We rescued this chest of draws from our neighbours after they had a clean out of their attic. They’d attempted to donate this and a few other pieces to a charity but they rejected them so we jumped in to up-cycle them. It even still had the original deliver label attached to the back. Ironically the authentically shabby condition of the draws was pretty close to what we wanted to end up with but the gloss yellow colour wasn’t at all what we wanted. It looked like the side had been in the way of a door at some point and had taken a few dents, chips and bumps. The top had a few water rings and two splits in the surface at the back. While the corners were nicely chipped, bumped and worn through. The first job was to strip back some of the layers of heavy paint that had been applied over the years. I first applied a water based paint stripper and then sanded back to get a somewhat even surface but I didn’t need it to be perfect. Next I used a wood filler to fill the cracks in the surface and some of the deeper gouges. The filler shrinks as it dries so the trick is to apply a layer that is slightly thicker and then sand it back to flat once it’s dried. At this point I should confess that my wife and I were not 100% aligned on the level of shabbiness we wanted on the final piece I spent quite a lot of time sanding out the dents and dings which she’d have been quite happy to leave in. I painted the draws with a latex half matt paint in a colour called Silver Fox picking out the moulding between the draws and the key holes in a darker grey.
Next comes the fun part – the distressing! I did this in layers and using several techniques as we agreed on the level of distressing it needed.
I used a rag and black glaze to build up the appearance aged paint and grime. I used a chisel to chip the paint surface back on some of the edges to show the colours beneath including a super cool blue undercoat.
Some of the surfaces and edges were sanded back to simulate worn surfaces while on other I used a wire brush to create scratches. Finally I used a paint brush flick some spots of glaze around the bottom of the draws.