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.