Monday, April 12, 2010

BEFORE: Furniture revamp

Part of my 'to do' list for this home cure was to revamp some old furniture from my family home. In particular I wanted to keep a wooden chest of drawers that were mine as a little girl. I didn't have bedside tables for our guest room so I snaffled these ones up when my Mum was donating her old bedroom suite to charity. I'm not quite as in love with these but with a coat of paint I think they'll do the job just fine.


I was thinking of painting the side tables a bit more outrageously e.g. bright turquoise paint (I'm on a turquoise kick did I mention?) but colour and I just can't seen to commit so we'll see...

Image from Flickr

On Sunday I started the process by sanding back the chest of drawers and painting the undercoat. It was a damp afternoon today so I decided not to do a gloss coat - I'll save that for another time this week.

W0rd of warning for anyone undertaking a similar project - I decided to paint the sides of the drawers white as well so that they weren't bare wood when they're pulled out. This turned out to be a bad idea - just one coat of undercoat has meant that the drawers no longer slide properly! Who'd have thought these 1970s wooden drawers were so finely engineered! Or maybe I'm just a naive DIY beginner...

Fortunately the electric sander made VERY quick work of preparing the drawers for painting in the first place. I'll use it to sand back the sides again. If you're planning any sort of painting any time soon try and get your paws on one of these!

After painting is complete I'm going to update the hardware on the furniture. I went to a variety of hardware stores, Early Settler which has quite a range of period hardware and trawled through literally hundreds of eBay items. Nothing really took my fancy. Then I received the news I've been waiting a LONG time for...

Anthropologie... shipping... Australia.

As soon as I found out I was at the website as fast as my little fingers could type and promptly filled the shopping cart with beautiful, unique drawer pulls and handles. I started checking out but I was stopped in my tracks when I was stung with a rude $70 shipping fee. Yes, I know you're in utter disbelief. Yes, I did write an email to confirm whether this was in fact accurate. No, there was no mistake unfortunately.

I can't justify that kind of shipping at the moment (or maybe ever for that matter given the relative price of the drawer pulls themselves) so I opted for these extremely modest and most importantly modestly priced Ikea Hedra drawer pulls:
But before we go let's have one last longing gaze and what's so close yet so far...

All images from Anthropologie

I think the turquoise ones are my favourite. Perhaps we'll meet again... when you don't cost so damn much to access! Sigh.


  1. I say bite the bullet and go ahead with the turquoise. Your inspiration picture with the turquoise drawers is totally gorgeous. Worst case scenario, you can always paint them again!

  2. The turquoise rocks! As for the drawers being sticky to slide open... Try rubbing a candle along the edges of the drawer and along the dresser drawer openings (just inside the opening)... It coats the drawers and makes them slide muuuuch better. Use a cheap candle and rub pretty hard to get the wax to coat it. I've done this for years, my Dad taught me and my Nona swore by this trick!

  3. I agree with painting them turquoise. I love love love turquoise in a mostly white room.

  4. ARGH I just realised there's one flaw in my plan! They have a laminated top so I won't be able to paint over it (at least I don't think so... I don't think the paint would adhere). I think I'll have to stick with white so that they don't have a constrasting top. It makes me want that Anthropologie hardware in turquoise more though! The chest of drawers is destined for a different room so I won't be painting them turquoise. What a bummer!

  5. Oh and thanks for the advice about the candle stick! I will definitely do that on these drawers and some others we have!

  6. You should be ok with the laminate Catherine - it will just require an undercoat so that the top coat will stick.

    I painted over tiles and a laminate shelf in my laundry and it worked out fine. I can't remember what product I used, but I'm sure the initial base coat was the same on both the tiles and shelf.

    I don't have an after pic, but here's a before to give you an idea of what I was dealing with:

    Otherwise I'm pretty sure they sell specific laminate paints as well - but there might be an issue with getting the colour you want.