the prints have a new home

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One of the problems I had with my last (tiny) home was there was nowhere for the prints and all my stationery to live. They all had a place but they also had to share the space with lots of other things which wasn’t ideal. One of the first things I bought for the new flat was this Alex drawer unit from IKEA.

The drawers look good white but of course I wanted to add some colour to them! If you want to try it yourself, here’s what you’ll need:

1. Paint. I used tester pots of Valspar paint from B&Q which gave each drawer 2 coats of paint with plenty left over. For the ombré effect, select your colours starting lightest to darkest. The paint colour cards are already arranged in tonal order making it nice and simple to choose.


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2. Small paint roller and tray, dust sheet or similar protection for your work surface.

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3. Your drawers. I used the smaller Alex model but this idea will work on any drawers, or you could try it on kitchen cabinets, or your indoor/outdoor steps!

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Here’s the finished result! Finally, my prints, packaging and stationery have a place to live. Pity they can’t contribute to the rent though.

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  1. I love this! What a great idea, following the tonal order of the paint charts to get the shades just right. It looks gorgeous. x

  2. These look great! Did you varnish the drawers once you’d painted them? If so, what type of varnish would you recommend?

  3. fulltimefiesta

    June 11, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Hello Ellie! I do have plans to varnish the drawers as they are used daily. Although the paint is pretty robust, I don’t want to risk chipping it. I’d recommend a matt varnish (applied with a roller) and I’m only going to varnish the painted sides as the drawer unit is already coated in a melamine type finish.

  4. Hi, what a great idea! Just one question. Did you use any primer before painting?

    • fulltimefiesta

      June 11, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Hello! I didn’t use a primer. The surface of these drawers was perfect for painting straight onto. For untreated wood, I’d recommend giving it a light sand before painting.

  5. Thanks, that’s great. Will be giving it a go soon! x

  6. Ah! Clare, I’m so happy you are blogging – really love your bright style & this drawer make-over is aces. Nice job! x

  7. Hi, did you sand these drawers before painting? I know that to surface is very smooth and I’m afraid that the paint peals off. Love your project!

    • fulltimefiesta

      December 14, 2015 at 10:55 am

      Hello! I didn’t sand the drawers before painting and it went on great. But I don’t think it would hurt to give the surface a light sand to prime it. Sealing it all once dry is the key to keeping the paint from getting scuffed and dirty. I painted these drawers almost 2 years ago, use them daily and the paint is still holding up really well. Good luck with your painting! :)

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