Tutorial on how to build these SUPER sturdy and adorable Mod Kid's Chairs... a Land of Nod Knock-off! {Sawdust & Embryos}

Dawn’s Smaller Dresser {using vinyl as a stencil}

A couple weeks ago, we posted about a dresser we refashioned for a client for her daughter’s room. It turned out so fun!

Paint a dresser to coordinate with comforter! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Our client, Dawn, had another smaller dresser that she wanted to coordinate without looking like a ‘set’ and without being too matchy matchy. Here’s the before!


When we went to sand things down to prep for priming, we noticed some severe damage and chipping of the wood veneer on the sides.


This is a tough situation because there’s nothing you can do to repair this… except just to replace the sides. Which we Nick did. He ripped the sides off and smoothed down the wood where it had been glued.

Replacing sides of dresser {Sawdust and Embryos} Replacing sides of a dresser {Sawdust & Embryos}

He measured out some 1/4” wood and cut it to size.

Replacing Sides of Dresser (Sawdust and Embryos) Replacing Sides of Dresser (Sawdust & Embryos)

Then glued it into place and nailed ‘er down! That thing’s not going anywhere!

New Sides on an Old Dresser {Sawdust and Embryos} IMG_0209

Now that we had nice smooth sides, we needed to fill the nail holes with wood putty before painting. Because they were such tiny little holes, the wood putty dried in a couple hours and we sanded it smooth!

Fill Nail Holes with Wood Putty! {Sawdust and Embryos} Fill holes with wood putty, and sand till smooth! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Now that the body of the dresser is ready for priming, I’m going to show you what I did with the drawers! I wanted to do a vinyl application on the drawers… because it’s one of my favorite techniques! Since the dresser already had beautiful woodgrain (cedar) and a thick lacquered finish, I left them as-is.

I suckered Dana into cutting some vinyl for me… lots of little butterflies! All different sizes! Here’s a screen shot of her computer program in action!

Dana's Vinyl Butterflies {Sawdust and Embryos}

Just peel off the backing, press the vinyl in place, press it down with something flat (a credit card or piece of wood), and peel off the transfer paper!

Applying Vinyl to Furniture (to use as a stencil!) SAWDUST AND EMBRYOS

And then I just started placing the butterflies here and there!

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on Furniture! {Sawdust and Embryos}

Here’s what it looked like once I had all the vinyl butterflies on.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil {Sawdust & Embryos}

Then I polyed to seal the butterflies down and prevent any paint from seeping under the edges.

When using VInyl as a stencil, be sure to poly over it first to seal the edges and prevent paint-seepage! {Sawdust and Embryos}

After the poly dried, I lightly sanded all the drawers with 220 grit sandpaper… right over the butterflies! This is so that the paint will stick better and provide a more durable finish.

Sanding over Vinyl to Prep surface for painting {Sawdust and Embryos}

FINALLY it’s time to prime and paint! We painted the drawers and the body of the dresser a crisp clean white!

Using Vinyl as a Stencil for Wood Grain to pop through! {Sawdust and Embryos}

We gave it 2 coats of primer and 2 coats of white paint. Soon after the very last coat, I took a needle and started picking at the edges of the vinyl butterflies.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on Furniture (with the woodgrain popping through!) SAWDUST AND EBRYOS

And we were DONE.

Sawdust and Embryos

I know this post seems long and like this project was a lot of work… but 90% of the work done on this dresser was replacing the sides. It’s such a simple technique to slap on some vinyl, paint, and peel it off!

Wood grain popping through {Using Vinyl as a Stencil!} SAWDUST AND EMBRYOS

And the combination of wood grain and painted furniture could be a good compromise if you and your spouse have different preferences. (I’m sure that NEVER happens though)


Super simple peeps!

Wood Grain Butterfly Dresser {Using Vinyl as a Stencil!} SAWDUST AND EMBRYOS

To see other projects where we’ve used vinyl as a stencil, click here!


Now I’m going to get back to my hum-drum-Monday-blues-slash-winter-blues-slash-potty-training-adventures. Time to find something new to paint I think!Bethany {Sawdust and Embryos}

New Accessories
  • melody

    this is so cool ty

  • Magda

    great work:)

  • David Costello

    Good luck everybody~~~~

  • Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz

    This is so precious! I LOVE the pattern!

  • Marti

    I love the effect of butterflies swarming out. What a lot of work having to replace the sides too. But it looks great.

  • D Schoppe

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • D Schoppe

    TALENT!!!!!!!! It turned out better than what I was imagining!!! love it!!!

  • Anonymous

    Very cute! very talented. How is the potty training going? Mary in NY

    • Beth @ Sawdust and Embryos

      Hi Mary! Potty training is going OK. We started potty training Dell on Sunday and just put her in undies… cold turkey! Like we did with Pais. The first day was touch and go, the second day (yesterday) we didn’t have A SINGLE ACCIDENT! But now today we’ve had a couple, including Paisley (UGH, I hope she isn’t regressing). I keep reminding myself the fortune we’re saving by not having to buy diapers! :)

  • Claudia

    Wow, Beth, I LOVE the finished product and the tutorial is outstanding. I have been wanting to do something similar but have been a little freaked out by it…I think I’m good now! You are so talented!

  • Dee

    Adorable, Sweet, Cute, so so so special….. Love it! Dee from My Painted Stuff.

  • Parveen

    Amazing Beth. Quick question, did you poly only on top of the vinyl butterflies or the whole surface?

    • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

      We polyed over the whole surface.

    • Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos

      HAHA! The first time I replied my auto correct changed ‘polyed’ to POLYESTER… HA! :)

  • Jowita

    Hi. Bought a coffee table on craigslist- it was advertised as solid wood but after my hubby brought it home we saw it is veneer. It was supposed to be my first try with painting furniture. Since the veneer was in good shape I decided to paint it. We sanded, repaired ( with bondo) two places where veneer was coming off ( my husband is car mechanic and can also paint cars) sanded again. Then my husband primed and painted the table with latex paint with paint gun. The veneer came of while painting in several other places so he repaired it again and again. After he brought it home the next day I decided to glaze the table. It was weird- the glaze dissolved the paint and primer in several places and I have spotted one more place where the veneer lifted off the surface….. Long story short- will never again working with veneer and could u tell me please how come glaze dissolved the paint?? Thank you in advance. Jowita