DIY - Transform a Chest of Drawers with Sticky Back Vinyl

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This has to be one of the most rewarding and amazing makeovers I've ever done on a piece of furniture. And all for around $100! This project doesn't require any sanding or paint, or elbow's all carried out with sticky back vinyl, which gives an amazing transformation.

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I bet I'm not the only one with a set of drawers that you can't stand the sight of lurking at home. You know, the ones that still do the functional job but are old fashioned or cheap looking.

When we were doing our master bedroom makeover, I found it hard to justify replacing my scotch chest with new drawers, especially when it's quite costly to buy a decent set. I also didn't think the ones I had were good enough quality to spend the time repainting them, given they were MDF rather than a nice timber. But I hated them! They were like this big, dark monstrosity in our room, and they needed to go.

Then I discovered I could give them a makeover with sticky backed vinyl from Vinyl Home, and it seemed like such a great option! It's relatively easy to do as a project, and only cost around $100 for the whole unit. To me, that's good value to transform the drawers into a piece of furniture I now LOVE!


  • Sticky back plastic from Vinyl Home. I'd definitely recommend their vinyl its great quality and Katja (who runs the business) is lovely to deal with.

  • Ruler

  • Stanley knife

  • Scissors

  • Hair dryer

  • A flat tool for pressing down to smooth the vinly out (Vinyl Home sell these kits)



The entire unit of drawers took me about 4 hours to complete - that's covering all the visible pieces (the drawer fronts, top of the drawers and the sides). If you are being very particular it might take longer, but I figured so long as they looked great when I took a step back and viewed them I was happy - and they sure do!


Its surprisingly easy to cover your drawers with the vinyl. There are tutorials on the Vinyl Home website about using sticky back vinyl (plastic), so I'd recommend checking them out for full info on the techniques.

But here is a snapshot of the way I did this project:

  • First of all I cut a piece of vinyl for each drawer, the sides and the top, leaving a border of a few centimetres around the edges.  I also cut some long thin strips to cover the front face of the chest (e.g. the frame you see when the drawers are removed).  

  • I removed all of the drawer handles.

  • Next I applied the Santana vinyl to the front face of the chest and then the sides and top.  

Then I used the Whitewood to cover all of the drawer faces.

For flat surfaces and square edges, you basically cover the flat area first. Start at one edge and press the vinyl down, while pulling the backing off underneath, smoothing it down to press out any bubbles as you go. Then fold the edges down and use your stanley knife to cut any excess off. I helps to cut 'V's and diagonal lines to help fold over corners, so you get a nice tidy finish. 


  • The trick comes with covering the curved corners - and the awesome thing about this product is that you can get a lovely finish just by using your hair dryer to heat and stretch the vinyl.

I've made a little video to illustrate how I did it.

Also see the video tutorials on the Vinyl Home website here


The amount of vinyl I used costs $104 all up for the entire drawer unit, so it's pretty amazing value! Or you can choose other styles and designs (prices vary).


To finish off the makeover I made some leather pulls (instead of putting the drawer knobs back on). 

Simply fold over small pieces of leather and drill a hole in the top through both pieces (you can use a leather hole punch or hand drill). Then screw them directly onto the drawers (I used a hand drill for this too). 

Make sure you use big enough leather pieces (and screws) so that they can cope with you pulling them to open the drawers. If I did my set again I would use slightly bigger screws.

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And that's it! I've had the drawers now for about 6 months and they still look as great as the day I did them. 

I totally recommend giving this a go, and would love to see pictures of any makeovers you carry out.