Lighthouse Nautical Chest Makeover

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This lighthouse nautical chest makeover was simple to update with paint and a furniture transfer!

Hello wonderful friends!

I am sharing a brand new project today. The last of 2023! And the last post of the year too. I am taking next week off to spend with my family. I will see you all in the New Year! But first, take a look at this little pretty I just completed. I love the way it turned out!

Lighthouse Nautical Chest Makeover

This little chest with the sweetest curves. I had to bring it home with me to give it a new look! It was just begging for it.

small white chest

But it was kind of ‘blah’ as it was.

I felt like it sort of had a coastal flair with the curves. OR “waves” as I saw them.
The seashell knobs sort of leaned it that way but even without them it seemed coastal-ish to me.

So, I decided to use our Lighthouse transfer on it!


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I lightly sanded the top of the cabinet as it had a blemish or two. I didn’t get a photo of that, sorry!
Next, I cleaned it well with TSP Alternative.

Then I began rolling on the paint. I used Parchment which is a soft, gray white.

roller over drawer front

I used a Velour roller for the first time and I loved it! (I’ve used our microfiber rollers before and those are great too…I’ve got them linked along with the other products I used in the pink box above)

rolling the paint

Nice and smooth finish.

I applied two coats.

Once that was dry, I carefully cut out the pieces of the transfer that I wanted to use. (the ocean, some rocks, seagulls, and the lighthouse) I then laid them out how I wanted to apply them to the front of the chest.

lighthouse and rocks transfer

And applied them to the front of the chest. (I laid the chest on its back so I could work more easily)
But oops!!!

Darn it.

I had meant for the edge of the transfer (see it there on the right?) to go over the edge of the cabinet. Then I would cut away the excess.
But I must’ve moved it or something when applying.

So now I had a huge gap. (and once you are sticking the transfer, you are not moving it!lol)

The only thing I could do was paint it in to match.

painting in the edge where there is not a transfer

By the way, this is not the first time I’ve had to do this!! haha!!
I’ve had to do it on several before but this was the largest one. I also painted around the drawers where there were any gaps to hide those as well.

You can see above that I’m starting to add paint to blend it in.

blending the paint onto the blank spot

And more paint.

Here’s a shot at my handiwork. ha!

paper plates with all different paint on it

And done! Pretty close.

finished painting in the blank spot

I used my exacto knife to cut around the drawers after applying the transfer.

cutting around the drawers with the exacto knife

I put a section of the “rocks” over the bottom of the lighthouse to blend it in.
Then I laid out a few seagulls to see where they would go.

laying out some more of the pieces

Some sailboats come with this transfer and I considered putting some in the water.
I decided against it though as I wanted to keep it more simple.

I used our Tough Coat Topcoat to seal it and used glass knobs for the drawers.

small white chest with blue and white lighthouse transfer on front

I used glass knobs instead of the original ones so they wouldn’t take away from the design.

up close of glass knob

semi side view of transfer and chest

Can you tell I had to paint that one side of the transfer??

other side of transfer and chest

top of chest decorated with shells and books

The inside of the drawers were spotless so I left them as-is.

inside white drawer

front of finished chest with lighthouse and glass knobs

It’s still “white” but it’s a much softer, more elegant white than before.
I think this would look great in a coastal home. The perfect size for an entryway/foyer table!


I had no intention of keeping this one at all when I found it and when I made it over!

So when I was making this over, I found 8 square mercury glass knobs that would be perfect for it. But when I was going to put them on, I only had 7. What?! I could’ve sworn I found 8 in my stash.
Oh well, I needed to get the photos done so I took some knobs off of my “Knot’s Nautical” chest and used those. They are the ones you see in the photos above.
So I went looking again the other day and found the other knob in my drawer knob stash! Duh! I knew I had 8. lol
I put them on and wanted to take a few photos to put in this post and show you.

I decided to take a few pictures in my foyer. Guess what?? I loved it so much, I left it!! haha!

Take a look:

white table with mirror over in foyer

It would’ve looked great in our beach condo but our home here is also right by the coast and coastal in design too.

small white chest with mirror over in foyer

And don’t these knobs just look perfect for this??

small white curvy chest with lighthouse on front up close

I angled them with points up and down instead of in a square shape.

white chest with lighthouse

white chest with glass knobs

I’m so happy I decided to keep it!

white chest with mirror over

Bonus! Who couldn’t use more storage?! The other little table we had here didn’t have much at all.


PIN it to save it!

This lighthouse nautical chest makeover was simple to update with paint and a furniture transfer!

I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed making it over! I love how the transfer transformed it.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, a happy holiday, and a wonderful and safe New Year!



  1. Oh shame – I hate it when DIY goes awry. This chest of drawers was a lot of effort but so worth it – it’s absolutely gorgeous!

  2. It’s a beautiful piece. It makes you feel like you’re right there on the sea
    headed towards the lighthouse! Love this!!! Wishing you and the familyLi a merry Christmas!

  3. The make over on this chest is absolutely gorgeous and your camo skills are spot on. I never thought to do that with a transfer. You are always an inspiration to me and so talented. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from South Carolina.

  4. That is beautiful. You can’t even tell that you had to add paint on the side. I do have a complaint. You have not been showing pictures of your little photo bombers. You promised pictures of Piper in a Christmas sweater. I am not on Instagram.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    1. Oh no!! I am so sorry! And you know what, she has like 3 different Christmas outfits now too! (so darn cute!) I am going to have to take some photos at Christmas and share them with you all after! I’ll try to get some of both of them. :) Merry Christmas to you and yours! xoxo

  5. Nancy, This is beautiful. You can’t even tell that you had to add paint to finish around the edges. Great job! Merry Christmas!

  6. This chest is perfect. That transfer looks so good on the shape of this chest. You amaze me how you can fill in to extend a transfer and one would never know it. Merry Christmas!

  7. My goodness this turned out just wonderful! You are so creative! Love it! Merry Christmas to you and your family (dogs included). Wishing you a blessed NEW YEAR!

  8. Nice work, and I’m so impressed with how you painted part of the design, you can’t even tell! Such a unique shaped piece, and now it’s even more unique. Merry Christmas to you and your family!🎄🎄🎄

    1. I just loved the curves on this one! I was hoping it would fit in my foyer. No such luck, however! Thank you, Vicki! Merry Christmas to you and yours, as well! Happy New Year too! xoxo

  9. Oh, I love this! Wonderful job blending the edge! Enjoy your time of with your family! Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year 🎄🎉

  10. This turned out SO good! This transfer was the perfect choice, and well done fixing the boo boo…looks like it was supposed to be that way all along! I hope you all have an amazing Christmas, my dear friend! XOXO

    1. Thank you, Christy!! It’s a good thing I can fix them because they happen often!! haha!! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family too!! xoxo

  11. That was one awesome save Lady! Even if I could tell it was painted, it would look like you had planned it all along and done an excellent job of planning and painting.

    So talented!

  12. Nancy,
    So pretty! I think your paint job fix is amazing ! Looks like it was meant to be!! You are such an artist
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  13. Nancy, this cabinet turned how so cute!!! Perfect for a beach house!! I love the curved shape! I wouldn’t know about the paint unless you told me! It looks good, really good! The seagulls just fly up to the sky! Thanks for sharing your talent with us & I wish you a Merry Christmas & safe travel!

  14. It turned out amazing, Nancy! I am so in awe of your talents and transformations ♥ Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Looking forward to your 2024 “before and after” projects.

    1. Thank you, Susan! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and wishing you a happy New Year! I can’t wait to get going on all the projects for 2024! xoxo

  15. Absolutely beautiful!! I feel like I need to live near a beach town or at least water because I love all your work that is coast themed. I live in the hill country though in central Texas. A different kind of beauty.
    Love love love this little chest! Great job!

    1. Thank you, Karen! Aw, yes, I understand!! And yes, absolutely true! The mountains are only a couple hours from us and I love that area so much too! xo

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