House Beautiful (UK) - - TRANSFORMATION BEDROOM - JO BEHARI A cham­pion for women in DIY and busi­ness, an ex­pert on us­ing space and im­prov­ing prop­er­ties, TV pre­sen­ter and co-au­thor of The Girl’s Guide to DIY HB

QI’d like to up­date an old chest of draw­ers and bed­side ta­bles. What is the best way to give them a new lease of life?

AChang­ing the knobs on a chest of draw­ers, as Zoe has done, is a quick and easy way to up­date fur­ni­ture. How­ever, if you want to go a lit­tle fur­ther, you can fol­low the sim­ple steps be­low to paint or wall­pa­per your pieces to make them unique. Fur­ni­ture made from wood is the eas­i­est to cus­tomise as it’s straight­for­ward to prep, but this idea would work on metal and melamine items too.

First, re­move any han­dles and knobs from the fur­ni­ture us­ing a screw­driver. Sand the item to cre­ate a ‘key’ for the paint to stick to. You can do this us­ing an elec­tric san­der or by hand. Start with a coarse grade (60 or 80 grit) for fur­ni­ture with a rough sur­face and fin­ish on a finer grade (120 grit). When you have a good key, clean the item with a tack cloth (this is a cloth that is treated with a tacky sub­stance to re­move any small par­ti­cles or residue), or with warm wa­ter – be care­ful not to over­soak any bare wood. Leave the item to dry. You can then paint it in your cho­sen colour or var­nish. For flat sur­faces, use a foam roller for a smooth fin­ish and rub with fin­ish­ing sand­pa­per be­tween coats to pro­vide a key for the next coat. Mask­ing tape will help to keep edges neat and can also be used to cre­ate in­ter­est­ing pat­terns or stripes.

If you want to be more ad­ven­tur­ous, you can cover your fur­ni­ture with wall­pa­per or even sheets of sticky back plas­tic, which come in patterned and plain de­signs (try B&Q and Wilko). It’s eas­ier to change than wall­pa­per on walls and is a nice way to in­tro­duce pat­tern into a room.

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