Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Tackling the cutlery drawer conversion project

Having been foolish enough to go to a boot fair just before going on holiday and lugged back a project to do I resolved that it was time to tackle it. Quite apart from anything else it was making the place look untidy. Few things look worse than a half done DIY project.

So! Sanding first. The intent was to just take the top layer of grime off with a fine grade sandpaper so I could keep the patina. Unfortunately the gunge left on the drawers from the weird fake wood plastic veneer meant that I had no choice but to go for a proper sanding job. I was less hardcore on the rest of the chest but needed to take enough layers off to make the colour of the wood blend together nicely.

Sanding done it was time for the magic that is Briwax to go on. Ooh it came up luvverly!

However the insides of the drawers were still a bit of a mess. The glue that held the fitted interior was tough and was not budging. After several hours of scraping and sanding I accepted that the bottom of the drawers were never going to look great and I was better off giving them a pretty lining and hiding the mess.

 But what lining? Oh so many choices of lovely wrapping paper, some astonishingly expensive. In the end I went for this one from Judd street Papers. I thought the 30's feel would work well with style of the drawers and the yellow would blend nicely with the colour of the oak.

At £2.20 per sheet it was a little more expensive than I wanted but as the drawers only cost £7.50 I thought I could stretch to it. (This got slight more expensive when I realised I had stuck one sheet the wrong way up.)

I was going to show you this 'bloggified' photo pretending that my life is fabulously stylish.

In reality though the printer has to sit on top of the drawers as there is nowhere else for it to go and artfully placed bits and bobs would drive me mad every time I used the printer or opened the drawers. So instead here is how it has improved life in a very ugly corner.

I am truly thrilled to have got all those papers hidden away. I do not claim to be a neatness obsessive but surface level tidy makes me feel very happy. Just don't open the drawers.....

Being brutally honest I  am 50/50 about the success of this. I am really pleased with how the outside has come up but the insides of the drawers are less than perfect. I just couldn't stop the paper from going crinkly from the PVA glue. It didn't matter whether I left the glue to get tacky, put a thick coat or a thin coat. Solutions on a postcard please. Fortunately the drawers are pretty full already so nobody will see much wrinkle.

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