Thursday 9 October 2014

How I upcycled a chest of drawers

     Some subscribers may be relieved to know that this will probably be my last upcycling post for a while! My open plan living and dining room is now more or less complete in terms of everything having been given a shabby chic makeover. This post is also slightly different as the drawers were bought with the intention of upcycling, it wasn’t a piece of furniture I already had. Realising that I needed somewhere to hide shoes we went to the rather brilliant Katharine House Hospice Recycling Centre just outside of Stafford. I’d had a big clear out and was dropping off some donations anyway so I bought the drawers on a bit of a whim.
The finished drawers
     Originally, the drawers were part of a dresser and had a lovely mirror attached but I had no need for it and so I took it off and left it behind for someone else to buy to raise even more money for Katharine House Hospice. The drawers weren't fitting the chest well and each drawer was sticking but for only £10 this wasn’t a great concern.
I loved the decorative shape of the wood on the top drawer

     The first thing I did once I got it home was to try to work out why the drawers were sticking and how to fix it. Because of the age and condition of the wood I was worried it might be tricky to sort out but actually it was quite simple. I only had to sand down the edges of the drawers and then rub plain candle wax along the runner sections to prevent sticking. I’d remembered the candle wax trick as something my mother had told me so it shows that the tried and tested methods are sometimes the best.
The drawer after a sanding

     Once that was sorted the rest of the process was very much routine to me by now, following my numerous other upcycling projects. I sanded all of the outside of the drawers to give the paint some purchase.

I completed the sanding outside again so I had more space

The original dark varnish is clear here
   It took two coats of paint (with drying time in between) before sanding to give a distressed finish, and then a comprehensive polish with clear Briwax as before to seal the emulsion.
I tried to distress the edges the most

Hello hidden shoes!

I love the original handles

     I’m very happy with the result and to turn a £10 dresser into something that will get plenty of use is fantastic, especially knowing that the £10 went to a really worthy charity that does lots of good work in the community. Once again I’m pleased that I chose to adapt an existing piece rather than go out and buy a ready-made set of drawers, reducing raw material usage and supporting a great charity.

All blog content and photos are Copyright of Charisse Sayers Proofreader & Copywriter I welcome all feedback and would love to know your thoughts so please get in touch, comment, share, like and generally get involved!

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