How to Upholster a Chair (attached seat pad method)

I actually completed this chair months ago (some of you may even remember I posted a sneak peek on Facebook) and have just been waiting for some spare time to sit down and write the tutorial and share it already.

How To Upholster a Chair (and a cable knit cover) | The Painted Hive

It’s a sweet little chair for Charlotte’s room (yes, I will get that space completed – one day). I picked it up from eBay for around $25 after a reasonably long search. You see, I have this problem where I tend to envisage things I want – usually things that don’t exist – which means finding them generally takes a really, really long time. Throw my aversion for forking out big bikkies into the mix and it’s near impossible. Anyhoo, when I finally spotted this chair I knew it was just right. The shape, scale and patina, not to mention the price, were all perfect.

It’s the same chair I featured (in its ‘before’ state) in my distressed table post

Antique Chair and Distressed Kid's Table | The Painted Hive

Lift Lid Kid's Table | The Painted Hive

I must admit, after seeing these pics I fell a bit in love with the raw unpretentious look of the incomplete upholstery and did consider leaving it as is, though the exposed hessian and remnants of gimp were just way too itchy and scratchy so a new seat cover it had to be.

This is the first time I’ve ever upholstered a chair without a removable drop-in seat. I guess I must have felt kinda intimidated by the task, because this poor little chair sat neglected for over a year. Turns out my trepidation was unwarranted. The project was actually pretty simple and the result is surprisingly proper.

If, like me, you feel a little uncertain about the process of upholstering a chair with an attached seat pad, hopefully this tutorial will help shed some confidence inducing light.

How to Upholster a Chair: Step by Step | The Painted Hive

1 Chair
Duh! As mentioned, I’m using an antique child’s chair I picked up from eBay for $25.

2 Webbing
I’m using traditional jute webbing. Nowadays, you can get it in nylon and other materials too.

3 Upholstery Tacks
I used 1cm (3/8″) long tacks. You could use a staple gun instead though given the thickness of the webbing I just prefer the secure hold tacks provide.

4 Hessian/Burlap
To act as a base for the foam. Hessian is traditionally used though any strong woven fabric should suffice.

5 Foam
I’m using mid-density 25mm (1″) foam.

6 Wadding/Batting
To soften the curve of the foam and help conceal any inconsistencies.

7 Fabric
I usually go all practical when it comes to upholstery fabrics, especially where kids are involved, though in this case I kinda forgot about that. I wanted to use a cable knit jumper – a cream one at that – so I just did. Of course I’ve treated it with a fabric protector and have tried to persuade Charlotte to be somewhat careful though let’s face it, she’s a kid and it’s her chair so she can use it as she likes (within reason of course). I figure if it does get particularly dirty, worn or stained I always know how to recover it – that’s the power of learning to do stuff yourself I guess :-) I picked up my pre-loved cable knit jumper for just $3.99 from Savers.

8 Trim/Braid/Gimp
For concealing the staples. I’m using some really lovely braided cotton which goes perfectly with the cable knit fabric. I found it at Spotlight for around $3 a meter.

 

How To Upholster a Chair | The Painted Hive

STEP 1 Remove any existing upholstery as required.
In the case of my chair that meant the old webbing, hessian and glued-on gimp along with a hundred million staples. Seriously. In many cases removing the existing upholstery can be the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of the whole project. If possible, avoid it if you can. My webbing and hessian was just a bit far gone to be saved.

 

Upholstery: How To Web a Seat : The Painted Hive

STEP 2 Attach the webbing.
You can do this in a few different ways. This is how I went about it (you can read my previous tutorial for upholstering a drop-in seat for a detailed explanation of a slightly different method).

A Cut a strip of webbing around 20cm (8″) longer than the width of the chair frame and tack it onto the seat. Take care to ensure you tack it as close as possible to the inside edge. Remember, you need frame space to attach the coming layers which also need to conceal the webbing.

B Fold the loose end over itself and tack again for extra strength.

C Pull the strip taut across the cavity (preferably using a web strainer – again, refer to my previous tutorial for more info) and tack again in the parallel position on the opposite side of the frame.

D Fold the loose end over itself and tack again then trim off any excess.

Repeat this process, weaving the strips, until you have something resembling this…

Cavity Chair Upholstery | The Painted Hive

Of course, depending on the size of your seat, more or less strips may be required.

 

How to Upholster a Cavity Seat | The Painted Hive

STEP 3 Attach the hessian.
Trim a piece of hessian around 5cm (2″) larger than the seat base. Position it on top then fold in the excess before stapling it in place. This just acts to fill the webbing gaps, making the base more comfy and strong.

 

How to Upholster a Chair Seat | The Painted Hive

STEP 4 Attach the foam.
Trim your foam so it just covers the hessian. An electric knife is by far the easiest tool for this task though if you don’t have one sharp scissors will do. You may also find it easier to make a template of the seat shape from card or paper first. Lay the foam in place and staple it on. I like to push down the top edge of the foam, tucking the side underneath, to create a nicely rounded finish. Ensure you grab enough foam with the staples to avoid it pulling through (tearing) and lifting in the future.

It will probably look a little ‘bobbly’ (yes, that’s a word) though provided the ‘bobbles’ aren’t too inconsistent the wadding and fabric should even everything out nicely.

 

Cable Knit Chair Upholstery | The Painted Hive

STEP 5 Attach the fabric.
Trim a piece of wadding around the same size as the foam and lay it on top. Trim your fabric so it comfortably covers the seat (having excess makes things a little easier) and lay it on top of the wadding. Make sure it is straight and smooth. Neatly staple around the entire perimeter of the foam, pulling taut as required, then closely trim away any excess fabric.

TIP: Using a thick and slightly stretchy fabric, especially a soft woven one, usually makes for a more smooth and consistent finish. Thin and rigid fabrics show up imperfections much more obviously.

 

How to Upholster a Chair (Attaching Trim) | The Painted Hive

STEP 6 Attach the trim.
Choose an inconspicuous area or central position to start in (I began center back). Fold a small portion of trim under itself (to conceal the exposed end and create a neat loop) then attach it to the seat using hot glue. Press down hard to compress it slightly. Continue gluing and sticking until the entire edge of the fabric is concealed by the trim. When you reach the starting point, cut the trim leaving a little excess to fold under again, then glue it down abutting the beginning…

Upholstery Trim | The Painted Hive

TIP: If, like me, you’re using a braided trim that easily unravels, keep the ends neat by tightly wrapping a strip of clear sticky tape around the area you need to cut. When you do have to cut the braid, cut through the center of the tape. This will leave only a small portion of tape which will neatly hold the loose ends together though be barely visible once folded under.

Done!

Step by Step Easy Chair Upholstery | The Painted Hive

Like I said, hopefully this tutorial helps spark some motivation in those of you who have a chair like this languishing in a dark corner somewhere. Or, even better, maybe it might inspire a few of you to purposefully seek one out! In many cases chairs requiring some simple re-upholstering can be picked up for super cheap.

Now, onto the next project for Charlotte’s room…

 

Signature

 

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Simple and Effective Wall Art (with free printables)

If you follow me on Pinterest, you might have noticed that a few months back I created a new “Masculine Rooms” board.

Masculine Rooms

I was hunting down some style inspiration for my brother’s new house, and whilst I’m pretty certain its rooms will never grace the pages of a design magazine, the house is looking much more like a home now.

One of the additions was a really simple, and super affordable, series of ‘artworks’ for the entry. I created them on a whim in a spare five minutes and never really intended to blog about them, though everyone keeps commenting on just how effective they look so, whilst I’m under no illusion that they are spectacular or anything, I thought perhaps I should share.

I’ve always been a fan of basic black and white wall art though haven’t really had a chance to use it in my own home. It’s easy to think of it as being quite contemporary and maybe even a little stark, though when used right it can impart a gentle sophistication which I think compliments a myriad of interior schemes, including country and coastal styles.

Here are a few examples of some quite different yet equally lovely rooms all sporting their own versions of predominantly black and white wall décor.

Decorating with Black & White Art

Decorating with Black & White Art

Decorating with Black & White Art

Decorating with Black & White Art

Decorating with Black & White Art

Decorating with Black & White Art

Decorating with Black & White Art

Decorating with Black & White Art

Decorating with Black & White Art

1 | 23 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9

My brother’s blank canvas of an entry seemed like the perfect candidate.

For me, the secret to DIY wall décor like this is to use large thin frames with generous mattes (or basic backing) and very simple art, preferably bordered. It creates real impact.

Of course there are a heap of ways to go about creating art like this and endless design possibilities (I’m actually really excited about playing with some different ideas). For this project I used Photoshop and some free high resolution hatching brushes. They have a raw, graphic, abstract nature which, whilst neutral enough, imparts a subtle masculine edge. It would be easy enough to hand-draw something similar though I like the instantaneousness of using digital images – especially when pressed for time. To set them off I added a black border which I think is a really crucial element.

Although they’re black and white you could always colourise them in an editing program if you’d prefer a bright punch.

Free Printable Modern Black & White Art | The Painted Hive

SET OF 3 18cm x 18cm/7″ x 7″ IMAGES
DOWNLOAD HERE

I printed the images onto nice quality paper then carefully cut around them. I also added a little signature in the bottom corner of each print to help with the illusion of ‘proper’ art.

I housed them in basic black frames (40cm x 50cm – $5 each from The Reject Shop) and instead of going to the trouble and expense of mattes, I simply flipped the card which came in the frames around to use as a background. I originally wanted white backing though the reverse side of the card was a natural cardboard colour. I was worried it might look a little crude and make-do, though it actually ended up being just perfect (I think I even prefer it to white). I simply attached the little artworks to the card using double sided tape.

The scale of my brother’s wall lent itself to a column of three landscape oriented prints.

Black and White Wall Art Free Printables | The Painted Hive

I think this is one of those “you had to be there” kinda projects. The photos just don’t convey the full effect.
Oh, and please pardon the reflections!

There is so much you can do with basic art like this. Hang it individually, in a small group, rest it on a shelf or use it as part of a larger gallery. Here are just a few configuration examples…

Different Wall Art Configurations | The Painted Hive

As I already mentioned, I know this isn’t anything spectacular. Whilst I hope it’s helpful to some of you (perhaps particularly those dealing with decorating ‘manly’ rooms) what I wanted to do more than anything through this post was inspire and encourage – ignite a little “brain flame”, if you will. I know that for most of us budget conscious decorators original art is prohibitively pricey, and whilst there are lots of affordable alternatives nowadays, there’s just something so satiating about using some ingenuity to create something personally.

I’m contemplating creating more free printables in this same kinda vein (horses, pears, birds, sea fans, tree silhouettes, geometric shapes, feathers, and on and on!) using and sharing different techniques and resources. Is this something you guys would be interested in?

Just to reiterate, I used Photoshop and some free brushes in this instance. If you don’t have Photoshop you can use GIMP – a free alternative (Photoshop brushes can be imported into GIMP). If you don’t know what the heck ‘brushes’ are, they are basic drawing tools which range from simple shapes to complex illustrations. Photoshop comes with a range of standard brushes though additional ones can be easily imported. If you’re interested, try Googling “Photoshop Brushes” to see some of the options – there are some really amazing ones!

 

Signature

Printables free for personal non-commercial use only.

 

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How To Create Perfect Looking Curtain Folds

Remember when I posted about my parent’s made-over bedroom (a month or so back now) and promised to share my tip for creating those neat looking curtain ripples?

Perfect Curtain Tabs | The Painted Hive

Well, here’s the little trick (in all its unspectacular glory) and how those lovely waves came to be…

On the day of the photo shoot (of my parent’s room) I decided the flimsiness of the curtain heading was irking me a little too much. Here’s how it looked to begin with.

Creating Perfect Tab Top Curtains (before) | The Painted Hive

Don’t get me wrong though, I get that in the right setting slightly messy curtains can look relaxed and casual, though in the context of my parent’s semi-formal-ish bedroom to me they just looked plain untidy.

Anyhoo, keeping in mind that the curtains are merely decorative (that is, they don’t need to be opened and closed – you can read why in my original post about the make-over) I got to thinking about an easy way to make them look less dishevelled. Emphasis on easy (as in lazy ;-)

Something that instantly came to mind was this roll of wired paper ribbon (blue-grey in colour if I recalled correctly) that I remembered from my childhood. It had been part of my mum’s gift wrapping stash. Hmmm, something like that could work, maybe.

So, pushing the silliness of my overly fastidious need to have unnecessarily neat curtain tabs aside – anyways, as a part-time perfectionist by definition surely I have the undeniable obligation to be overly fastidious at least part of the time – I headed to a local store to buy some said wired paper ribbon.

None – of course!

Hmmm, maybe flimsy curtain tabs would just have to do.

A little dejected, I drove to my parent’s house and, with low hopes, decided to rummage through mum’s current gift wrapping stash anyway. Just in case.

And, guess what I found?

Yup, the very same roll of blue-grey (my memory served me well!) wired paper ribbon from twenty-odd years ago!

Hoarder much Mum? :-)

Okay, tale now told, onto the tute.

How To Create Neat Curtain Folds | The Painted Hive

1 To create the neat tabs I first cut a strip of wired ribbon slightly longer than the curtain panel width. Of course, you don’t have to use wired paper ribbon. Wired fabric ribbon, or anything with similar bendy properties, would suffice.

2 With the curtain in the ‘closed’ position (extended along the rod), I then threaded it right through the front pocket until it protruded slightly at both ends. This sounds fiddly and time-consuming though it was actually really quick and easy. You may need to fold the leading end of the ribbon over slightly to create a nice smooth edge for optimal glide.

3 Finally, I carefully pulled back the curtain into the ‘open’ position and went about manipulated the now pliable semi-rigid tabs into smooth looking ‘waves’ before trimming off any excess ribbon still visible at the ends.

4 Once complete, I climbed down from my little step ladder, stood back and prepared to be totally underwhelmed. Surprisingly, it seemed to have worked! I must admit, I was totally impressed with myself (insert immodesty curtailing blush here).

Of course, they’re not totally perfect (I’m not sure there is such a thing where curtains are concerned) though they are approximately 112% better. And around two months on, even with billowing in the breeze, they have held their form beautifully.

How To Fake Perfect Curtain Ripples | The Painted Hive

Obviously, this type of solution is not an option for ‘working’ drapes which need to be opened and closed though for stationary curtains which are being used purely for the purpose of decoration or concealment it’s a simple and effective fix.

I know, I know, it would have made more sense to stiffen the flimsiness of the heading during the actual making of the curtains, though for whatever reason (impatience I’m looking at you!) that didn’t happen. Plus, I think this make-shift method actually provides greater control and the ability to create nicer waves.

I hope it might help those of you who, like me, have issues :-)

Signature

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The Re-Love Project Auctions Are LIVE!

My heart is honestly beating a little faster than usual as I type this.

I didn’t anticipate being so excited-anxious-nervous-enthralled about seeing my pieces, and those of the other ladies involved, go under the hammer!

 Upcycled Map Drawer Style Bedside Tables

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE LIVE AUCTION

If you can see these babies gracing your bedroom (or living room, or office, or kid’s room, or…wherever!) then be sure to bid.

Remember, all proceeds go to Salvos Stores and delivery Australia wide is free! Yes, free national shipping people.

In addition, you definitely have to click here to check out the pieces being offered by the other seven fabtabulous designers, complete with some gob-smacking before and after pics.

Can’t wait for that hammer to fall!

Signature

PS Can’t sign off without expressing my gratitude for the beautiful response I’ve had for this project. Thank you all.

UPDATE
The auction has now ended. Thank you to everyone who bid. We managed to raise a cumulative $2,500 for the Salvos!

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Re-Love Project…before & after

DIY Multi-Drawer Cabinet from Laminate Bedside Table | The Painted Hive

This was such a rewarding project.

If you’ve not new here, you’re probably aware of my involvement in the Re-Love Project and what it’s all about. For those of you who don’t know, in short it’s a Feast Watson campaign in collaboration with Salvos Stores which sees eight designers “re-love” a neglected item of furniture with the resulting pieces being auctioned for charity. Pretty cool, huh? You can read my first post about it here and learn more on the Feast Watson website here.

Anyhoo, as revealed in my previous post about the project, I started with a very basic laminate pair of bedside tables I picked up for just $25 (I know, they don’t look too bad, though the edges were all chipped and they had misaligned panels)…

Feast Watson Re-Love Project: Before | The Painted Hive

…and a kinda ambitious plan to completely transform them!

Basically, I wanted to “re-love” them into antique-style multi-drawer map cabinets in the same type of vein as my previous flat pack hack, though take it a few steps further and produce a truly authentic appearance. In doing so, along with challenging myself, I really wanted to encourage people to see the potential in those sometimes over-looked second-hand pieces of furniture (which are often affordable and abundant). I’m sure you’re all aware just how pricey genuine vintage multi-drawer cabinets can be so having the ability to create our very own DIY budget-friendly versions is pretty cool, maybe even a little empowering.

Anyhoo, despite a few hiccups along the way, numerous vision adaptations and those customary moments of self-doubt, things actually turned out perfectly and I’m honestly stoked with the results! I can’t wait for the auction (even if I am a little melancholy about having to let them go – at least I now know I can always create some more!).

Here’s how the whole thing went down…

Step 1

Note: As you’ll read below, I cut all of my cladding from sheets of pine ply to save a bit of money and so I could completely customise the size. If you don’t have the tools or confidence to create your own strips from sheets, you should be able to find suitable sized “off the shelf” planks of timber so you need only cut them to length.

I started by carefully measuring the bedside tables then pretty precisely cutting all of the cladding from large sheets of pine ply. This included the faux drawer fronts (30 pieces in total), the shaker-style side trim (20 pieces in total) and the tops and bases (four pieces in total). Remember, I’ve got two tables to work with so all of the pieces and processes are pretty much doubled, having just one item of furniture would probably make things quicker and easier. I used our plunge track saw (an invaluable tool for a job like this) for the long cuts, switching to a basic drop saw for the shorter cuts.

Creating the Cladding

Once all the cladding was cut, I thoroughly sanded each piece, finishing with fine grit paper for a nice, smooth finish. Using a lint-free cloth, I then applied two coats of Feast Watson Prooftint (Teak) diluted around 50/50 with Feast Watson Prooftint Colour Reducer. Because ply is so porous it’s easy for penetrating stains to come out looking way too dark. I tested a scrap of ply with undiluted stain and it appeared almost black (below pic)!

 Feast Watson Prooftint Colour Reducer

The colour reducer was perfect for achieving the exact tone I wanted, which, if I had to describe it, is kinda like a rich honey caramel – yummo! At this stage I also applied one coat of Feast Watson Scandinavian Oil (oh, how I love thee!) to easily seal all of the edges before attaching the cladding to the bedside tables. I used a brush and ensured it was well incorporated.

Feast Watson Prooftint on Ply

NOTES

:: Of course, you don’t have to use ply. I did for a few different reasons; one) to keep costs down, two) because it’s available in lots of different sizes and depths so I could completely customise my cladding, and three) because I wanted that slightly raw, industrial look – and contrary to what might be considered crude, I actually especially like the appearance of the multi-toned ‘sandwiches’ where the interior layers are exposed. If you don’t have the confidence or tools to create your own cladding from sheets of ply, or if you’d simply prefer to save the time and effort involved, you should be able to find suitably sized “off the shelf” timber planks instead. It just might mean spending a little more money and maybe being a bit restricted in terms of size. Remember too that some hardware stores might even cut your timber for you.

:: If using ply sheets, take note of the grain direction. I ensured mine was always running lengthways. Also, it’s likely your ply will have a “good” side so inspect your cladding and present the most attractive face. In addition, check your sheets prior to purchase and avoid those with noticeable imperfections, such as cracks or filled knot holes.

:: When taking all of your initial measurements, remember to factor-in the depth of any intended cladding. For example, my bedside tables were 42cm deep without cladding however once attached the faux fronts (which are 6mm deep) increase this to 42.6cm. I know that 6mm might seem pretty insignificant, though over-looking it would have created major problems, including leaving my horizontal side cladding 6mm short and my top and base overhang looking disproportionate.

Step 2

Clearly, the existing modern chrome feet had to go. I originally planned to use these grungy industrial metal castors I had found online, though when I saw them in person decided they were a little too chunky and might compete with all my brass knobs and label holders, making everything look too busy. Also, at around $20 each, although not overly pricey for industrial metal castors, they weren’t exactly cheap. I instead opted for plain timber feet cut down from a length of square pine. Not only do they compliment the shaker style simplicity though they were super affordable.

For ease, I attached them to the bases (using liquid nails and three screws) prior to connecting the bases to the actual bedside tables (once attached the screw heads will be completely concealed).

Connecting the Feet

I finished them in the same manner as the cladding; two coats of Feast Watson Prooftint (Teak) combined 50/50 with Feast Watson Prooftint Colour Reducer and one coat of Feast Watson Scandinavian Oil.

Step 3

Before attaching all the cladding some painting was required.

To create an illusion of depth between the faux drawers I decided to paint the underlying real drawers black. I first thoroughly sanded each drawer front using an electric palm sander then applied one coat of Dulux Wash & Wear Flat (Black) using a brush. I didn’t bother with primer or multiple coats of paint because they were being clad over anyway and only the tiniest amount would be visible.

Painting the Drawer Fronts

I was originally going to clad the entire sides of my tables with solid pieces of ply (like the top and base) though decided that using shaker style trim would be a bit more interesting and leave room to add a subtle colour pop! I thoroughly sanded each side using an electric palm sander with heavy grit paper. Remember, these tables are laminate and I really wanted to make sure any exposed paint was going to stick. I used a foam roller to apply one coat of Dulux Prep Lock Primer followed by two coats of Dulux Aquanamel Semi Gloss (Pastel Mint). Don’t worry about the apparent missed areas you can see in the below pic, the edges are being clad over.

Dulux Pastel Mint

Whilst I was at it I also painted the MDF backs. I know, I know, no-one is ever gonna see them though I think it’s a nice touch for whoever buys the tables. It’s the kinda detail that lets you know someone took care.

Step 4

I started with the drawer fronts, working with one drawer (five pieces of cladding) at a time. To the rear of each piece of cladding I applied a sparing bead of liquid nails, spreading it evenly with a scrap of cardboard (to eliminate any overly thick areas and potential seepage). I then carefully laid each piece in place on top of the drawer. Once all five faux fronts were in position, I carefully clamped them. Bearing in mind the faux fronts will also be held in place with the handle screws, the purpose of the glue at this stage (although a worthy bonding agent in its own right) is really just to keep everything in place and make the process of attaching the knobs simpler.

DIY Faux Drawer Fronts

The sides were a little more tricky. After attempting to clad them on my own and taking over an hour to attach five measly pieces I enlisted some help. Having two people for this process was soooo much easier. Each piece of cladding was smeared with liquid nails and held firmly in place by one person whilst the other person pre-drilled then screwed them on from the inside.

DIY Faux Map Drawer Cabinet Cladding

We started with the front-most vertical pieces. These needed to protrude the existing sides of the bedside tables (as can be seen in the above pic) in order to conceal the sides of the drawers (as the drawers originally sat on top of the sides – as can bee seen in the before pics). So, with the drawers in place we lined up the first piece of cladding perfectly, held it in position then removed the drawers to screw it on. This piece was then used as the guide for aligning the remaining four pieces of side cladding – no measuring or marking took place, it was all done by eye.

DIY Cladding a Piece of Old Furniture | The Painted Hive

The lighting makes the mint look quite white in this photo. In reality it is far more green.

The top and base were easy. A big dollop of glue and five screws driven in from the inside.

NOTES

:: If you don’t have proper clamps, you can use anything heavy to compress the glue while it sets.

:: Make sure your screws are the perfect length. Long enough to penetrate the cladding though not so long they protrude through. I decided to use a combination of glue and screws to eliminate the need to clamp (saving time) and for extra insurance in terms of the cladding bonding.

:: Take care that when clamping or screwing, your ply remains in its intended position. The glue can make it prone to sliding.

Step 5

My favourite part! The process of oiling really starts to bring the piece to life.

Using a brush I applied five (yes, five!) coats of Feast Watson Scandinavian Oil to the timber cladding, ensuring each coat was thoroughly incorporated. The raw, open-grained nature of ply makes it incredibly thirsty so five coats was needed to achieve the gentle lustre I was after. I sanded lightly between coats with fine grit paper to achieve a smooth, even finish.

Danish Oil

Scandinavian Oil (more commonly known as Danish Oil) is my absolute favourite timber sealer. It goes on like water and creates a lovely soft sheen which enhances the natural grain and colour of the timber plus provides a protective finish.

NOTES

:: Be careful with the thickness and number of coats you apply. Scandinavian Oil can become quite glossy if allowed to ‘build’. Ensure each coat is thoroughly incorporated and any excess oil is wiped away.

:: Just in case you’re wondering, as touched on above I applied one initial coat of oil prior to attaching the cladding to seal all of the edges. I decided to complete the oiling process once all the cladding was connected to the tables (rather than whilst it was still in separate pieces) so there was no risk of damaging the finish during attachment. This just meant I needed to take a bit more care not to get oil on the painted areas.

Step 6

I knew from the start that I wanted to do something a little different with these drawers. Rather than using label holders with pulls (which I have done on numerous occasions in the past), I opted for plain label holders flanked by small brass knobs. At first I thought I’d made a mistake and should have stuck to one central label pull, though now I absolutely LOVE the look!

Antique Brass Mini Drawer Knob Handles

Finding affordable mini knobs was tricky. Even the timber ones I came across were pricey. I settled for some I found on AliExpress (Antique Bronze Mini Handles – 42 cents each), though unfortunately they didn’t arrive in time :-( Luckily, the day before the project deadline, I managed to source some similar ones locally (Kaisercraft Brass Treasure Drawer Knobs – 70 cents each). Although they were a little more costly they are perfect. One of the great things about the fact that these bedside tables are actually modern in construction is that the drawers are on smooth glide rollers which, even with the small knobs, makes opening them a cinch.

Antique Style Label Holder Free Printable | The Painted Hive

DOWNLOAD HERE

The label holders are from eBay (60mm x 17mm Antique Bronze Label Holders – $13 for ten). I created some simple number labels on antique paper to fill them (see link above to view and download).

I was a little daunted by the prospect of having to accurately measure and attach 30 small label holders and 60 mini knobs though it actually wasn’t that bad. The trickiest part was ensuring the handle screws were all cut to the right length.

Step 7

As a finishing touch I decided to line the drawers. I was originally planning to use geometric patterned wrapping paper (like a chevron or trellis) though was having trouble finding what I wanted when I had an alternate idea. Given my design for the bedside tables was loosely based on antique map drawers I thought using pages from my old street directory to create a random collage-effect would be perfect! I attached some of the pages using Mod Podge though found that the thinness of them caused some bubbling (nothing major, and it pretty much dried out completely, though enough to bother me) so I completed the lining using double sided tape – simple and perfect.

Map Lined Drawers | The Painted Hive

Project complete!

DIY Multi-Drawer Cabinets from Laminate Bedside Tables | The Painted Hive

DIY Map Drawers from Laminate Table | The Painted Hive

Transformed Laminate Bedside Table into Antique Style Map Drawers | The Painted Hive

Remember what they looked like before? Here are some comparison pics.

Laminate Bedside Tables (Before)

DIY Map Drawer Cabinet from Laminate Bedside Tables (Before & After) | The Painted Hive

How To DIY Multi-Drawer Cabinet (Before & After) | The Painted Hive

How To Create Your Own Map Style Drawers from any Basic Piece of Furniture | The Painted Hive

Some of you might be thinking this all sounds like too much work, I mean, why not just make the whole thing from scratch? Well, it is definitely an option, though furniture construction (at least complex builds involving components like drawers) isn’t really my strong suit. Having a structurally sound starting point saved me a heap of time, effort and even money, not to mention the worry of it spontaneously imploding! Whilst it’s true that there was a bit of effort involved, it wasn’t really difficult, just a little time consuming and repetitive (given there were two of them).

Now, here’s something you don’t see everyday, a photo of….me!

DIY Multi-Drawer Cabinet Hack | By Kristine Franklin of The Painted Hive

The campaign marketers requested one so I thought I may as well share :-)

Remember, along with the pieces of the other seven designers involved with this campaign, these babies are being sold for charity, so if you love them (or know someone else who would) be sure to stay tuned! I’m not across all the eBay auction deets yet, though can tell you they go live on Thursday 24 July. In addition, I’m excited to let you know that Feast Watson will be covering shipping costs Australia wide! How awesome is that? So, whether you’re in Brisbane or Broome you’re in no way disadvantaged (of course, if you’re located outside Australia you are more than welcome to arrange your own freight). I’ll be sure to post again once the auctions go live!

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PS Lots of hugs and kisses to my wonderful husband who helped immeasurably with this project.

UPDATE
The charity auction has now ended. Thank you to everyone who bid. We managed to raise a cumulative $2,500 for the Salvos!

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