Upcycling your chest of drawers can be a simple and cost-effective way to make it more stylish and functional.
This simple guide shows you how to refresh your chest of drawers by sanding and painting. As this project involves power tools, please follow all safety guidelines provided by manufacturers and use the recommended protective gear, including safety glasses and a face mask.
Remove any hardware, including handles or knobs. Drawer handles are usually secured by screws that can be accessed from inside the drawer front. You can use a drill driver or a screwdriver to remove the screws.
Sand the drawers and the cabinet.
Use an orbital sander and 120-grit sandpaper to remove the varnish and colour from the surface of the drawers. Try to keep the sander moving constantly. Leaving it in one spot for too long or applying too much pressure can eat into the wood and damage your furniture.
Now sand the cabinet using the orbital sander and 80-grit sandpaper. My cabinet had a thin layer of wood on top of the chipboard, so I switched to a 120-grit sandpaper once the wood started to appear.
Switch to a palm sander and sand the cabinet’s corners and edges. Do the same for the drawers. I also used the coarse sanding pad in my sanding sponge kit to sand those parts that the sanders were unable to reach.
Sand the cabinet and the drawers again using 240-grit sandpaper for a smooth finish.
Clean the drawers and the cabinet.
Use a leaf blower to remove all dust and debris from sanding. I used a leaf blower but a small brush would also do the job.
Now wipe the drawers and cabinet with sugar soap wipes and a cloth. Wait for them to dry.
Apply the stain and varnish.
Use a paint brush, roller or a clean cloth to apply your preferred stain and varnish on the drawers and the cabinet. Apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain. Check out the guide How to lime wash timber furniture for more advice on how to apply the stain.
Apply three coats, leaving each one to dry fully before applying the next. Refer to the label for instructions on how to use the product.
Reattach any handles or knobs you had removed in Step 1. if you prefer to use new hardware, make sure your new handles require the same size of holes as those in your drawer front.