Close Give Feedback
Resene Paints - home page
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube

The art of storage

Sustainable ideas ❋ Te oranga ō te taiao, from Thrive magazine

Hsin Huang uses a couple of vintage drawers to create useful display shelving that doubles as a work of art.

Paint an arty shelf unit
How to paint arty display shelving

What you need

Resene testpot colours

In the last issue we showed you how to turn an old chest of drawers into the kitchen island. If you missed it, find the details here.

Method / steps

  1. Start by carefully removing all handles from the drawers. (A)

  2. Measure the depth and width of the drawers and cut the plywood for the shelf so that it is a snug fit. (B)

  3. Fill any gaps or holes in the drawers with Resene EzyFill Quick, then let it dry completely. Sand to expose the natural wood underneath the old paint, so that you have a smooth surface for your basecoat.

  4. Apply Resene Quick Dry primer undercoat to the drawers. If it needs a second coat of primer, lightly sand first. (C)

  5. When the basecoat is completely dry, sand, and finish with Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen. We used Resene Milk White. (D)

  1. Make sure the surface of the wooden shelf you have cut is smooth – some sanding may be required. Stain the shelf with Resene Colorwood wood stain. We used Resene Deep Oak. Follow the stain instructions carefully. We found that applying the stain with a large brush then quickly wiping away excess stain with a cloth gave a good result. (E)

  2. When dry, finish with Resene Aquaclear varnish. (F)

  3. Paint the back of the drawer with a colour that will work as the background for your design. We used Resene Grain Brown from the Karen Walker Paints collection. (G)

  4. Outline your design with pencil. We were inspired by abstract art we saw online. Using Resene testpots, fill in with your chosen colours, letting each colour dry before moving onto the next one. (H and I)

  1. Measure evenly on either side of the drawer and mark the position of the shelf so that it’s straight. Make sure there is enough space above the shelf to hold whatever will sit there. (J)
  2. Mark points for screws to hold the shelf in place. We also recommend using liquid glue suitable for timber to make it extra secure. Drill holes and screw shelf in position. (K)

  3. Use Resene EzyFill Quick to fill the screw holes, allow to dry and sand. Using a small brush, touch up the paint.

  4. If desired, add hooks to one of the drawers to hang cups. (L)

  5. Choose brackets that will hold the weight of the drawers, including anything you will store in them. We used flush mount hangers. L-shaped brackets are recommended for extra support.


Download this project as a PDF

Project by Hsin Huang. Photography by Michael Moore. June/July 2021

Projects from Thrive magazine
Thrive features authentic information on sustainability, mind and body health, garden-to-table living, eco beauty and fashion...

Sustainable project ideas | Weekend DIY projects


Order online now:
Testpots | Paints | Primers and Sealers | Stains | Clears | Accessories

Get inspired Get inspired ! Subscribe      Get saving Get saving ! Apply for a DIY card

Resene Paints Ltd

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask us!

Resene Paints Ltd   –

Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Follow us on YouTube
Videos on how to paint and stain your house

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.

What's new | Specifiers | Painters | DIYers | Artists | Kids | Sitemap | Home | TOP ⇧