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Organised chaos

Projects from Nadia magazine

Creative play is essential for kids, but keeping their bits and bobs in order is essential for you!

Keep the clutter to a minimum in your kids’ rooms with tidy wooden boxes painted in your chosen colour scheme. Here we played with complementary hues to create unique shapes using Resene testpots.

Painted boxes to organise clutter

Painted wooden boxes

You will need:

  • 3 large plywood box shelves (ours measured 59cm tall x 37cm wide x 35cm deep)
  • Sandpaper , small paint roller and tray
  • Paintbrush, painter’s masking tape, pencil and eraser
  • 2 litres Resene Alpaca (or main colour of your choice)
  • 1 litre Resene Regent Grey (or colour of your choice)
  • Resene testpots in Resene Cashmere, and Resene Gull Grey (or colours of your choice)


  1. Lightly sand any rough areas on your box shelves. Clean away wood dust.

  2. With a roller, paint each box in your main colour (we chose Resene ‘Alpaca’). Use a paintbrush for hard-to-reach areas. Leave one side unpainted while it dries. Once dry, paint remaining surface and allow to dry. Repeat with a second coat.

  3. Mask off the inside middle section of the shelves with painters tape. Paint in another colour (we used Resene ‘Regent Grey’). Allow to dry, repeat with another coat. Remove tape.

  4. With a pencil, lightly mark out a design on all three boxes. (You may find masking off areas with painter’s tape helps to get a cleaner edge). Paint design in steps – one Resene colour at a time. Allow to dry, then apply a second coat. Once dry move onto your next Resene colour and repeat.

  5. Remove all tape and rub away any visible pencil marks.

Top tips:

  • When creating a design, don’t forget the back and sides of your shelves, as you can use shelves as area dividers in a room – you want them to look good from all angles!

  • To help visualise a design, cut out paper shapes and arrange the pieces on shelves before you commit to painting.

  • For extra sparkle, use Resene FX Metallic for one of your feature colours.

Words and pictures by Tanya Wong.

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Projects from Nadia magazine
View more project ideas from Nadia magazine in the Resene weekend DIY projects section.

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