I’m the kind of person that rubber necks at yard sales, FREE stuff on the side of the road and will spend money on a project condition item (a.k.a. “piece of shi*” or “haunted pile of garbage” according to my husband). It is a blessing and a curse that somehow I let the potential of the item overtake the reality of what it is. I also LOVE vintage/antique style items and have an odd sort of farmhouse meets unique meets ultra feminine french provincial style going in my home. I am an absolute sucker for furniture with curvy feet and legs, rust, index card drawer pulls, pitchers, teapots, coffee pots, tins, trunks, old windows, pigs, ornate gold edges & succulents. But this post isn’t about my favorite things. This post is to share with you the craft room storage drawer makeover I recently did.
I buy a lot of my items off local yardsale pages and vintage markets. I have met so many vintage lovers like myself doing this & have been a frequent buyer from a few of them. Because of such, they will occasionally reach out to me directly when they have found a particular item they think would be of interest to me. That is what happened with this piece. I had purchased a crusty metal crate for craft room storage from one of those pages. In meeting the seller she mentioned that they were cleaning out an old barn full of cool stuff. So I said that if she came across anything else that I could use for storage please let me know! This sad little set of drawers had been posted on one of those pages and the price seemed a little high and was a little out of my current purchasing budget. If you can’t tell, it’s basically a set of 6 shallow and a set of 4 deep drawers held together by a simple skeleton but no hard sides, back or top to enclose it in.
Notice the index card file drawer pulls…….ya…..I was smitten. Since I was in no position to buy it at the time and I was sure someone else was going to snatch it right up, I gave it a simple thumbs up and moved along. Well, luckily, the seller reached out to me via FB messenger and asked if I was interested and said the price for the pair had been lowered. I explained that I was interested but I was not in a position to purchase it for another week or so. So if she needed to sell it quickly to let someone else buy it. This is the thing that I love about the “network” of people on these sites. I have found-as both a seller and a buyer-the more you stick to your word, pay promptly, price fairly, show up and show up on time, willing to compromise, over-communicate if something holds you up for any reason, and show respect for everyone’s time and schedule, the better the experience for everyone and the more people want to work with you and you with them. I was so excited when she told me that she would save it for me and that it was mine when I could pick it up.
This was one of those things that I sorta tried to add to the mess in the garage at the time and kinda hope it would go unnoticed by my husband for a little while…..I already knew the look and the comments that were coming! But in my mind it was absolutely the perfect thing to pretty up and put all of my scrapbook paper, embellishments and supplies in for my new dedicated craft room workshop. He noticed pretty much right away. Got the comments over with, and then gave me his advice on what needed to be done to make it a workable set of drawer storage.
I won’t go into a lot of detail about the build of the casing. Mostly because, my husband was eager to do it for me and who am I to try to pretend like I would do a better job at it than he would. If you don’t know, he builds houses for a living so this is right up his ally. I did go to our weekend home (Home Depot) to pick up the nails and a sheet of cabinet grade plywood and then let him go for it. You can see him in the picture above reinforcing the “skeleton” & slides that the drawers came with. From this point, he cut the back, sides, bottom and top from the plywood sheet and attached it all to the skeleton. Though I don’t have a picture of it before paint, I would have been happy to caulk the rough edges and seams and move on to paint. My husband felt that it needed to be dressed up a bit better than that so he took a piece of leftover quarter round wall trim that we had in the garage and gave the face of the cabinet a clean, smooth transition. All the nail holes were puttied, hardware removed and the whole thing sanded to prep for paint.
I hand painted the cabinet and drawer fronts using a foam brush and Fairy Chalk Mother’s paint in Peacock (teal) and Industrial (grey). With it being a smaller piece and using 2-tone paint, hand brushing is easier for me. I know I’ve said it so many times before but I seriously love this paint. It goes on so smooth and covers so easily. After 2 coats of paint, I sprayed 2 coats of polycrylic on everything using my air compressor and HVLP paint sprayer.
Once the polycrylic dried, I started working on the stencil numbering for each drawer. I had bought a stencil from an online craft store months ago and cut out each of the numbers and the “No”. I used a temporary spray adhesive on the back of the stencil to hold it in place on the drawer. 1 spray gave me enough tact to last for all 10 drawers. Once the stencil was in place, I used fine grit sand paper to sand the area where the paint was going because I had polycryliced (is that the right word?) this area already. My reason for doing it in this order is that I wanted to distress the stencil without distressing the Peacock colored paint behind the stencil.
With the stencil in place and the area sanded, I used a foam pouncer very lightly dipped in paint and “pounced” the paint over the stencil. Once satisfied with the coverage, I removed the stencil and stuck it to the next drawer.
With that part in place and dried, I started with the number placement. I knew that the plastic edge of the number stencil would overlap the first stencil so I had to wait for it to dry. I used stencil tape along the bottom of the first stencil to help keep everything “in line” & repeated the process from above for all 10 numbers.
When all stenciled paint was dry, I used fine grit sand paper to distress the stenciled paint slightly. Then sprayed each drawer with an additional 2 coats of polycrylic. I may have overdone it a little on the polycrylic, but I know this piece is going to get a decent amount of use and abuse in my craft room and I want my hard work to last!
I let everything dry and cure for about a week before reattaching the hardware and placing the drawers in their new cabinet casing.
If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments and I will get back to them as soon as possible.