DIY/ UPCYCLING: Revamping Old Chest of Drawers Inspired by Marvel

1st October 2014

Practical things that involve using my hands and that skill called ‘patience’ have never been a specialism of mine, but since becoming a single mum I’ve had no choice but attempt to fix things and decorate our home.

Through doing so I’ve become more confident and open to trying new and creative things on our tight budget. Thankfully I came across some superb and informative groups on Facebook that inspire DIY on a budget and show how to do things frugally.


One of the things that has caught my eye recently is upcycling furniture using chalk paint, and using napkins or wallpaper to decoupage.

I’ve learnt quite a bit about what are the better ways to do these things from the thousands of people who have posted their projects on the groups and by watching YouTube tutorials. This week I finally felt ready to attempt my very first piece-a chest of drawers for my son.

I found some second-hand pine chest of drawers for £15 (which were not fun to lug up five flights of stairs by myself I might add). I got chalk paint from Rustoleum and some free Marvel wallpaper samples from a local hardware shop.

The great thing about chalk paint is that it’s water-based, so there’s no awful fumes which is a necessity for me as I do these things at night in our small flat when my son’s asleep.
It also means that if when I spill it on the floor or on myself, it washes out easily just with soap and water.

So for the bargain price of £15, and a couple of hours per night for 3 days, this is what I managed to achieve:

upcycled chest of drawers marvel decoupage

Like it? I am SOOOOO proud of myself as I think it looks fab!
What’s even better is that there is very little preparation needed and it hardly cost anything with the help of freebies like the wallpaper samples.

My son loves them because he loves Spiderman and Ironman, and I’m hoping they will still appeal to him when he is in primary school, but if not I will rip the paper off and upcycle again!

Here’s how I did it:

step by step upcycle and decoupage

Step 1: Prepare the furniture by lightly sanding the wood down. My son enjoyed helping me with this bit! Unscrew the drawer handles so they’re ready for painting.

Step 2: Using a brush or lint-free roller, use the Rustoleum Chalk Paint (I used shade Belgrave) and paint the furniture. Depending on the colour, the chalk paint rarely needs more than one to two coats as you can see in the photos above which is just using one coat.

Step 3: Once the paint has dried (which is impressively fast), do a second coat if needed.

step by step upcycle and decoupage

Step 4: Get a soft cloth or old t shirt and gently rub some Rustoleum Finishing Wax onto the wood in a circular motion. This is to protect the paint from scuffs and damage.

Step 5: Measure and cut the pieces of wallpaper and then prepare some PVA and water (50:50 ratio).

Step 6: Paste the wallpaper up onto the sides and the front of the drawers, and smooth out with a brush or your fingers. You can also line the drawers with wallpaper if you want.

step by step upcycle and decoupage

Step 7: Once dry, use Rustoleum Clear Sealant to ensure all the wallpaper is covered and protected on the unit and the drawers.

Step 8: Once dry, screw the drawer handles back on and voila!

Further tutorials

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be attempting other upcycling and decoupage projects, including Halloween glasses, decoupaging furniture with napkins, and renovating some bedside units in my bedroom, and I will of course be posting tutorials on here.

Let me know any tips or ideas you have, as I love being inspired!

For the purpose of this post, I was sent some Rustoleum products to review. No payment was received. All opinions are honest and my own.


  • Unknown

    2nd October 2014 at 7:35 pm

    If I was a kid I would be in heaven with this. It's one of those things you'd look back on in your childhood with fondness

  • Leyla [Thisdayilove]

    2nd October 2014 at 9:51 pm

    That looks fantastic

  • Emily Twin Mummy and Daddy

    3rd October 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Well done! That hard work has paid off. Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

  • Unknown

    3rd October 2014 at 1:44 pm

    They are fantastic! My 6 year old son has a Marvel bedroom, and these would look perfect in there. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

  • Louisa

    3rd October 2014 at 3:56 pm

    It looks fantastic! Well done. I have a Marvel wallpaper samples that I am going to put into cheap frames for my husband. #pocolo

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    4th October 2014 at 7:11 am

    This looks amazing! Well done x #PoCoLo

  • Newcastle Family Life

    4th October 2014 at 10:15 am

    wow they look fantastic i bet your son is so pleased with them well done on your first attempt they are brilliant i wish i was more creative #binkylinky

  • Unknown

    4th October 2014 at 6:36 pm

    And so you should be proud, these are AMAZING!! I am SO impressed. Well done. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

  • Jaime Oliver

    4th October 2014 at 6:51 pm

    oh WOW this is fantastic!! well done you, you did an amazing job!

  • Unknown

    6th October 2014 at 10:20 am

    These look awesome you should sell them!!!

    Follow me too? Oh So Gawjess



  • Unknown

    7th October 2014 at 9:24 am

    Lucas says – WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! WOW! I love this sooooooo much!!
    The Mother says – I am loving this idea so much. I am always looking at ways to jazz up Lucas's room and I so think I am going to be using this idea. AWESOME xx
    Thanks for linking to #minicreations

  • A Strong Coffee

    7th October 2014 at 10:00 am

    Wow that looks fantastic – what a great idea x

  • Mama Herself

    7th October 2014 at 12:03 pm

    That is the most fabulous chest of drawers ever. Never mind the kids, I want it. Inspirational too, as I am not very crafty either.

  • Loving life with little ones

    8th October 2014 at 8:05 pm

    What a great idea, it looks fab #binkylinky

  • Unknown

    12th October 2014 at 7:46 pm

    I always imagined upcycling like this to be hard work but it looks really easy, I may have to give it a go! #triedtested

  • glennamy

    28th October 2014 at 12:28 pm

    That looks amazing… wish I had something like that as a kid!

  • Cass@TheDiaryofaFrugalFamily

    1st November 2014 at 2:08 pm

    This looks fab – my little boy would love it!

  • Arabella

    12th November 2014 at 9:46 am

    How awesome, I guess you could skip lining the drawers if you were short on your chosen paper and it can be updated to keep up with Chunk's passing favourites. With a little enthusiasm you can achieve anything. 🙂

  • A

    26th August 2016 at 9:09 pm

    WOW. I love DIY – though only when it's my choice as to whether I do it or not – but I've never tried this technique. It looks amazing. I hope the great result of this project has boosted your confidence even further.

  • ptak5566

    20th September 2016 at 6:42 am

    Wow, that is very impressive

  • Unknown

    20th September 2016 at 4:42 pm

    now that is such an amazing idea; and it doesnt have to be for kids either as you could use pretty floral paper.

  • sandy lynn ralph

    16th October 2016 at 6:56 pm

    oh wow i love it, i might pinch this idea for my grandson

  • Jayne

    16th October 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Wow, that looks amazing, my son would love one of these.

  • Rich Tyler

    29th October 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Nice Job!

  • Unknown

    1st November 2016 at 3:38 pm

    What a fantastic chest of drawers! I want this for my bedroom!

  • Upcycling: Spiderman Chest of Drawers – Single Parent Pessimist

    6th March 2020 at 3:02 pm

    […] Spiderman Chest of Drawers As you may remember a little while ago I upcycled some chest of drawers using Marvel Comic characters for Chunk, and I’ve finally gotten around to upcycling his other set. This time I focussed […]

  • Creative Halloween Ideas: Decoupage Halloween Candles – Single Parent Pessimist

    29th September 2022 at 1:55 pm

    […] started to get the DIY and creative bug lately, making Marvel Comic chest of drawers and revamping coffee tables, and now I’ve started to find creative Halloween […]

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