How to transfer text to drawer fronts

This dresser once held my husband’s baby clothes.

When my mismatched office came together, I knew I would do something special with it – I just didn’t know what. While I worked on my desk, I slapped the leftover chalk paint on the dresser. It was midnight. I only had a bit left. And I really didn’t care too much about the quality of my work. I did no prep. Absolutely none. I was tired, but didn’t want to waste the homemade chalk paint that wouldn’t keep until morning.


It remained white for weeks until I was inspired by a quote in Christine Hoover’s book, The Church Planting Wife. I knew I needed that quote somewhere in my office.

“It’s not about what you do but who you are becoming in the process. We certainly go after the dreams God puts in our hearts, but ultimately, none of it matters compared to the journey, that maturation process God is taking us through—that we may become more and more like Jesus.”

I played around with the quote trying different fonts and text sizes. I printed it out and cut and taped it on the dresser to see if it would fit.


Once I knew where I wanted to place the words, I used a level to mark the beginning and end of each phrase and drew a straight line in pencil.


Next I saved the word document as a PDF, opened it as a jpg, horizontally flipped it (like a mirror image) then printed it on wax paper.

To flip the text: Open the .pdf document you wish to “flip.” From the menu bar select File->Export. In the format drop down menu select JPEG. Save the file. If you now open that file you will be able to flip both horizontally and vertically under the tools tab/edit

To feed the wax paper through the printer: Tape a piece of wax paper cut to printer paper size a 1/4 inch from the top of a printer page. Feed it through the printer so the ink prints on the wax paper.

Placing to wax paper ink side down. CAREFULLY rub the ink onto the drawer front. Do NOT wet the drawer (the ink will smear) and do not move the paper (the ink will smear). You should be able to see your pencil line guide through the wax paper. I attached the knobs to ensure I liked it so far.


Let the ink dry overnight. Using a small paintbrush and black paint, paint over the ink transfer ensuring to “paint inside the ink-lines”


After the paint dries, wash the pencil marks off. A Mr. Clean magic eraser works great. Lightly sand over the words to distress, then sand the edges of the drawers and the base unit.


Attach the handles and wipe the dust off. You’re done! It involves quite a few steps, but it is well worth the result.