Embossing Furniture

Are you tired of boring furniture? There are many painting techniques for furniture, and embossing furniture is a great way to add texture and dimension to your home decor. It involves pressing decorative patterns into your furniture for a personalized touch. This is perfect for giving new life to old or plain furniture, as well as creating one-of-a-kind statement pieces.

Here’s a step by step tutorial for embossing your furniture so you can transform it and add some character to your home.

vintage wooden chest of drawers with 4 drawers before makeover

Here’s what the chest of drawers looked like before. We transformed this cute little chest into something much more magical.

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Embossing is great for those drawers or parts of old furniture that are damaged because you can cover them up!

But it’s also a great way to turn your boring furniture into something that has so much character. The textured patterns will give your furniture a unique and eye-catching look that will make it stand out in any room.

Another great benefit of embossing is its versatility. You can create any design you want by simply using different embossing tools, from floral designs to geometric patterns.

Plus, you have the option to paint over the embossed areas with your desired color, making it easy to fit into any room’s color scheme.

Aren’t these cute little chests of drawers just the cutest? It’s definitely a petite little thing and would be adorable in a little girls room or even an entryway or in that small space that needs a little somethin’.

Supplies Used When Embossing Furniture

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Prepare Furniture for Paint

These cute old dressers have a ton of character because of how old they are.

Some of these were built over 100 years ago, when power tools weren’t a thing, so everything was done by hand, which creates so much character.

Some things need fixin’ to make it more sturdy and strong, and some things should be left alone to keep the piece true to its original beauty.. right??

When we brought it home, one corner of the top was broken off.

Luckily the corner piece was still attached with a nail, so we took off the top, glued the corner piece back to the main piece, and reattached the top to the dresser.

Then we reinforced the sides and even filled in a large gap on one side of the dresser with Bondo. Learn more about how to repair damaged furniture here.

Get the Secrets!

Grab this super convenient How to Repair Furniture Ebook with all of our secrets on how to repair furniture for only $14.

You can print it out and have instant access whenever you come across damaged furniture, and know exactly how to fix it!

Click on the picture of the book to purchase!

ebook on how to repair furniture

Check out my Bondo wood filler review here to learn more about Bondo and to see it in action.

Then I prepped it like I do every single piece. Learn exactly how to prepare furniture for paint here. It’s really so important to make sure the furniture is prepared for paint correctly or the paint might not stick.

How to Emboss Wood Furniture

Each drawer received the royal treatment with some fresh new embossing! This step is soo easy but really creates so much detail and extra fun!

I wrote more about it here, on these shabby chic end tables with raised stenciling I did. But the basic process is this.

I mixed equal parts of Country Chic Paint’s texture powder with Dark Roast paint. It should be about the consistency of peanut butter.

Then I grabbed the damask stencil and taped it smack dab in the center of a drawer. I drug the flat edged tool, with a little bit of texture paste on the edge, across the stencil to fill in the stencil.

I made sure to keep it to a thin layer of texture everywhere. Then I removed the stencil, and worked on the next drawer until all of the drawers had one section of embossing done.

Then I went back to the first drawer, lined the stencil up where it should be, and continued the pattern. Here’s another makeover with embossing, a navy dresser with textured drawers.

You might also want to check out another method of adding textures to your furniture in my post about how to decoupage furniture with rice paper.

Also, it’s always best to wash off the stencil right after use, so the texture and paint don’t dry onto it. I let the texture on the drawers dry overnight before moving on.

Prime Before Painting Furniture

Because I was using a light color and because I had sanded down to the bare wood in some places, I went over everything with two coats of stain blocking primer.

This stuff is really good at blocking bleedthrough stains that come through paint! Let me tell ya, I have had my fair share of projects that I had completely finished, only to find that it is bleeding!

Sometimes the red, orange or brown spots don’t come through until you’ve sealed up the paint and are completely done.

Check out how to stop wood knots from bleeding through paint to learn more.

It sometimes doesn’t even show until a day or two AFTER I’m done. So I’ve learned to protect myself against it, and I almost always prime my piece beforehand!

Even if I use a dark color. It still bleeds through sometimes! Not worth it! Learn more about the best primers for painting furniture here.

I will say though, if I’m going to finish a piece in a dark color, I will usually stick to the clear shellac. Just because it is clear when it dries.

Then when I distress the chalk paint there isn’t any white showing between the wood and the finish.

Paint Furniture Grey

Once the primer was dry, I painted 2 or 3 coats of this amazing grey chalk paint color called Sunday Tea. Check out my list of the top chalk paint brands for your future furniture makeovers.

Distress Furniture After Painting and Embossing

After all of the paint dried, I went over everything with 220 grit sandpaper and distressed it all up like no one’s business. Learn more about the 6 best distressing furniture techniques here!

This is why I mixed Dark Roast with the texture powder. Dark Roast is a really nice deep brown that will show up almost the color of wood.

So when you go to distress the texture, it looks like wood underneath. Booyah! Check out distressed painted furniture for more ideas to consider for your next project.

Of course, I wiped all of the dust off the dresser, and then I sprayed on multiple coats of the best waterbased polyurethane.

Learn more about topcoats for painting furniture here! And learn ALL of my tips and tricks on how to spray polyurethane here!

And then to finish it up, I added glass knobs so the texture could be the star of the show. And that’s that! This little cutie is all finished up!

closeup of crystal knob with embossing in the background
closeup of damask embossed drawer with glass knob
grey painted chest of drawers with embossed drawers and crystal knobs

More Before And After Makeovers

Click any of these “before” photos below to view the “after” of that makeover.

side view of embossed drawers
other side of chest of drawers with distressing
closeup of the side of the chest of drawers with distressing
side closeup of the crystal knob

So now here’s the question.. would you add raised embossing to your dresser drawers? Let me know by commenting below!

Can embossing be done on any type of furniture or surface?

The short answer is yes, embossing can be done on any type of furniture or surface. It’s a versatile technique that can add texture and interest to almost any piece of furniture.

You can even use embossing to add unique details to decorative items like picture frames or vases.

However, it is important to keep in mind that intricate designs or details may not show up as well on certain surfaces.

For example, embossing on a highly textured surface may result in a less defined design.

Is it possible to remove embossing from furniture if you change your mind?

Yes, it is possible to remove embossing from furniture if you ever change your mind.

You can sand down the embossed area with fine grit sandpaper until the texture is no longer noticeable. This will also smooth out the surface, making it easier to repaint or refinish if desired.

However, keep in mind that these methods may affect the underlying paint or finish on your furniture. If the embossed design is deeply ingrained into the surface, it may also be more difficult to completely remove.

In this case, you may need to use more aggressive methods such as chemical strippers or heat guns.

So before embossing, make sure you are committed to the design and it fits with your overall vision for the piece.

But if you do change your mind, know that there are ways to remove or minimize the embossed texture.

Embossing Furniture

embossed drawers on a chest of drawers

Don't just paint your furniture, give it an upgrade with embossed drawers. Embossing furniture is a great way to paint furniture with a completely new look.


  1. Prepare the furniture for paint by looking into areas that need repair and fixing them. Then proceed to cleaning and scuff sanding the furniture to make sure the paint sticks.
  2. Now, mix equal parts of texture powder with Dark Roast paint. It should be about the consistency of peanut butter.
  3. Grab your stencil and tape it onto the area you want the embossing. Spread a thin layer of mixed up texture powder over it. Repeat this until you finish the areas then let the embossing dry overnight.
  4. Prime the furniture with 2 coats of stain blocking primer.
  5. Once the primer dries, paint 2 to 3 coats of paint onto the furniture then let the paint dry.
  6. Distress the now painted and embossed furniture with 220 grit sandpaper. (Optional) Wipe all the dust from sanding.
  7. Now, topcoat the furniture with multiple coats of waterbased polyurethane.
  8. Add your new furniture hardware.


Mix the texture powder with the color of paint you are using to create a solid embossed look.

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how to transform your dresser with a stencil with embossed furniture in the background


  1. LEAH MORRIS says:

    Hi Natalie,
    Thanks for all the ideas! I am going to try to replicate this dresser (how to add raised embossed on the light grey dresser) as my first makeover….and I am trying to find the stencil you used. The link doesn’t take me where I need to go for the stencil. Can you point me in the right direction?

    1. Hey Leah!
      This is the damask stencil I used, but it looks like it’s not available right now. Hopefully you can find something pretty similar! Best of luck!!

      1. LEAH MORRIS says:

        Thanks Natalie for the quick response. I found something similar that I love. I am trying to order the texture powder, but they don’t offer it anymore. Have you used any other product that worked well for you?

  2. Cheryl Atkinson says:

    Hi Natalie! I love this and next dresser I get I’m going to try this. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Denise - Salvaged Inspirations says:

    I love the new look Natalie! 😍

  4. Diana Cosgrove says:

    Natalie this is such a pretty idea for me to try on my small pieces of furniture. I’m a newbie at this so if I master small projects I can feel more confident on a larger piece. I am inspired and I want to be added to your followers list! I have to buy the texture powder and the dark roast paint. Thank you for your directions… it makes trying new things easier!
    Diana (Massachusetts)

  5. Love this! Definitely will have to try this technique.

  6. A very nice fresh look 🙂
    The embossing adds such nice texture and detail, esp to a very simple piece.
    Thanks for your great detailed process description !!
    Very nice.

  7. Lane Reynolds says:

    I’ve read this post over and over and I think I might be ready to try embossing. Did you just mix the dark roast for embossing or did you use dark roast for the first coat of paint on the entire dresser?

    1. Awesome!!
      I just used it for embossing.

  8. LOVE this piece!! I’m happy to see something besides a transfer! This one s beautiful!

    1. Thank you Jackie! We dabble in transfers here and there, but simple is where my heart is. 😍 thanks for the love!

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