Projects & Improvements

Before & After: Bringing New Life to Old Drawers

updated May 7, 2019
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Reusing old drawers as shelving is something we’ve discussed here a few times before. In fact, you may recognize one of these drawers from a post on the subject. While I’ve been using drawers as shelving for a couple of years, I wanted to take the concept to the next level.

I had already been using one of these drawers as a wall shelf in my bedroom and when I gave the bedroom a makeover, I wasn’t sure whether I would use the drawers again. As I’ve been searching for new accessories for the bedroom, I started to reconsider using the drawers for display shelves. This time, however, I decided to paint the drawers red to match the other accessories in the room.

First, I removed the handles and used a spray primer to coat the outside of the drawers. After the primer dried, I applied two coats of high gloss red spray paint. Once the two coats of red paint dried, I experimented with painting the inside of the drawers the same color as the bedroom walls (as you see in the third photo). While the blue on the inside of the drawer looked amazing when the drawers were sitting on a table or on the floor, the look was less than desirable when the drawers were mounted on the wall. So I took the drawers back outside and spray painted the insides of them the same glossy red.

I love the way the drawers look now. With the red paint, the drawers give the corner of the bedroom a fun little pop of color. And, even though I haven’t put anything in them yet, the drawers will be a handy display area for books and collectibles.

Images: Jason Loper