“My textured vision for this dresser…
Hey there! It’s been so long since I’ve done a piece of furniture exactly like I want - letting my creativity have the wheel - and I loved the whole process of letting this dresser makeover unfold!
My main inspiration was to have texture and movement, building layers with Iron Orchid Designs Stamps, Moulds, Air-Dry Clay, and Transfers. There was a big messy middle to this project but in the end - you’ll see how I used some painting techniques and DIY Paints to blend the texture into a beautiful Pink Bureau, with touches of gold!
Now, this is just Part 1 of the dresser transformation but I promise Part II will be here next week. By the time you find this tutorial - Part I & II will be here to inspire you. Even if you prefer to read the step-by-step instructions, take a minute and watch the short video. You’ll also find timestamps in key spots throughout the instructions.
HERE’S EVERYTHING I USED FOR THE DRESSER MAKEOVER PART I.
All products that can be purchased from Serendipity.House are clickable links that will take you right to the product!
- IOD Painterly Floral Transfer
- IOD Birdsong Mould
- IOD Acanthus Mould
- IOD Heirloom Roses Mould
- IOD Air-Dry Clay
- IOD Thin Mount
- IOD Kindest Regards Stamp
- IOD Fronds Stamp
- DIY Paint Salvation Solution
- DIY Paint in White Swan
- DIY Big Top Topcoat
- Tite Bond Glue
- Small Stiff Brush
- Soft Brush
- Small Plastic Cup (for glue)
- Glue applicator
- Exacto Blade
- Putty Knife
- Rolling Pin
STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS FOR CREATING A MULTIMEDIA DIY DRESSER MAKEOVER:
STEP 1: PREP YOUR PIECE AND GRAB YOUR AIR-DRY CLAY
I started out by painting the dresser with two coats of Debi’s DIY Paint Salvation Solution. Once it was dry, I went to work with some IOD Air-Dry Clay to create the texture and movement I wanted in this project.
First, I used the clay with the IOD Acanthus Mould and created several castings to go across the bottom of the dresser. I brushed cornstarch into the mould, pressed clay in with my hands, and removed excess clay (you can use the moulds micro-rim as your guide to getting a clean casting.)
Next, I went to work on casting the pieces for the rest of the dresser front.
On my work table, I laid out an IOD Thin Mount and sprinkled it lightly with cornstarch, spreading it evenly across the surface. (Think of spreading flour before you roll out dough.) then I placed a large piece of the IOD Air-Dry Clay on the thin mount, grabbed a rolling pin and rolled the clay flat.
STEP 1a: GLUEING AND STAMPING THE CLAY
Once you have rolled the clay flat, apply the Tite Bond glue to the back completely. (min 1:21) Leaving the clay on the thin mount, hover it over the front of your dresser and choose the position you want it in, then press down. (Deciding where to place it is the hard part!)
Roll back the edge of the thin mount to remove it from the clay. (Min 1:44)
I placed my clay across the first and second drawer seams, so I took an Exacto knife and sliced the clay at the seams. Then I make sure the edges of the clay are completely attached to the surface by burnishing them.
Now it’s time to apply the IOD Kindest Regard Stamp. (Min 2:12) Again, it’s your choice as to where you want to actually lay the stamp and once you decide, push the stamp down into the clay and go over the surface of it with two fingers. Then carefully lift the stamp off.
I also added a fern frond from the IOD Frond Stamp at the edge of the clay, right next to the Kindest Regards impression. I use the same two-finger technique to go across the surface of the stamp, then lifting the stamp up carefully.
STEP 2: GLUE, CLAY, AND ADDING TEXTURE
This is where I start adding the texture and movement I want to have on this piece. It’s going to look messy through the process, so you have to trust it! I start by adding Tite Bond around the clay piece and pushing the edges of the clay down and away from the main piece, keeping it organic so it blends into the surface.
Once I’m happy with it, I’ll go back and remove any fingerprints by smoothing them out of the clay.
Next, I apply more Tite Bond around the edge of the clay right on the dresser surface. I begin tearing bits of clay and, using my thumb and fingers, smear it in spots moving away from the larger stamped clay piece. (min 4:18)
I continue to add more Tite Bond glue and bits of clay where I need it. This step is all about you deciding where you want to add the movement. I stepped back at several points and took in the big picture to see where I wanted to add more texture.
Any excess glue can be wiped up later, but the important thing is keeping the design free form, adding texture and moving out and into the dresser front. It’s going to look like a HOT MESS for a bit - but don’t stop! It’s all going to get edited for the final version.
STEP 3: START CASTING WITH IOD DECOR MOULDS
Next up, I begin creating the bird castings using the IOD Birdsong Mould and more Air-Dry Clay. Just as with the Acanthus Mould castings I made for the bottom of the dresser, I start by brushing the mould lightly with cornstarch and then press the clay in.
You’ll see that I’m using a putty knife at this stage to scrape off the excess clay. Once the moulds are filled (min 6:54) I turn the mould upside down over the thin mount and carefully roll back the mould to slip the casting out cleanly.
I hover the casting over my design to choose where to place it, then flip it over and apply the Tite Bond glue. Switching to my fingers as the best glue applicator and to make sure I apply it over all the tiny tips of the wings and tail. When applying the casting while it’s still wet, take care as you press it on to preserve the details.
I love the texture behind the bird casting, so I smear more bits of clay around the edges of the design to build more movement as I’m creating. (min 8:07)
STEP 4: APPLYING IOD PAINTERLY FLORAL TRANSFER
I’ve applied an extra coat of paint and sealer to one side of the dresser and let it dry in preparation for adding the IOD Decor Transfer. PRO-TIP: always put Transfers over sealed paint.
I am placing the rose transfers randomly over the front of the dresser because they’re for background and will have some castings over them for texture. I still follow application best practices, including burnishing the edges completely after they’re applied.
After applying the Transfers, I glue more bird castings over them, applying the glue with my fingertips. While the castings are wet, you’ll notice that I carefully push the clay down and together. Pushing down and letting the clay spread out increases cracking in the clay as it dries.
The clay will shrink as it dries, so if the clay is pushed out and thinned, there will be more cracking. And that’s ok for many projects if you’re going for that look in whatever you’re creating.
STEP 5: CLEANING AND PAINTING, PHASE I
At this point, I go over the piece with a stiff brush to remove the excess bits of glue (min 12:10.) Even though you’re painting over the glue and it won’t show, it adds lumps and texture where I don’t want it - so I’m removing them.
Once the castings are completely dry, I use a soft brush to paint them with DIY Paint in White Swan. Using a soft brush on dry castings is very important or you can lose some of the details of the casting as you brush over it.
Next, I’ll stand the dresser upright so I can take a look at the whole design surface from a different perspective. This allows me to see where I need to add more texture and movement. Immediately I see where I want to add more bits of clay.
STAY TUNED FOR PINK BUREAU PART II
I’m going to leave you here before I choose my paint colors for the dresser. Of course, the title of Pink Bureau Part I & II is a big spoiler alert but I wait until you see how I pull this dresser makeover together! It’s all about the painting techniques!
Ready for Part 2? It's here - Pink Bureau Part 2: Painting Techniques!