Upcycled: Old Chest of Drawers to Wine Bar

2 Materials
1 Month
It has been my experience that the road to memorable projects is winding and forked, paved with errors and traveled with missteps. If I had a dollar for every mistake or change of heart, I could afford to hire some other schmuck to do these projects for me while I relax by the pool with a fish taco and a margarita. Then again, what fun would that be…for me or for you?
Please note: this was a long project with a lot of twists and turns. What I'm showing here on Hometalk is just a high-level overview. For the details, the full funny story and tons of pics, please click the link at the end of this post to head over to our blog after reading here on Hometalk.
My latest masterpiece of misadventure is an old chest of drawers upcycled into a wine bar. An old friend gave this piece to me over a year ago, knowing that Handan and I are batty for free furniture.
It sat in the basement for half a year before I got a start on it last October. It is a solid old piece made from good hard maple and covered in a few layers of paint. The first order of business was to test for lead paint. The test was negative, so I was good to go. But at this point, I had no idea where I was going. I decided to start scraping.
I removed the drawers and the top and took a look at the bones. After a time, I decided to hack off a few drawer supports to open up some space inside. It was around this time that I thought the chest of drawers would make a good bar.
I filled in the sides with some 3/4 inch birch plywood and then filled the gaps and cracks with wood filler and spackle.
I fitted the bottoms of the drawers with slides and I started working on a new bar top made from some mahogany I had left over from a previous project.
Things were moving along nicely. It was time to paint. I used Handan's chalk paint recipe to mix up a batch of old white. You can find Handan's homemade chalk paint recipe on our blog.
Handan helped me with a stencil for the bar top. I wired up some lighting and that was that! (Actually, there was so so so much more, both before, during and after!

Here are a few pics of the finished project.
That's it for the highlights. Please head over to the blog post for the full story.

Thanks for reading! -Greg
Suggested materials:
  • Modpodge
  • Paint
Handan & Greg @ The Navage Patch
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Marsha Marsha on Aug 22, 2016
    Fabulous!!! One of the best "drink stations" that I've seen! Do you think it's beyond the skills of a rookie, like me? I agree your addition of the light is brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

  • Karla Karla on Oct 02, 2016
    Its very pretty! You are very, very ingenious!!!! How do you decide when to give wood a high gloss or matte finish? In your wine dresser it looks so exquisite glossy! I have a living room center table (all oak ) that I sanded snd stained, its gorgeous but Im debating wether to leave it just hand waxed or apply a glossy poly ! Im afraid it will look taky?

Join the conversation
2 of 75 comments
  • Gloria tulip Gloria tulip on Jan 19, 2018
    A lot of good ideas here. Can tell you put considerable time into the project? It is really pretty. Bet you enjoy showing it off. Did you use polyurethane?

  • Sheba92766 Sheba92766 on Jan 18, 2019

    I see something like this project & think, "I can do that". The problem I have is I don't think I would have ever looked at a dresser & came up with the idea to make it a bar. That is so smart!