Everyone’s DIY-ing these days and recycling old pieces of furniture into new and beautiful pieces is now all the rage. Especially when you consider that we are in a recession and everyone wants to save a few pennies!
Today we’re looking at the things you can do with an old chest of drawers – the different ways to renovate chest of drawers. From painting to distressing, covering, embellishing, using frabics, wallpapers, wrapping paper and more, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent having to throw that sturdy piece out. Just because it doesn’t go with your decor anymore doesn’t mean it can’t be used still. Decorate it, give it a try. If you were going to just throw it out or give it away anyway, you have nothing to lose and potentially a new piece of furniture to gain!
31 Ways to Renovate a Chest of Drawers
1 – Mix + Match
Not everything needs to match in life these days and when it comes to your interior design, it makes sense to think outside the box. This clever upcycler has covered each drawer in a different colour and pattern of wallpaper but you could do the same with fabric too. A great look for a kid’s room, or even a guest room, don’t you think?
Just to give you an idea of how you too could be using old pieces of furniture to create wonderful, new masterpieces, this is how the chest of drawers looked before the makeover:
2 – Pop of Colour
If you want something quick and simple you can to do renovate a chest of drawers, this one is about as simple as you can get. The look is easy to recreate at home (speaking from personal experience because I’ve completed a similar project), and only really needs two lots of paint – the white and the blue as you can see here.
The lining of the draws is easily replicated using wallpaper, and the water-washed effect of the paintwork is another easily achieved look with the right tools. It’s simple and elegant and would make a great beauty / makeup table, especially with that beautiful almost-Tiffany blue.
3 – Groovy Graffiti
This is one of the greatest (and smartest) ways to renovate a chest of drawers, especially if you’re planning on putting the furniture into the kid’s room! Why not look at the idea of graffiti art? Why not let your kids go nuts with the spray paints and let them come up with their own design?
We’ve found a complete tutorial for this renovation design HERE but it’s a simple enough concept for you just to let your creative juices flow free. Sand the original varnish or paint away from the chest of drawers, add a primer coat, go nuts with the spray paint until the design is complete and then cover with a coat of varnish or gloss to ensure it stays looking great!
4 – Shattered Glass
We recently looked at broken glass nails and now we’re looking at broken glass furniture. Well, broken mirrors really. We think there might be a trend starting here…
We hope you’re not superstitious but there’s something very beautiful and unique about this shattered glass look. It’s a great, individual way to renovate a chest of drawers and with that simple silver backdrop, the glass shines wonderfully!
We found a full tutorial for the look HERE.
5 – Shabby Chic Chest of Drawers
Another simple yet elegant look, shabby chic pieces of furniture have been very much in-demand over recent years and it’s a trend not going anyway at any point soon. Many of us here at CherryCherryBeauty.com have tried this white, distressed shabby chic look on various pieces of furniture and it’s a project that seems to go right almost every time! (It certainly makes a change…)
There are a few ways you can achieve this look. One of the easiest is to sand and prime your old chest of drawers before applying a brown or contrasting colour paint around the corners and edges – the places that will end up being distressed later on. Once that’s dried, pop your white paint over the top and again, allow to dry.
Using sandpaper or even an electric sander (if you’re careful and have a steady hand) simply scuff up the edges that would normally be banged and bashed over time and with use. Areas around the handles would normally get damaged as well as around the actual edges of the piece. Just think of how many ways that piece could be bashed over the years – that’s what you’re trying to achieve, a more exaggerated version of wear and tear.
The darker colour that you first applied will peek through and really give a great contrast to the white, clean colour over the top. You can always repaint if it goes wrong!
6 – Marvel Decoupage
We loved this turtle on how to change an ordinary, run of the mill chest of drawers into something fabulous and superhero themed again, great for a kid’s room! (In fact, we know a few ‘big kids’ who’d love this too!)
With the help of Modge Podge, some Marvel pictures, and some gloss or varnish, you could give your old chest of drawers an instant makeover and the best news is that you could do this with any pictures. You’ve got Marvel here but there’s nothing to stop you from using pictures of Disney Princesses, animals, Iggle Piggle or more!
7 – Family Photos
What better way to renovate a chest of drawers than to cover it with photos of all your loved ones? Again, a great idea for a kid’s room but we think this would look amazing in a new baby’s room. It’s definitely a keepsake piece if you play your cards right.
We found a full tutorial for this amazing look HERE but it’s another simple one to recreate.
It looks best with photos of the same tone and shade, hence the black and white snaps used to create this tall beauty. Use glue to put the photos in place and when you’re done, use a layer of Modge Podge (basically PVA glue mixed with water) over the top to secure it all in place. Again, you could then go over it all with a layer of varnish or gloss to ensure it stays bump-free.
8 – Dripped Paint
Another simple but very effective look is this renovate chest of drawers, designed with this wonderful paint drip effect.
Spray paint would make this one a lot easier but you’ll need to work from the bottom up in order to get the look right. Pain the entire chest of drawers white (or whatever colour you like) and when it’s dry, paint a line with spray paint, letting more go on the furniture than you need. It will start to drop as gravity works it magic. Once you’ve done the lighter blue colouring across the middle, wait for it to dry and do the same with the darker blue. You can achieve the same look with a paintbrush rather than spray paint, but the fluidity of the spray paint makes those drips a lot easier.
Take the whole thing outside, put some sheets down and be prepared to make a bit of a mess. It’s actually a fun way to spend a spring or summer afternoon!
9 – Lace Love
Here’s an idea you might not have thought of before – why not spray paint over lace on your old chest of drawers to give you an intricate pattern everyone will marvel at?
The rest of the piece has been left painted in this wonderful blue colour and with the shelves removed, lace has been placed over the blue and sprayed with the gold colour you can see. Once everything has dried and you peel that lace away, you are left with this beautiful pattern. Add your gloss or varnish over the top to protect it from wear and tear, and spray the drawer-knobs gold too and you have a renovation project that can be completed in one afternoon!
Here’s another classic example of the same look:
10 – Drawing Pin Designs
You know those dumb tacks or drawing pins with the flat, rounded top? Well, when used cleverly, they can create some pretty intricate swirls and designs, as you can see from this chest of drawers renovation project.
The full how-to guide on how to copy this design can be found HERE but here’s a quick tip – use a chalk to create your outline before attaching your thumb tacks / drawing pins in place. Make sure you hammer them in well too – if these fall out, you’re not going to want to stand on them!
11 – Musically Marvellous
If you’re a big fan of music, why not consider this – perfect for any lover of a good musical tune! As far as ways to renovate a chest of drawers go, it’s unique, stands out, and looks simply beautiful. Isn’t that what you were looking for?
Again, full details on how to create this elegant look can be found HERE but to keep things short and simple, you can use the same Modge Podge steps – guess the sheet music in place before covering with the glue and water combination to secure the sheets in place. You could even consider distressing the white edges of the furniture too to keep in theme with the old-school style.
12 – Chalk Board Multitasking
You know those times you search through every drawer in the house before you finally found whatever it was you were looking for? Well, when you can label your drawers with the help of chalkboard paint like this clever DIY-er has done, you totally eliminate that problem! Another great idea for the kid’s room. You can have a labelled drawer for socks, t-shirts, etc.
You can buy chalkboard paint from pretty much anywhere these days, and it comes in a wide variety of colours too meaning that you can paint your chest of drawers whatever colour you like.
Alternatively, you can make your own chalkboard paint with the help of a few ingredients. With a ratio of one cup of latex paint to one tablespoon of unsanded grout, mix well and apply as you would store-bought chalkboard paint. You’ll need to remember to sand and primer the furniture first so that you get an even finish to your chalky paint, but speaking from personal experience, this one is actually very easy to do at home! You could even get the kids to help.
13 – Vintage Suitcase Makeover
We absolutely adore this vintage suitcase makeover completed on this chest of drawers and it’s a very simple idea when you break it down into stages.
Stage one: Pull the drawers out and put them to one side. You can upcycle / renovate those too! We’ll bring you those ideas soon…
Stage two: Sand down and prime the piece.
Stage three: Paint the chest of drawers your colour of choice. Wait for it to dry and distress the edges if you want that vintage look.
Stage four: Replace the drawers with vintage suitcases picked up in secondhand stores and vintage boutiques. Or you could rummage your Grandparent’s attic. I managed to locate five vintage luggage bags and suitcases by doing this.
Stage five: Stand back and admire your handiwork!
14 – Replaced Drawers
One easy way to renovate an old chest of drawers is to remove the drawers completely. Why not replace them with baskets adorned with cute handles instead? We love this wooden-look baskets against the black backdrop. Plus it saves you the work of actually painting and fiddling around with the drawers too.
We found a full how-to guide on how to achieve this great chest of drawer restoration project HERE.
15 – Lego Love!
Lego is always in-trend and whether you’re making this for a big kid or a little kid, we guarantee they’ll love it!
We’ve actually found quite a few Lego furniture ideas as we were looking and we loved this next one too:
There are quite a few tutorials for Lego-themed furniture but you can find one for this colourful beauty HERE.
16 – Pretty As A Poster
We’ve spoken abut ‘Modge Podge’ a lot and you’ll read a lot about it if you’re in the market for a bit of upcycling. Using a poster cut to the right shapes and sizes, and this Modge Podge with clear gloss or lacquer for over the top, you can achieve this unique way of revitalising an old chest of drawers.
We found a full tutorial on how to achieve this look HERE but it’s very simple. Get your poster, make sure it covers the drawers and cut out the right pieces to cover the draws, use glue to hold it in place, add a layer of this Modge Podge and finish with varnish. You can always add the coolest new handles to complete the look!
You could also achieve the same look using a blown-up photograph (rather than the collage of black and white family snaps we showed you earlier on). Check out this amazing creation:
17 – Mirror Image
We featured a cracked mirror effect on a chest of drawers but how about this one instead? Rather than broken glass pieces, simply attach actual mirrors to your old chest of drawers to give it a modern and elegant look. Plus, everyone knows you can use mirrors to make a smaller space appear bigger.
You can find the full tutorial on this HERE and before you say that it looks too much like hard work, this is what the piece looked like when the brilliant upcycler first started with it:
18 – Complete Contrast
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the difference and for a hidden, discreet pop of colour, why not consider decorating the insides of your chest of drawers rather than making the outside of it your masterpiece?
In fact, if you didn’t quite like the modern and feminine black and pink contrast here, you could also consider covering the insides of your drawers with a patterned wallpaper or even fabric. We quite liked this next one:
You could even add a splash of leopard print if you feel like it. Here’s another one we fell in love with, and we also found a tuturial for it HERE.
19 – Monogram Madness
Another great one for the kid’s room, why not use stencils and paint to create this fabulous floral pop of colour, and use a basic stencil to create the black / dark colours monogram letter you can see here?
We found a full tutorial for this impressive upcycle project and you can find it HERE.
20 – Nautical Love
If you’re a fan of all things nautical, or you fancy giving your chest of drawers a new lease of life to use in a nautical-themed bathroom, check out this great upcycling project.
Using ropes instead of handles is a great way to add a sailor-feel to any piece of furniture, and although the wood has been left relatively natural although a little distressed, the fronts of the drawers have been painted with this great blue colour (and again distressed) to give it a roughed-up, beachy feel. For a complete how-to guide, check it out HERE.
For a slightly more structured and less beachy look to your renovation project, why not just consider adding basic blue and white stripes like this one:
21 – Gold Plated
This is one of the easiest ways to renovate a chest of drawers but certainly adds some big impact! You could either paint this piece before you start ‘accessorising’ or you could leave it natural. That’s the beauty of it – it’s the gold brackets that make the world of difference.
It really is simply a case of adding the gold brackets to the outside corners of the drawer fronts. It makes it look a little bit like a safe or a filing cabinet but for an office or formal room, we think this is a brilliant look to recreate.
You can find the full guide on how to copy this HERE.
Here’s another great example:
22 – Ombre Fun
Ombre hair is in, ombre nails are in and now, ombre furniture is in. You have officially been told! We love this ombre design chest of drawers, another easy and great fun recycling project, and one thing we’ve noticed is that these ombre styles are on the increase. More and more people are giving them a shot.
We love this one, using an old 70’s style piece of furniture to revamp it for a more modern finish. What’s the point in throwing away good pieces of furniture away. There’s nothing some paint can’t fix!
You can find a tutorial for this green beauty HERE.
For something a bit less 70’s, here’s another classic ombre example, this time going from white to blue but you could recreate it using any number of colours:
You can find a full guide to recreate this chest of drawers HERE.
23 – Colour POP!
If you’re a fan of big, bold and bright colours, why not make your renovation project really stand out by painting each drawer a different, stunning shade of colour?
You can find a tutorial on this look HERE but it’s actually a very simple one. All you need to do is take the drawers out and make sure all surfaces have been cleaned, sanded and primed. Once that’s been done, use a white or neutral shade to pain the base / main structure of the chest while using bold and bolshy colours on the fronts of the draw panels. You could even paint the insides with contrasting colours, something we showed you previously. The gold pull handles here really add a great finishing touch but you could go for any handles you like to match the rest of your room. We think big diamond-type handles would help to reflect those vibrant colour flashes!
24 – Weathered + Worn
Old, distressed, vintage pieces of furniture are very much in fashion right now which is what’s causing so many people to look at recycling or upcycling older pieces they already own. We all want a house we can be proud of, one that is different to everyone else’s for all the right reasons, and by renovating your own furniture, you can be sure that no one else has exactly the same pieces you do!
As much as we all want to keep up with the Jones’, it’s always good to have your own sense of style in such a jam-packed world.
This renovator used milk paint and wax to achieve this look, more distressed and faded than some of the other pieces we’ve shown you. It sounds complicated but it isn’t when you get down to the basics, and you could play around with different tools and materials to achieve different finishes.
25 – Train Car Chest
Another great recreation for the kid’s room, this upcycled chest of drawers has been cleverly made to look like a train car chest. Perhaps it’ll finally get your kids to put away their own clothes for a change…
(We doubt it!)
We found a tutorial on this piece HERE but honestly, grab your paintbrushes, draw on your design with a pencil or chalk first, and get a little creative. Look at some vehicle pictures on the internet and see what you can come up with for yourself! You never know, you might create the next lusted-after piece of furniture! 😉
26 – Spray Paint Magic
As this clever project shows, sometimes all you need to completely renovate an old piece of furniture is a few tins of spray paint. This old, wooden nightstand was on its last legs but with some sanding, some priming and seven or eight coats of black, high gloss spray paint, left to dry for a few days before reassembling, it looks like a brand new piece you’d buy in the shops for a lot more than it cost to make!
You can find the full tutorial on this look HERE and although we’re aware this isn’t a chest of drawer restoration project, it’s an idea you could definitely use for your own old one if you’re looking for something simple and not too fiddly. We all know tins of spray paint are easier than paintbrushes and paint tins!
26 – Seated Chest Project
Even the old chest of drawers with the busted drawer can be repurposed in a way to make it look like something beautiful again. Just take a look at this great project, transforming an old chest of drawers into a chest for the foot of the bed with a padded seat!
The full how-to guide on this creative masterpiece can be found HERE. It just goes to show that everything can be recycled or reused in some way, shape or form. Are we throwing things away needlessly too?
27 – Chest to Pet Bed
Another great DIY project you could do with all the drawers you don’t use, or all the broken bits you don’t know what to do with, is to look at making something smaller… Like for your pet?
This great recycler managed to turn an old vintage drawer into a beautiful creation for her pampered pet. You can find the full tutorial HERE.
28 – Pretty Patriotic
We love this USA themed dresser but we can’t help thinking we’d love this piece with a union Jack splayed across the front… Or i that just us?
Hand painted designs are just as fabulous as the more structured designs and this look would be easily achieved with a few large paintbrushes, the paint colours you need for the flag you’re trying to create, and some wet rags to quickly mop up any spills. We’d advise giving this a go in the backyard!
29 – Chest to Chair
Again, if you’ve got a broken chest of drawers lying around, don’t throw it away. There are plenty of things you can do to recycle it! Just like this project here which turned a busted chest of drawers into a beautiful chair with storage space.
Don’t forget, you can always add new feet to your chest of drawers by cutting the ones on there, off. You can always use other pieces to add to it – go mad with the hubby’s power tools. Just remember to keep yourself safe! We don’t want any chopped off fingers. But sometimes, the best creations are the ones you didn’t even mean to start.
30 – Outlined
For a crisp, elegant and sophisticated look, why not give your old chest of drawers a clean-cut makeover with these simple outlined design?
You can use masking tape to give you a hand if you’re not steady enough to draw a while line, but all you really need to do is paint the sides and top of the draw-front with a contrasting colour from the rest of the piece. As you can see here, the recycler has gone with a slate-grey for the bulk of the chest of drawers, with a crips white outline for the drawers to make it really stand out. It’s simple yet effective and is a great way to give an old piece of furniture a new lease of life.
31 – Faux Suitcase
Remember that great chest of drawers makeover we showed you earlier with the suitcases used in place of the drawers? Well, this chest of drawer design gives you a way to do just that… Even when you don’t have any old suitcases lying around.
These drawers have been hand-painted to look like suitcases and with a steady hand and some stencils, you could recreate the same look. It’s simple yet a very clever way to instantly rejuvenate an old piece of furniture. Just think of what other ideas you could use, and what other kinds of styles and colours of suitcases you could paint! Did someone say Louis Vuitton?
So there you have them, 31 new and unique ways to renovate a chest of drawers. Have you got any old pieces of furniture around that you could give a makeover to? Get the kids involved, get the hubby involved, get everyone involved – make your trash something beautiful. Make it treasure again. Plus upcycling is cool these days. Everyone’s doing it.
If you give any of these looks a try and fancy showing them off, tag them with the hashtag #CherryCherryBeauty so that we can feature you! We’d love to see what beautiful ideas you come up with!
Happy DIY-ing! 🙂