How to paint a chest of drawers with a wild leopard print design

Follow these simple steps to update a chest of drawers with on-trend animal print

Upcycling is the perfect way to add personality to a plain piece of furniture. Let your imagination guide you or follow this wild and wonderful design to create a fun leopard print pattern. You don’t need any specialist equipment, just a few tins of furniture paint, a paintbrush or roller and an old sponge.

Love leopard print? DIY fans are reaching for the fridge to try out this ingenious new painting hack

Instagrammer Sofie from @threeboysandapinkbath shows us how to transform this bland chest of drawers into a statement piece using Rust-Oleum furniture paints.

How to paint a chest of drawers with leopard print

What you’ll need

room with furniture paint on chest of drawers

(Image credit: TBC)
  • Tins of Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint in Carbon and Cotton
  • A tin of Rust-Oleum Metallic Finish Furniture Paint in Gold
  • Roller and tray
  • Small paint brush
  • Sponge

1. Prepare your furniture

chest of drawers on brown floor

(Image credit: TBC)

Lay out a large dust sheet or some old newspaper in a well-ventilated area and place your furniture on top. Clean the piece thoroughly to make sure there is no grease or dust on the surface before you paint.

2. Protect the handles

Take out the drawers and either mask or remove the existing handles before you paint the base coat. Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint often requires no sanding or topcoat to make upcycling furniture straight forward.

3. Paint the main chest

Using a roller, paint the drawer fronts, top and base of the chest with Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint in Carbon. Next, paint the sides of the chest in the Cotton shade. Leave to dry fully.

TIP: For an extra special finish, paint the sides and insides of the drawers in Rust-Oleum's gold metallic paint.

Buy now: Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint in Carbon, £15 for 750ml, Homebase
Buy now:
Rust-Oleum Satin Finish Furniture Paint in Cotton, £15 for 750ml, Homebase

4. Paint your animal print design

Using a sponge, paint a leopard print design onto the white parts of the chest of drawers. Dip a sponge in the Carbon furniture paint, then dab random spots on the drawers ranging from ½ to 2 inches in diameter. Try blotting a little of the paint from the sponge onto a rag and press lightly for an authentic effect. Leave to dry.

TIP: Cut a few sections out of the sponge to achieve a more varied print and practice on a large sheet of paper first.

5. Add metallic accents

Using a medium-size paint brush, dab Metallic Finish Furniture Paint in Gold into the centres of several of the large black leopard spots. Leave to dry.

Buy now: Rust-Oleum Metallic Furniture Paint in Gold, £5.50 for 125ml, Homebase

6. Style your new chest of drawers

chest of drawers with leopard print

(Image credit: TBC)

Finish the look by adding funky gold hands and style the top of your chest of drawers with lush plants and quirky accessories.

Another project to try: How to paint a rainbow onto furniture – and brighten up a child's bedroom 

And there you have it – a wild and witty accent piece that will provide useful and stylish storage for any room in the house!

Stephanie Durrant
Deputy Editor Style at Home

Steph Durrant is the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home’s sister magazine, Style at Home. Steph is an experienced journalist with more than 12  years under her belt working across the UK’s leading craft and interiors magazines. She first joined the team back in 2016 writing for both homes brands, specialising in all things craft, upcycling and DIY.