Choosing a Color to Revamp an Old Chest of Drawers


If you want a quick and easy way to revamp your home, why not think about turning some old, boring furniture into a quirky new design feature? If you've got an ancient chest of drawers that could do with an update, get some tips on how to transform them here.


Before you get out the paint or stencils, make sure that you prepare the surfaces of your drawers first. That means removing any existing or flaking paint and sanding down to create an even surface.

Painting Effects

Rather than just slapping on a simple coat of paint, you can customize your drawers to create a unique feature using one of these different painting effects:

  • Distressing - this involves sanding off bits of the paint work to create an aged look. Apply a fresh base-coat of paint in your desired shade beforehand and work on sanding parts of the drawers that would naturally get worn, such as the edges and handles.

  • Stenciling - is a great way to personalize a piece of furniture; there are thousands of different pre-made stencil designs to choose from but if you want to be even more unique, make your own. Use masking tape to secure the stencil to the drawers before painting over with a brush or spray - remove only when paint has fully dried.

  • Sponging - will create a mottled look, which you can make more dramatic by sponging in a variety of colours or shades of the same colour. Use a 100% real, rather than synthetic, sponge for best results. Before you start, completely saturate the sponge so it expands to full capacity and then wring out till damp.

  • Splattering - a paint-splattered look might not be to everyone's taste but can fit well in a quirky home or a kid's bedroom. Don't wet the brush with too much paint before splattering to stop it from dripping everywhere - if you're brave, use lots of colour to create an eye- catching effect.

Choosing Colour

When choosing a new colour for your chest of drawers, consider the colour scheme of the entire room and whether you want to blend in with that, or stand out from it. Certain colours can create a particular ambience, so be aware of this when deciding which one to go for - here are some popular examples:

  • Red - bright reds can signify danger, whereas darker redcurrant red can represent passion, while light raspberry red paint can create a feeling of warmth.

  • Purple - because purple dye was traditionally expensive to produce, the colour is associated with wealth, luxury and royalty. Dark shades of purple, such as plum should be used sparingly so as not to be too imposing.

  • Blue - is a calming colour, especially softer baby blue or sea shades. More striking cyan or teal blue paints create a more dramatic effect.

  • Green - is associated with nature and is very easy for the eye to adjust to. Paint shades range from soft apple green to darker moss or olive to vibrant lime.

  • Yellow - can be sickly or overpowering, but just the right shade can brighten a room and enhance its energy, whether you choose bright lemon or soft buttercup shades of paint.

  • White - signifies purity and cleanliness, but can become cold and clinic if used in the extreme.

You can always try using a range of paint shades in the same colour palette to provide some variety. It's also a good idea to combine colours with neutrals like beige or cream to allow the eye to rest.

Paint Costs

Regular paint or gloss can be applied to wooden drawers, whereas special bituminous paints are available for metal drawers. The cost of paint will largely depend on which type and brand you choose, for example:

  • A 2.5 litre tin of Dulux standard interior matt paint costs £13.99
  • A 2.5 litre tin of Leyland exterior paint costs £17
  • A 2.5 litre tin of Crown bathroom/kitchen paint costs £25.49
  • A 2.5 litre tin of Johnstone's endurance paint costs £32.34


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