Chest of drawers makeover

This is a project I have been planning and researching for a while now, you know the ones where it is all you think about for a week or two? Exciting!

My lovely housemate Rhianna gave me this ugly (but very practical) chest of drawers as it didnt fit her room in our new flat. As you can see it is that unimpressive yellow-wood colour and has some marks, scratches and stickers on it.

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Here it is in place in my bedroom, as you can see I was attempting to cover it with fabric but the yellow wood really didn’t work in my bright and airy bedroom. One good thing about living in a rented flat which we can’t paint or decorate properly is that the cream or white walls allow for colourful statement furniture. This space in my room was crying out for something with a bit of personality!

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After some internet research I decided to use emulsion paint as I could buy test pots which cost only £1.10 each .. much cheaper than buying a larger amount of paint and not using lots of it. I found out that emulsion should work fine on furniture as long as you coat it afterwards with something protective. I was advised to use primer first but I chose simply to sand the wood and go straight ahead with the emulsion (I decided against primer due to the extra cost – if you can afford it, prime it!)

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I went for 3 different coloured test pots as I couldn’t choose between the colours, I like to think this makes my end result a very original colour no one else will have in their homes!

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For £4.40 worth of paint the test pots went a long way! I managed 4 coats on the important areas and 2 or 3 on the parts you will see less often. I planned to cover the fronts of the drawers later so only gave them 1 coat to give a nice, even base.

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The next step is the protective coating, I used a clear lacquer which has given the piece a nice shine and it feels pretty tough and resilient. I did find the spray tricky to get even, it came out patchy most of the time depsite lots of thin layers – you can’t really notice this now, unless you crouch down and look at the surface of the chest in the light from a funny angle!

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My next step was to cover the drawers – I used three different decopatch and deco mache papers to do a decoupage covering on only the fronts of the drawers – I bought my papers from The Decopatch Place but you can get these papers and special glues from most craft shops.


I chose these three papers for my drawers as they all included blues/greens and would go nicely with the main colour of the chest.


As you can see some decoupage papers give better coverage than others, the lightest paper I used really shows the blue through underneath. I have found that Decopatch papers in general give better even coverage than Decomache papers.

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Here are a couple of images of my chest of drawers in place, I love the way the piece looks in my room now especially with the smaller version I decorated a while ago on top! The whole thing took me about a day when you factor in drying time for the paints and glue, and cost no more than £20, I think thats not bad when you consider how expensive buying unusual furniture can be!

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