Easy Fix for Ugly Drawers

5 Materials
2 Hours

I purchased a vintage dresser at a local thrift store. The exterior was in OK shape with some minor flaws, but the interiors of all the drawers were in rough shape. Luckily there is an easy fix which I will share with you today.

This is one of the drawer interiors AFTER I cleaned it up. All the drawers are in similar or worse shape. It's not something I would want to put my clothes in! My plan is to line the drawer bottoms with a pretty fabric, but first I need a clean surface to work with.

I applied two coats of a stain blocking primer. Unfortunately, some of the stains were persistent and bled through the primer. I was worried that the stains might also later bleed through my fabric, so I touched up the stained areas with two additional coats of clear shellac. That did the trick! Next I applied two coats of white paint to the drawer interiors.

After measuring the drawers, I cut the fabric and then set it in place. (I've summarized the process here, but please visit my blog post for more tips on getting a professional result!) Next I carefully lifted and folded half the fabric over and applied Mod Podge (affiliate link) evenly over the surface. I smoothed the fabric back into place and then repeated the process for the other half.

Even if careful measurements are taken, not every drawer is perfectly square. So make sure the fabric in the front is lined up as precisely as possible and let any imperfections in the alignment happen in the back of the drawer which is never really seen.

Now the drawers are not only clean and fresh but beautiful, too! I don't have a link for the actual fabric, but the brand is Waverly.

Refurbishing the drawers was the key element of this project. But the rest of the dresser received a makeover, too. If you're interested in learning more I would like to invite you to stop by my blog to see the full project.

(A note regarding the price estimate: I purchased the fabric for less than $10. The other materials were items I had on hand, but I think you could definitely complete this project for less than $50. The time estimate is just that -- an estimate. It does not include dry time.)

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Debra S
    on Jun 10, 2020

    I also love to do the inside of any of my re-dos! It just makes a difference, makes it so fresh and new. I am glad to have been learning about shellac, because Oh do I have a next project to do.. with a nasty stain, who knows what is it? Bleach did not budge it, i think it's actually motor oil, this beauty of an old cabinet had been in someone's garage.

    • Patricia
      on Jun 11, 2020

      It sounds like your project is going to turn into a treasure Debra! Have fun and good luck!

  • Kathy
    on Jun 10, 2020

    Did you apply modpodge on the top of the fabric?

  • Barbara Paonessa
    on Jun 10, 2020

    Can you paint over the shellac? I have cabinets that have bleeding marks on the face. I have used several layers of stain block but the bleed keeps coming through.

    • Patricia
      on Jun 11, 2020

      Hi Barbara, Yes I paint over shellac. If the type of paint you're using requires primer, then I would put a coat of primer over the shellac before applying the paint. Good luck with your project!

Join the conversation

3 of 23 comments
  • Tammie
    on Jul 9, 2019

    can You tell me the paint color and brand? Beautiful job.

    • Patricia
      on Jul 10, 2019

      Thanks Tammie! The exterior is Duck Egg Blue and the top is Coco both by Annie Sloan chalk paint.

  • Renee
    on Jun 10, 2020

    Awesome! Thank you!! Can you share where you got your wall covering? Stunning!!!!! Have a super day!

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