I love a cheap and easy upcycled project, and this one fits that description perfectly. I found these two solid dresser drawers at a garage sale and planned from the beginning to make them into little decorative shelves.
I started by painting them both with DIY Chalk Paint in white, and then used hemp oil* to create a resist to allow the white to show through the top coat of paint. I’ve tried out a few different types of resists, and each give a different look, especially depending on the type of paint I’m using for the top coat. If I’m using true chalk paint (for this project I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey), I find I need to add the hemp oil, and then paint the top coat on right away. If not, sometimes the chalk paint sticks right to the hemp oil! When I use milk paint, the hemp oil resists the top layer much more, and I usually see a lot more of the base color. If you’re wondering about different ways to create this look, check out this post where I compare hemp oil, wax, and Vaseline.
Once the drawers were painted, I cut pieces of coordinating decorative paper. This particular paper was double sided with a different pattern on each side, so I just alternated the two sides. But, you could find coordinating paper or fabric, or just use the same paper for the whole shelf.
I used Loctite Spray Adhesive* (high performance or general performance works best for this type of project, because you don’t want it to be repositionable) to adhere the papers to the back of the drawers.
The last step was to cut down come pieces of 1 x 8 pine and stain them in a similar color to the drawer fronts. If I wasn’t creating on a budget, I definitely would have bought oak, since the drawer fronts are made of this type of wood, but pine is about 75% cheaper than solid oak. I’m okay with it and still love how they look. I air-nailed the boards through the sides of the drawers so they remain in place.
Super easy and super cheap!
I love this little picture. It’s my great-grandfather and the members of his rowing team in college.
That’s all there is to it. Next time you see a free dresser on the side of the road, stop and check out the drawers before passing it by!
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