What should I do with this chest of drawers?

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I have this chest that came to me partially stripped of its many layers of paint. The top and the two upper drawers have been completely stripped but the rest of the piece has cream, green, and black showing through and the interior is barn red. I kind of like the paint, but should I repaint the drawer fronts to try and match the old flaking paint or leave as is? Thanks for your input.
q what should i do with this chest of drawers, painted furniture
  32 answers
  • Lynda Nichols Lynda Nichols on May 12, 2014
    You can paint it with chalk paint. Below where there are no doors, buy baskets to hold objects.

    • Cheryl Cheryl on May 13, 2014
      @Lynda Nichols Yes, I like that idea! I was wondering what had happened to the doors, but yeah, you could use baskets, which is a great idea and would make it appear intentional, or stack a bunch of books in there. I'm always looking for extra storage for my books in places where they can be displayed as well as not get tripped over.

  • CreativityNewsNow CreativityNewsNow on May 12, 2014
    Trace, There are interesting articles on pinterest. I'm not sure If i'm allowed to give you the link here. If you want the link just contact me. You can do wonderfull things with this dresser.

  • Franc Franc on May 12, 2014
    I'd spray the bottom sections with a clear mat finish so that it is washable add wheels turn it into a kitchen cart. the top could be sealed or covered. personally I would put a butcher block oil on it.

  • 117135 117135 on May 13, 2014
    If you like the paint as is, I would try to match the upper drawers to the rest. I would stain and seal the top. You can probably tell in which order the colors of paint were painted and paint in that order. I would sand a distress each layer as you go and then paint the next layer on that. Seal the entire piece in a polycrylic to prevent more flaking etc.

    • See 3 previous
    • Cheryl Cheryl on May 17, 2014
      Thanks for the tip. I will look it up online!

  • Karen McLendon Karen McLendon on May 13, 2014
    If you have room, I would use it in your kitchen as an extra work area. Paint it and distress it and use the bottom to store cook books, or large pots or baskets of onions and potatoes.

  • Cheryl Cheryl on May 13, 2014
    My choice would be DeDe's idea. It really looks great with the many layers of paint.

  • Nikki Nikki on May 13, 2014
    Yes.....Keep those layers of paint! I would add 1 or 2 small puck lights to shine down on whatever you choose to display in the bottom.

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on May 13, 2014
    My advice would be...if you kinda like it the way it is...buy two baskets to put in the bottom openings and place it where you want to use it and WAIT. The inspiration will come to you. I have found several times I was to QUICK to make a change and wished later I had not done it. Give yourself a little time to LIVE with it and you will know exactly what to do. Love the piece.

  • Cindy S Cindy S on May 13, 2014
    Lots of great ideas! I think I would use as vanity in bathroom. It would be great with baskets underneath for storage.

  • Virginia Fynes Virginia Fynes on May 13, 2014
    I just refinished a very similar chest except in reverse. Tip I painted white and the bottom I refinished. the missing doors on the bottom I removed the centre post and added baskets to the bottom

  • Vicki Vicki on May 13, 2014
    Paint it with chalk paint. Add plywood shelf where the drawers are, put casters on it. Cover the plywood shelf with pretty paper and make a rolling cart or server.

  • I love it. My only suggestion would be to maybe lighten up the inside by dry brushing with white paint and distressing....just a thought!

  • Shirley S Shirley S on May 13, 2014
    great kitchen island ! coffee station ? entry way stop. Leave it , seal it and wallpaper or paint the inside of bottom.

  • Doreen S Doreen S on May 13, 2014
    One option is to remove the drawers and place baskets there and on the bottom as well. This will give the piece a unified look. As far as poly vs. Wax, wax is best for this type of piece. If you had issues with streaking, it may be because you used too much wax or didn't buff it enough (or both). Unless the piece is getting heavy duty use, protection is often overrated anyway. A quick coat of wax is best. If you do decide to use poly, make sure it's water based. There are many non yellowing brands available and your local supplier should be able to guide you. Leave the top as is. It looks nice plus it will make your life easier ;).

  • Swanee421 Swanee421 on May 13, 2014
    I have a similar piece in my kitchen. Baskets in the bottom add extra storage. Stencil on the drawers adds interest and allows you to be creative without disturbing the old flaky paint.

  • Pauliegirl1 Pauliegirl1 on May 13, 2014
    DOES THE BOTTOM HAVE DOORS? THAT "DARK" SPOT IN THE MIDDLE LOOKS LIKE HANDLES? WHAT ABOUT THE BACK SIDE? I WOULD USE THE DRAWERS FOR SHELVES, MAYBE ABOVE IT IF YOU PUT AGAINST A WALL,.REPLACE WITH PRETTY COVERED BOXES, THAT U CAN MAKE THE SIZE YOU NEED! THEN I WOULD LIGHTEN THE COLOR BELOW, UNLESS YOU LIKE IT, IF YOU HAVE DOORS? PUT SOME TYPE OF WIRE, DECORATIVE/CHICKEN WIRE. OR IF YOU WANT MAYBE A CUTE MATERIAL SKIRT, GATHERED ON A "SMALL" ROD, U CAN GET AT WAL MART. IF THE BACK IS IN GOOD SHAPE, AND U USE AS A KITCHEN ISLAND,PAINT IT WHITE, OR YOU CAN COVER WITH MATERIAL, LIKE THE FRONT. IF THE BACK IS NOT IN GOOD SHAPE, YOU COULD CUT OUT THE BOTTOM PART, SO ITS OPEN ALL THE WAY THRU... HANG SOME HOOKS ON THE SIDES FOR TOWELS\LARGE SPOONS ETC..I SURE HOPE YOU UNDERSTAND MY JIBBERISH??? GOOD LOCK, ITS A COOL PIECE, CANT WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU DO!!!.

  • Grandmaada Grandmaada on May 13, 2014
    Clean it stain it and make a wine cabinet.

  • Leslie Leslie on May 13, 2014
    I would paint the top a red to match the inner shelf color and do some stencil isn't in the red and white in the drawers to tie it in ,then add baskets or fabric covered boxes to the bottom. Very excited to see what you come up with:)

  • Lorraine Lorraine on May 13, 2014
    The charm of this piece is its rag tag look - if you repaint it that will vanish. I would try to match the drawers to the rest of the shabby white, leave the inside alone. Since you only need two pieces of hardware I would look for something that goes with your decor but is not your standard box store knob or handle. It has potential in every room - I like the idea of the kichen island, a bathroom vanity or even a coffe station. Sand the top and then sand it again and again. I have used a product call DEFT when I wanted something to be water proof. You apply a coat - let it dry and then using very soft steel wool - you sand - do that for at least three coats - I learned the method from a furniture refinisher and tried it on an old washstand and an oak icebox - 35 years later - a couple of kids and a few moves and the finish on both is as good as the day I put it on.

  • LA - Fairhope Supply Co. LA - Fairhope Supply Co. on May 13, 2014
    Well, I'm from Alabama, so to me, it's "chester drawers!" Hahaha! But seriously, it looks great with the chippy paint, as-is. I would add baskets to the open spots for storage and perhaps a soft sanding to get rid of any loose paint chips and then seal it with a clear coat.

  • Pam R Pam R on May 13, 2014
    Or make it into w wine caddy. You would put bottles of win in the open spaces....maybe one side red and one side white. Replace the drawers with baskets for the wine accoutrements. Paint the top with black chalk board paint so you can write what wines are opened and featured. You could hang the drawers on the wall above the unit to house wine glasses.

  • MikkiGirl MikkiGirl on May 13, 2014
    I would stain the top and drawer fronts, use chalk paint in an off white for the bottom and inside. Finish with two baskets in the bottom. Please post finished project:-)

  • Shari Veater Shari Veater on May 13, 2014
    I would leave it alone...people like me BUY things like that! It would be great by the front door as a "catch all"...you could add baskets below...what a great piece :)

  • Joffler Joffler on May 13, 2014
    Potting table?

  • Sheila Miller Sheila Miller on May 13, 2014
    I picture it reddish brown with chicken wire on bottom doors. So many things you could do with it!!

  • Laura McNeal Laura McNeal on May 13, 2014
    Make it a dog or cat bed with pet supplies in drawers

  • Darlene Darlene on May 14, 2014
    I think painting the drawer fronts to match would be a good look. Maybe take the center wood strip out to open up the bottom section.

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 14, 2014
    This is a perfect piece for a small island in a kitchen. The drawers can hold utensils and the open slots can be configured however a person needs them....hang pots, shelves with baskets, etc. I would continue to strip it and then paint it a dark grey or a moca and then put a piece of granite or butcher block on top. You could even make an eating bar on one side if you wanted to.

  • Kim Kim on May 14, 2014
    Paint and put baskets in bottom

  • Linda C Linda C on May 15, 2014
    Stain top n drawer fronts, paint body, nice baskets on bottom :-)

  • Alice Alice on May 16, 2014
    If you were to make a cat or dog bed, using cushions you've covered, plan for some extra fabric and apply it to all the drawers. If the wood top looks good, leave it as is or wax, or possibly paint it one of the colors from the fabric, maybe doing chalk paint with the waxed aging treatment, to complement with the rest of the chest.

  • Suzanne Suzanne on May 19, 2014
    Paint the stripped part white to match the bottom( or match the top to the red interior!) . Distress it a bit to tie in with that middle drawer. By all means, leave the inside red, and while you're at it, paint the inside of the other drawers red as well. Seal it to preserve the ageing. Then use it as a kitchen island, or serving center on a covered porch. If you are really bold, cut out the top, plumb in a sink, and use it as a wet bar or bathroom vanity. Where I come from, this piece would be called a buffet. Top drawers for silver, middle for linens, bottom for large pieces like platters and punch bowls. Those absent bottom doors are the giveaway.