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Closet fashionista

Project ideas and inspiration from Good magazine

Give an old wooden wardrobe a no-sand paint makeover to add more colour – as well as more storage – to your life.

Closet makeover
A refurbished wooden wardrobe

Are you put off the idea of upcycling old furniture because you don’t fancy the noise and dust made by sanding? The good news is that many wooden makeover projects can be completed without having to sand a thing. In the case of old, stained furniture a decent scrub with Resene Timber and Deck Wash can be sufficient to prepare the painting surface. Here’s an example:

You will need


Step-by-step instructions

  1. Sand-free prep Choose a place to work – ideally somewhere outside that is within reach of water and on concrete or another hardy surface that will not be affected by the cleaner. Using your gloves, dilute the Resene Timber and Deck Wash as per the instructions on the pack and coat all paintable surfaces liberally. Leave for five minutes.

Painting and refurbishing an old wardrobe

Sanding an old wardrobe

Refurbishing an old wardrobe

  1. Scrub clean Using the pot scrubber, rub over all paintable surfaces, working in the same direction as the wood grain.

  2. Wash off Use a garden hose (ideally one with a medium-pressure spray nozzle) to quickly wash down all surfaces. Avoid soaking the cabinet more than necessary. Allow to dry completely.

  3. Paint Working a small area at a time, paint with a colour of your choice and rub the paint back using rags to achieve the look you want. Do this to a greater or lesser extent depending on how much of the original wood grain you want exposed. Cover all visible surfaces , including painting any features you wish to accentuate in a lighter or darker colour. If painting the insides of the drawers, avoid painting the outer panels as an extra layer of paint may make them jam. Allow to dry completely before reassembling.

Words and photography Sarah Heeringa.

Download this article as a PDF

Good magazine projects
Wanting to tackle a project at your place but only have a weekend to spare? Get inspired with these projects from Good magazine. Reclaim and upcycle with paint.

View Good projects | View all projects


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Colours shown on this website are a representation only. Please refer to the actual paint or product sample. Resene colour charts, testpots and samples are available for ordering online.   See measurements/conversions for more details on how electronic colour values are achieved.

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