How to make
To prepare the drawers, remove knobs and handles if possible.
Sand the front of each drawer with a finishing sander, or by hand.
Paint the face of each drawer with Resene Quick Dry primer, then two top coats of your choice. This project uses Resene Terracotta Pink, Resene Green Mist, Resene Bail Hai, Resene Envy, Resene Twine, Resene Tea and Resene Walnut wood stain. When dry, screw in knobs.
Lay out drawers and determine their layering order, bottom to top. Place the widest drawer at the bottom. If you have small drawers but want a wide design, place them side-by-side – they will require an upright ‘separator’ between them.
Measure the depth of the deepest drawer (measured front to back). It doesn’t matter whether this drawer is wide or narrow in width; its depth will determine the overall depth of the chest so you need to know this measurement first. It will be used in all instances when cutting horizontal bases and vertical supports (sides, or upright separators between two smaller drawers). Cut the panels to this depth. Stain or paint the panels.
Construct the bottom of the dresser which will sit under the widest drawer. Measure and cut vertical supports from a wood panel to form the sides. Sit the drawer and vertical supports on another panel. Mark a cut line on the outside of the vertical supports. Allow at least a 2-3mm gap between the drawer and the vertical support so it isn’t a tight fit. Cut the base panel to size. Sand the edges.
Make ke a jig from a piece of wood; it should be as long as your deepest drawer measurement. Drill three holes in a straight line, one in the centre, the other two 50mm from either end. This will be your guide to help you drill all the holes that will attach each horizontal base to the vertical supports that will sit either side of each drawer.
Use the jig to drill pilot holes through the panel that will be the bottom of your chest, to align with the vertical supports for the base drawer. Countersink the holes where the screw head sits so they sit flush with the surface of the wood.
Apply construction adhesive to each touching face, then use a clamp to hold the horizontal base to the vertical supports. Screw the pieces together, three screws in each side. Wipe any excess glue away with a damp cloth.
Place the base drawer in the cavity you’ve created. It should fit well and slide in and out easily.
On the underside of the base panel only, screw in four furniture legs, approximately 50mm in from each corner. We opted for simple, sturdy door stops, enough to raise it off the ground.
Cut a wood panel to the same size as the base. This will cover the top of the base drawer and become the base of the next drawer. Do not screw it in place yet; this makes it easier to fix the verticals for the next drawer in place. When the vertical supports for the next drawer are finished, screw the top in place.
Repeat the process for each layer of drawers. If one layer has two smaller drawers side-by-side, you will need to include a vertical upright that sits between them – make sure you cut the base panel wide enough to include it.
Stain the exposed ends with Resene Colorwood wood stain. Apply Resene Aquaclear waterborne urethane over all stained areas to protect them from dust and to make them easier to wipe clean.
Put the drawers in place. Tack short pieces of offcut wood in place as stoppers so short drawers sit flush with the front when closed.