How to paint a chest of drawers – the 8 steps

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On Wednesday’s episode of Changing Rooms, Laurence Lewellyn Bowen transformed Sarah’s bedroom into an ultra-feminine space with stencilled wall panelling and a sumptuous pink headboard. To complete the look, Laurence gave an old chest of drawers a new lease of life – transforming it into a show-stopping feature. With just a couple of coats of paint, you too can up-cycle your dusty old set of drawers. chatted to Dulux to find out how to paint a chest of drawers, step by step.

How to paint a chest of drawers

You’ll need:

Primer (for bare wood or melamine furniture)

Paint in a dark and a lighter colour

Fine surface sandpaper

Sugar soap

Clean cloths

A bucket of clean water

Rubber gloves

Dust brush

Vacuum cleaner

Small radiator roller with glossing sleeve

2 x 2” good quality acrylic brushes

1 litre plastic paint kettle

Mixing brush (round fitch)

Dust sheets

Step one

Lay down the dust sheets.

Step two

Remove the knobs or handles from the chest drawers if they’re not integral (put them in a jam jar for safekeeping)

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Step three

If the surface of the furniture is very dirty or damaged, pop on your rubber gloves and clean it with sugar soap.

Rinse well with water on a clean, damp rag, and allow to dry

Step four

Lightly sand the surface of the chest of drawers (body and drawer fronts), then remove dust with a dust brush (and vacuum cleaner)

Step five

If you’re working with bare wood or melamine furniture, apply a primer undercoat, such as Dulux Primer For Difficult Surfaces. Leave to dry, lightly sand again and remove dust. If the furniture is already painted, it needs no undercoat

Step six

Stir your darker paint and paint the top and the sides of the chest, using a small glossing roller for flat surfaces and a brush for any fiddly bits and mouldings

Paint the drawer fronts. Leave the chest to dry

Expert tip: Sand lightly and remove dust between coats for a perfect smooth finish

Step seven

Pour your lighter paint into the paint kettle, stir and paint over the chest

While still wet, use a dusting brush to drag the surface, allowing the darker colour to show through slightly

Step eight

Allow to dry, lightly sand and replace drawer knobs or handles – Ta-da!

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