DIY painted pine drawers

I’m super-proud of my newly painted pine drawers. They cost me just £46 in total, with leftover materials to spare and they took less time and bother than I expected to paint.

I’ve had the same set of crappy pink plywood drawers for about seven years. The drawers were part of a 3 piece bedroom suite that I bought from the charity shop. They were second hand but did the job at the time. Like all cheap furniture, the drawers became tired and the bottoms bowed with the weight of my clothes being repeatedly stuffed inside them.

As a fan of money-saving hacks, I wanted to ‘upcycle’ some quality wood drawers that I could get hold of for a bargain price. It was typical that when I started looking for second-hand drawers, there were so few available. After a couple of weeks trawling eBay, Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace, I spotted a typical set of drawers for just £20. The guy selling them was living overseas and gave me the option of just 2 days to meet him at the storage warehouse where the drawers were stored. He said he had received a lot of interest from people about the drawers but luckily I was the first to commit to a time to meet him at his store. Annoyingly, I didn’t take a photo of their drawers in their original state for the ‘before’ image.

In anticipation of my picking up my new drawers, I scrolled Pinterest for colour inspiration. A set of drawers in my feed painted by blogger Liz from were exactly what I wanted to recreate (you can read her blog post on her drawers project here) I picked up a tin of Rust Oleum paint in the colour anthracite for £12 and a small tin of wood stain in the colour American Walnut for £9 from Homebase and bought a cheap set of handles for just under £5 from eBay.

After sanding down the drawers with a belt sander, I stained the top and drawer fronts. Having read some blog posts on how to apply the stain, I thought it may be fiddlier than it turned out to be. Most articles recommended getting an even stain and using a special cloth but I just used one of Dave’s old work shirts and rubbed two coats of the dye on in no particular way.

The stain seemed to dry in just a few hours, however, I left painting until the following evening. With a standard cheap paintbrush, I applied the paint being careful to keep the brush strokes going in the same direction for a smooth and regular finish. The chalk paint is quite thick and was satisfying to apply. It was much easier to deal with that I thought it would be.

Once the paint had sealed, I painted on a couple of layers of clear matt varnish that we had in the cupboard just for a bit of extra protection. Most of the articles I read favoured wax for finishing chalk painted furniture; however, I couldn’t be persuaded to buy wax when we already had varnish at home. It did the job well enough.

The handles arrived in the post and, after faffing around for a while measuring out when they should be placed, I screwed them onto the drawer fronts. Ta-dah!



In total, I spent no more than 3 hours on the drawers, proving you don’t have to give up much time to a DIY refurb or be a perfectionist to get a good result. I used less than half of the tin of paint and just over half of the wood stain so there’s enough left for another project.

This post is sponsored. As always, all words and opinions are my own.

By Jenni Tulip

I'm a bright-haired, hill walking, magpie whispering, skull collecting, tree hugging, money saving, bird watching, happy campervanning, ferret fanatic, woodland dweller sharing my stories and passion for the outdoors to inspire you to immerse yourself in nature.