4 cool ways to give an old chest of drawers a modern twist

How to give a bog-standard set of drawers an instant upgrade

wooden drawers and wooden flooring
(Image credit: TBC)

Looking for a quick and easy project this Easter? If you're handy with a paint brush and a
glue stick why not have a go at these modern ways to breathe new life
into a tired old chest of drawers.

wooden drawers and white wall

(Image credit: TBC)

1. Give it modern-retro edgeThe combination of glossy post-box shades with natural wood and clean white accents takes this high-street chest from bog-standard to superchic

How to do it? Remove the drawers then sand down and paint the unit in two coats of gloss paint. Make a template of the drawer fronts from stiff cardboard, then use to cut out the shape from wood veneer using a craft knife. Glue the veneer to the front of each drawer. Measure the width and height of the drawers then cut two lengths of moulding for each measurement, for each drawer, mitring the edges. Paint in white gloss and, when dry, glue to the drawer fronts. Attach shop bought white handles to the drawers.

mirror drawers and wooden flooring

(Image credit: TBC)

2. Add glamour with mirrors
Nothing blings up a boring bureau quite like a few reflective surfaces!

How to do it Remove
the drawers. Cut strips of metallic wallpaper to cover the sections of
the frame between the drawers, leaving 1cm either side to fold over the
edges. Apply wallpaper paste generously to the paper and smooth on to the
frame. Cut sections to cover the sides of the chest and repeat the
procedure. When dry, varnish to seal. Measure each drawer front and the
unit top as accurately as possible. Have mirrored glass panels cut by
your local glazier, making sure they drill holes for the knobs too.
Attach the panels with mirror adhesive. When dry, screw in the
knobs, but don't tighten too much as this can cause the mirror to crack.

colour fading drawers

(Image credit: TBC)

3. Be playful with paintColour fading is very on trend right now and is a great way to bring a battered carboot-sale find up to date

to do it
Remove the knobs from the drawers and paint the whole chest,
including the drawers, in the colour that will appear at the bottom.
Allow for two coats. Once dry, paint a rough guide line a third of the
way up for where you'd like the middle colour to end. Paint the top two
thirds of the chest in this colour, then overload your brush with paint
and, with bristles pointing down, lightly press it into the edge of
your guide line, so that the paint drips smoothly down. Continue all along the line. When dry, repeat with the
uppermost colour on the top third of the chest. Paint each drawer knob
with the corresponding colour. Tip: to ensure your shades work well
together, choose them from the same colour card.

3d text green colour drawer

(Image credit: TBC)

4. Go bold with 3-D text

Typography is still a thing, so give a simple four-drawer tallboy an uplift with cool laser cutting
How to do it Create
phrases or letters in your preferred font using Microsoft Word or Adobe
Illustrator and blow up to suit the proportions of your drawer front.
Send to your local laser cutter to create in MDF or Perspex. Paint the
unit and drawers in two coats of satin paint. Attach your letters with
wood glue. Add casters for a modern utility

Click here for more inspired ideas from Livingetc



Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.