Bold green dresser makeover with decoupage drawers


apple green buffet

We just finished painting what may go down as one of my favorite furniture pieces of all time.  Mr Magic picked up this ornate buffet  (my friend Paula says it’s a “Mediterranean dresser “— I have no idea, I just paint stuff!!!) – at a thrift store for me awhile back.


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vintage french buffet

It was a bit of a wreck but I was obsessed with the curvy detail and the chunky handles and couldn’t wait to paint it. 


heirloom traditions chalk paint

I’ve also been feeling a little bored with a lot of the pieces we have been painting lately, so I wanted to do a wow piece just for fun. I asked my Facebook crowd which bold color I should go for and after getting hundreds and hundreds of your answers…. it was about an equal vote!  So I had to pick one and we rolled with it. My tutorial is below!


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Bold green chalk paint

I decided to go this amazing, bold, green apple color. I had Stephanie, one of the girls who works with me, stipple the first coat of Heirloom traditions Direct Green on the piece.   Stippling the paint on makes it so much easier to get in every crack and cranny. It also helps to camouflage less than perfect finishes and hides brush strokes!

I pinky swear that using bold colors is only terrifying for the first few seconds. Then whenever I’m using a bold color, that familiar squealing-on-the-inside-excitement takes over. It’s the same excitement that made me fall in love with paint as a 21 year old single homeowner who wanted to redo every room in her home on a shoestring budget. It’s just so fun to go bold. Life is too short for boring paint. xoxo


chalk paint green buffet

After one coat of the paint, the finish was still too see-through and uneven as you can see in this photo above, so we stippled on a 2nd coat.  We let it dry and ran a sanding block over the edges of the piece so it would look more distressed.


distressed green buffet

See the wood tones coming thru on the edges?  I’m so in love with that look!  We used a sponge to apply a thin coat of gel stain over the top of this piece because the top was a mess with scratches, sticker residue….. the usual thrift store stuff.  The stain helped to even it out and deepen it a bit.  Then we applied a coat of polyacrylic over the stain.

We used Muddy Pond wax over the green paint to soften the color. And then I went rogue and added a homemade chocolate glaze to the cracks too (I will have my own glaze for you to order soon!)


decoupage dresser drawers

I decided I needed to have fun with the recessed drawers on the piece. I often decoupage drawers .  You can find other decoupage drawer ideas from me HERE and HERE.  I was looking at these 2 patterns and decided on the white and gold because the scroll-y nature of the paper went well with the architecture of the piece!

I did a quick video for you HERE on how to decoupage dresser drawers. It’s highly technical and you’ll want to take notes (that’s sarcasm) . If you can crease paper with your fingernail, you’ll do just fine on this step.

Jennifer Allwood: Decoupaging tissue paper onto furniture pieces using 1Gel

Jennifer Allwood, owner of and creative business coach, shares how to decoupage tissue paper to the front of a dresser’s drawers. The 1Gel decoupaging gel can be found with her affiliate link of .

This 1Gel decoupage medium (listed below) is sooooooooo good. It’s easier to work with than Mod Podge because it’s thinner and it has a longer working time. After you apply the 1Gel and the paper, you let it dry overnight and do a sealing coat of the 1Gel the next day.  It’s super simple.


rub and buff for handles

I felt like the handles were a little ho-hum and I wanted them to be golder, so I rubbed Rub and Buff, my favorite for small projects like handles, on the edges. Those small tweaks to details make such a huge impact on a piece!!!  See the difference?


Rub and buff gold detail

I loved the gold accents so much that then I rubbed some of the Rub and Buff over a lot of the details.  I also didn’t brush my hair that day, but it’s all good because I am painting furniture y’all.


mediterraen buffet

And there you have it. My bold green buffet Mediterranean dresser. Perfect for an entryway, a dining room, a craft room, a girl’s bedroom!  I am absolutely obsessed with it.

To make life easy for you, I make you a supply list:

I hope that is helpful!


direct green decoupage drawers

Every picture in this post is pinnable for you if you want to save it for later.  And we will have it on my Pinterest today!

So I’d love to know your thoughts on bold, bright colored furniture?  Do you have any pieces in your room?  Prefer neutrals?  Do you think my green is obnoxious or amazing? Let me know!

Happy painting,


For more furniture finishes, check out my DIY videos where I’ll walk you through step by step how to paint furniture and cabinets!



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How to Decoupage Tissue Paper on Drawers | Magic Brush        Green Buffet / Dresser Furniture Transformation | Magic Brush



  1. Lisa
    March 13, 2016 at 11:31 pm! That is beautiful!

  2. Patty
    March 14, 2016 at 12:08 am

    OH wow, wow, wow! I cannot express how gorgeous that is. Girl you do beautiful work the color oh my, it is unbelievable. But it is the extra touches you added that just pull it all together.

  3. Tracey
    March 14, 2016 at 12:44 am

    Love it – so glad you went with the gold paper.

  4. LeighAnn Billsten
    LeighAnn Billsten
    March 14, 2016 at 2:31 am

    I think it’s absolutely incredible. I want one. ūüėČ

    Btw, for whatever it’s worth, I love that you paint anything. All these comments about the value of a thrift store or 2nd hand piece of furniture that has little value all banged up and sad….has great value when modified/painted with a new owner. I have an antique secretary which belonged to my grandpa. My mom had it refinished for me about 10 yrs ago and it os now in fabulous wood shape. I’ve been contimplating painting it forever and looking at the projects you show…well, you just inspire me to look out of the box. Thank you so much, Jennifer!

  5. mary bussian
    mary bussian
    March 14, 2016 at 2:42 am

    way cute my i ask were do you get the one gel at ?Ido alot of painted pices and decoupage

  6. Stephanie Sanders
    Stephanie Sanders
    March 14, 2016 at 2:51 am

    I just obtained a huge china cabinet /buffet that I’m going to try to tackle. May leave as two pieces instead of one. This is great!! Love the green! Love the creativity! Love distressed edges!! Love the wood top!! Inspiring! My wheels are turning!

  7. Carol Paulus-Kalis
    Carol Paulus-Kalis
    March 14, 2016 at 4:16 am

    Your friend, Paula is right. It is a Mediterranean piece. I never cared much for this style , however, what you did to it is sooooo unexpected. I love the green, love the Rub N’ Buff on the handles, love that you Rub N’ Buffed the curly ques. The tissue you used thoroughly compliments the drawer handles. I wouldn’t change a thing. It looks so “springy.” Are you going to use this piece in your home or will you sell it? Juast wondering. You turned an ugly piece into a masterpiece. Goooood job!!!!!

  8. Kathy
    March 14, 2016 at 2:31 pm

    Love the color! You did a great job and it looks great!

  9. Rachel C
    Rachel C
    March 16, 2016 at 3:10 am

    I LOVE this piece! The color is not my favorite, and I wasn’t sure whether I would like this or not, but I LOVE it! So fun!

  10. Lori
    March 20, 2016 at 4:16 am

    Love the green!! Beautiful beautiful piece! Graceland Blue is my signature color. Excited to see what you do with it!

  11. Terry
    March 22, 2016 at 2:28 am

    Wow Jennifer! This is such a cheerful piece! It is screaming SPRING and freshness! Way to step out of the box and go for the bold! Great styling too! I hope you have a great week!

  12. Denise
    April 3, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    Hey Jennifer, I love this piece and how you did it. I have a tall dresser with big swirls on the fronts of all of the drawers that I (not quite sure what I was thinking at the time) spray painted high gloss black for my 20-something daughter’s bedroom years ago and I want to re-do it so my question for you is am I going to have to sand it for hours and hours to prep it for chalk paint or do you have any thoughts about the chalk paint out there that claims you don’t have to do hardly any sanding for it to adhere? Thanks Jennifer for any wisdom you could send my way.

    BTW, I live close to your neck of the woods in Peculiar, MO and joined one of your webinar classes recently and loved all of your info on starting a business in painting. I have dabbled in various painting projects for years and love all of it but I have this pesky little annoyance called a job that really gets in my way of feeling “free” enough to devote serious time to it all! My 3 grandsons get what free time that I do find I can spare, so at this point in time I am on the sidelines admiring all of the creativity out there and loving all of the inspiration!!

    Thank Jennifer and have a great day!

  13. paint chip mannequin
    April 4, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    […] truck to move all my pretties into the Home Show anyway, so¬†we had room to stand it up in between this green cabinet and this leather chair project.¬† Don’t tell the moving truck people but he literally used […]

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