Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mini Tutorial on Fabric Fronted Furniture

*** NOTE TO READERS: At the time this blog was written Annie Sloan had not yet released her Decoupage medium in the U.S. Since that is now available, I would use Annie's Decoupage rather than another brand to adhere the fabric to the chest. Also Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® is now copyright rather than a trademark! 1/4/2015

The customer is always right, we shopkeepers know! So I needed to find a way to incorporate toile fabric into a dresser she had her eye on and wanted done a special way. The client supplied the fabric. Here's how it turned out!

Painting the dresser was a breeze, using Chalk Paint(TM) decorative paint by Annie Sloan. This is Napoleonic Blue which is a rich blue -- not quite navy, not quite royal -- with clear wax. There was an old brown finish on the dresser, which if you are familiar with Chalk Paint, did not need to be removed or even sanded. I prepped the piece by simply washing it down with dishwashing soap and water, rinsed and dried.

I cut rectangles of the toile fabric slightly larger than the drawers, emphasizing the various vignettes in the fabric. I then applied Modge Podge generously to a drawer front, positioned the fabric over it and carefully applied pressure with my hand to make sure it fit firmly across the surface. Once dry, I trimmed the fabric to be even with the drawer edges with an exacto knife.

The final step was to protect the fabric from raveling and from dirt. I shook up my liter container of Lacquer -- ie floor varnish -- that is another terrific Annie Sloan product and applied a generous coat to each drawer front. When dry it also gave just a tad of sheen to the fabric and it looked terrific!

I can't wait for the customer to come in and see the final piece. She better come soon or I may just take this home to my guest room!


  1. Very nice piece! I have a favorite toile that makes appearances throughout my life--from kitchen curtains to my purse!). I'd love to add it to a piece of furniture, too! Thanks for the instructions!

  2. This is quite aesthetically pleasing. I dig it. I am just curious about a few things: Did you use spray Lacquer or paint/foam brush it on? Would you recommend just one coat of it or two for a better shine/sheen and strength (if desired)? Lastly, would the drawers not have slid back in had you kept the fabric folded under versus x-acto cutting it?
    Thank you for any additional information. I'll keep checking back for more inspiration from your site!

  3. please,tell us your way to paint that beautiful furniture,what kind of paint and how didi you do it?