September 9, 2010

Hand Painted Dresser Drawer Knobs

My daughters were given this lovely dresser - wonderfully functional - but missing a couple of drawer knobs.
BEFORE Picture:)
I have seen adorable, hand painted, drawer pulls, and decided to make some of my own.

Home Depot sells these wooden drawer knobs for about a dollar each - with hardware.  A blank canvas just begging to be made pretty:)

First I painted a white base coat on all 8 knobs (2 coats).  I used all acrylic paint on this project. 
Before I go any further, I should tell you...this project requires a little...patience (see I whispered it).  Normally this word is not really high up their in my crafting vocabulary:)  But you must let each coat of paint dry thoroughly before continuing.  If not, paint will rub off, peel off and make you frustrated!  Sometimes, if the coat of paint is thin, you may only have to wait ten minutes before continuing. 
Sometimes, however, especially if you have to do more that 2 coats to make the color look full and complete, then you might have to wait much longer.  Polka Dots also generally take much longer to dry, because they are thicker globs of paint, whereas the stripes are thinner coats. 

So, getting back to it, after you have a white base coat you must start making decisions.  Like which colors you are going to use.
I chose to use only 3 colors (plus white).  These colors are in my daughter's bedspread, and match the room pretty well. 
I like the look of painting the underside of the knob a different color than the top, so that is where I began. 

I have tried painting knobs freehand before (see this much earlier post) - but frankly I am not thrilled with the results.  I actually think I am a pretty good painter, and have a pretty steady hand, but small round knobs are very hard to paint freehand.
So this time around, I decided to be very precise, and use masking tape to section off my stripes and different colors, to make very crisp, clean lines.  This is the same technique you use when painting a room, just on a much smaller scale:)

With 4 colors in my pallet (white, dark purple, light purple, and green) and 8 knobs, I painted 2 knob undersides with each color (or in white's case, just left is as the base coat).

Once the underside was painted, and dry, I taped off that bottom edge so that I could paint the top.
I decided to do half the knobs in stripes, and half in polka dots. 
First the stripes: 
Lay 2 pieces of masking tape across the top leaving a space the same width you want your stripe to be.
Press to make a firm seal with the tape, all the way across until the ends meet up with the tape that surrounds the edge. 
Now, when you paint, you can paint onto the tape, and when you peel the tape away, a crisp clean line will be left. 

Example: First Stripe on Drawer Knob 1
Example: First stripe on Drawer Knob 2

Example: After a few stripes have been done - and another piece of masking tape put down.

I made some stripes thin, some thick, and just tried to make it aesthetically pleasing.  There was no rhyme or reason to my patterns. 
The stripes take a while, but are easier than the polka dots, in my opinion. 
They take a while because each stripe must be sectioned off on either side with masking tape, painted, and dried before you can start the next stripe.
They are easier because there is less room for error since you have the tape as a guide.

With polka dots, I used the end of my paintbrush or pen, and had to rely on myself to make nice round dots. 
There was no exact guide - such as the tape for the stripes.  So, my advice is to make sure that there is sufficient paint on the round item you are using to make dots, but that it is not globby.  Globby paint makes uneven circles.  So, do a few polka dots, dipping the end into paint each time you make a new dot.  Once the paint gets dry at all - or feels too thick - then wipe of your instrument and start fresh. 

I did try to make wide tape lines to stay within while polka dotting.  Not sure if they helped a whole lot. 

Once the top is done, it is fun to peel off the masking tape and see the full effect!

Here they are before I sprayed them. 

I used a high gloss protective spray, and did a number of coats to make them durable. 
And they look FABULOUS!

I also made another set of black and white knobs here.  Check those out as well!
image signature


  1. What a cute idea! I'd love to do something similar to make robe and towel hooks. If you have a free moment, I have a new weekly (I hope!) Linky on my blog called Not “Baaad” Sundays with LambAround. I’d love for you to post this :)

  2. They turned out really really cute! I have 16 knobs on my hutch that I'd like to do something with. I just don't know if i have the patience ;) But I may give it a try.

  3. I like this idea and you did a beautiful job. I may try this for my granddaughters. Thanks

  4. I LOVE this! I have been looking for affordable hand-painted knobs to spice up my kitchen. I need, of all things, 29! I am now inspired to make my own, at much less cost! Thank-you for your clear directions and wonderful photos!

  5. Those look great! I found your blog from googling directions on how to paint my own knobs since I'm considering doing it myself for my son's dresser too. What kind of paint did you use?

  6. What Did You Use For The Gloss?

    1. I have a few bottles of clear spray. One is called polyurethane. Another just says "clear coat gloss." If you ask at the craft store or hardware store, they will show you a dozen options - and most say safe for wood/paint. Good luck!

  7. I think you did a really great job
    I have just got done staining a whole dresser, cherry (235 to be exact, if you know what that means sorry),
    And would love some ideas for a color to match, ( but would like the knobs to stand out), it would be great if you could give me some ideas.
    My email address is, I would really appreciate it if you could help.
    I have already tried
    Barnyard red and I believe it's to bright of a red, should I go darker or what.
    Please help

  8. wholesale ceramic knobs
    Thank you for the nice information. It is a nice blog……….

  9. ceramic knobs
    Thank you so much for the nice information.