DIY Superhero Dressers That Pack a Punch

Dresser Finished with ChalkWhat does a DIY decorator do when her  super hero fanatic four year old suggests a Pottery Barn catalog page as the theme for his new room? Saves some money and makes it for much less, that’s how!

Let’s face it, kids change their mind as often as some folks change their underwear so investing boku bucks on high end decor is almost like burning your hard earned cash. A quick trip to IKEA and the local Home Depot and I was in business for hundreds less.

Follow a few simple steps and you can easily replicate this look.

Step 1: Purchase Dressers

I chose:

But any unfinished, or reclaimed dresser  you choose will work for this project.

Supplies needed for Steps 2-4:

  • Paint primer/sealer (I really like Kilz premium because it is low odor, dries fast and is a great stain blocker)
  • Sand paper
  • Black Chalkboard paint
  • Mini Roller Frame and Cover that is lint free and leaves a smooth finish (I use Purdy White Dove Jumbo Mini Rollers and they come in a 2 pack)
  • Plastic or metal tray for the paint

Step 2:

Assemble the IKEA dresser according to the manual with the exception of the knobs.  Paint Dresser Wetthose separately and then attach to the dresser once everything is dry.  If you already have an assembled dresser, skip this step.

Step 3:

Once your furniture is assembled, run your hand over the bureau and take a piece of sandpaper to sand down any areas that feels rough to the touch.  This will ensure a smooth surface that will be much easier to paint on.

Step 4:

Use the paint primer to apply 1 coat to the dresser frame.  I primed the outside of the dresser frame, skipping the inside.  With the drawers out of the dresser, I primed each drawer’s exterior as well as the knobs.

Waiting 1 hour between coats, I repeated the primer application for a total of 2 coats to guarantee it will withstand the inevitable bumps and scrapes when my kids transform into their favorite superhero.

***Penny Pincher Tip***Drawer

When I am finished using a roller, I always wrap it in a big Ziploc bag or depending on the size of the roller, a small garbage bag so that it is airtight and stays moist so it won’t dry out.  This is great when you need to do some touch ups with the same color.

Step 5:

Once  the paint has fully dried, apply  the chalkboard paint to the outside dresser frame, drawers and knobs.  Again,  wait an hour in between coats to ensure that it is dry. Then, apply a second and maybe a third (as I did) coat to cover any areas that you may have missed to guarantee a uniform look for your finished product.

Once you complete this step, wait at least 3 days until writing on it with chalk.  This will allow the time needed to fully adhere to the wood surface of the bureau.

List of supplies for Step 6 (these can be purchased at any craft store):

  • Acrylic paint
  • Matte acrylic sealer/finish (aerosol)

Step 6:

Now for the best part- incorporating a little Superhero into the dresser. Utilizing the quick changing knobs of the dresser (simply unscrew and voila you can create a whole new look when their interests shift) I gave my son the Superhero look he wanted.Painted knobs remix

A simple Google search led me to the emblems for the superheros that my son loves, which I then painted by hand with acrylic paint.  I used Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, Captain American and Spiderman.  Once they were completed, I waited  two days to ensure they were dry, sealed the knobs with a matte acrylic sealer/finish, allowed that to dry another 2 days then screwed the knobs onto the dresser in a mix & match pattern. I labeled his drawers with what’s inside and left some chalk in his room so he can get crafty on the sides.

***Safety Tip***

Always make sure you spray the matte acrylic sealer/finish in a well ventilated place, I usually do this step outside and then I wait about a minute and take it into my garage to dry.

Total cost to do this project = approximately $275

Ear to ear smile on my son’s face when I revealed the finished product = Amazing Matriarchs 1, Villains 0.



A creative mind, trained in the field of marketing and a master of do-it yourself and the art of crafting. A kid at heart Thia’s a true believer in the healing power of laughter. In her spare time, she is a pop culture disciple, a closet shopaholic, an adventurer and a Disney songstress (for her children, of course).

A former Division 1 ice hockey player, Thia holds a degree in Communications from Boston College.

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