Wall Decal Cabinet Reface
Refacing, using wall decals, is a very easy and temporary way to update the look of furniture. Its a great idea for kid's rooms and baths since they are easy to install AND easy to remove and change. I had this piece of hand-me-down Ikea that had started to yellow a bit from age and it's been given new life with what is essentially just a big sticker!
The best type of furniture to used these on is something which has flat panels or slab front drawers. Ikea or the inexpensive storage cabinets sold at Target and Lowes are really ideal but I'm sure anything that has a low or no profile will work too.
Measure the face of your full cabinet and cut your wall decal 1/2" larger than those dimensions.
Remove all your hardware or if you don't have any hardware, drill the holes for that now. One of the biggest things you can do to these cheaper cabinets is to replace any provided hardware with nicer pieces. You can usually get heavier weight pieces at your local hardware store for $3-$5 a piece and you'd be amazed at all the ways you can change the look.
Give your whole piece a good scrubbing. The wall decals will pick up everything that is on the face and because you are covering it, even a spec of dirt will end up looking like a bubble 5x as large. Once it is clean and dry you will be ready to apply your decal.
Peel off your decal's backing (a second set of hands is helpful) and position over the entire piece. Start with the top and work your way down the center then out to the edges smoothing the best you can. It does not need to be perfect at this point. One of the nice things about the decals is you can pull them up and reposition them several times until you get it right.
Once you have the sticker fairly well positioned take an exacto knife with a new blade and make cuts between any of the openings to the drawers and drawers. Again, things don't need to be perfect, this is just to separate all your pieces. Once all your doors and drawers are independent from each other, work your way through each of the surfaces, smoothing any bubbles out to the edges. A credit card is a great tool for this.
If you notice that you have a bit of dirt trapped under the decal, just peel it back part way, clear it off and reposition it down again. When the decal is flattened fully, use the edges of the drawer/door as your guide to trim any over hanging material. Again, make sure you are using a sharp blade so you get clean cuts. A dull blade can lead to feathering or uneven edges.
Once you have repeated this process for each of the pieces including the face of your frame, you can go back and find the pre drilled holes for your hardware. You will want to cut the material by inserting your exacto in a "x" shape. Because the decal material is more of a plastic this will help the screws make it through without pulling the decal away from the cabinet face.
Reattach your hardware and enjoy your new piece!
There are so many great wall decals available or you can design your own. Spoonflower has thousands of unique designs but you will want to order their wallpaper not the decals. It is the same material but the wallpaper comes 24" x 144" while the decals only go up to 30" x 30". I chose to design my own since I was able to size my needed decal to the nearest inch. I used Red Tag Print Sale and was very happy with their quality, speed and pricing.
A piece which I always thought I'd replace at some point has now become my favorite studio addition!