First I sanded down the light blue paint. And since I had the sandpaper in hand I sanded down the finish on all the drawers too. It helps the adhesive stick better.
I'm really happy with the distressing of the blue paint. I use a 120 grit sandpaper for this. And 2 coats of paint - sometimes I can get by with 1 but this time I needed 2. The first pic is a close-up, the next one shows a larger section so you an see about how much I sanded. That really a personal preference of how much paint you like to remove.
Next I pulled out the papers I am working with, chose the designs I like best and started placing them on the drawers. This helps me to see the balance of color and pattern on the piece. Since this chest is old not all the drawers fit in all the holes even though they are all supposed to be the same size. So I can't move the drawers around later if I don't like 2 designs next to each other.
I have 5 of the 12 drawers covered. They still need a good coat of decoupage medium (especially around the edges - I do 2 good coats to seal the edges really well) and I plan to spray them with a clear, matte finish to make sure they are well protected.
I have tried several types of glue and techniques to get the paper to hold and have decided that a spray adhesive works best. I spray both the drawer front and the back of the paper. Let sit for about a minute and stick the paper to the drawer front. You get one try - once they touch they don't let go! I smooth the paper down, burnish the edges really well and trim with an x-acto. After it's all trimmed I went over the edges with the 120 grit sandpaper to rough them up a bit.
The drawers are a bit time consuming but I am loving the look. I have hardware and decals to add to this piece too. I can't wait to finish it up and move it into place. It'll be a fun piece to have in the studio!