid the dresser on its 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 its 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. Read more about how to apply furniture transfers here.
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!
Check out the best sandpaper for furniture painting here.
Sealing the Dresser and Floral 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.
Now you can step back and admire your work!!
More Before And After Makeovers
Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.
I’ve seen these transfers on so many different things. From furniture to decor! What would you put them on?
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- Clean and scuff sand the dresser to prep for paint. Clean all the dust from sanding then seal and prime the wood with clear shellac to block stains.
- Mix powdered milk paint and water in a 1:1 ratio. Mix it really well to get the clumps all mixed in. Let the mixed up milk paint sit for 10-15 minutes before you paint. It will gel up a little bit during this time.
- Apply 3 coats of milk paint onto the dresser with a nice quality paint brush.
- Once dry, lightly sand the paint with 220 grit sandpaper to make the paint smooth and distress it a bit.
- Decide where you want the floral design on the dresser. When you have the transfer in place, rub it on really well with a wooden stick and then peel the plastic off. 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.
- You can sand down the transfer to make it look old and worn out.
- Seal everything with waterbased polyurethane. The poly will give the finish extra durability and help the transfer stay on long.
- Attach new hardware and enjoy!
More Furniture Design Ideas
- Beyond Paint Review – Sewing Table With Hidden Floral Transfer
- Navy Dresser with Textured Drawers
- Raised Stencil
- DIY Distressed Painted Dresser
- How to Decoupage Furniture with Rice Paper
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