Upcycle Your Drawers

Most homes in South Africa have one of those standard pine chests of drawers that aren’t very decorative and add nothing to a room, but are extremely useful for storage. If you’re looking for a fun upcycling project, but are one of the few who don’t have this iconic piece of furniture, a quick trip to your nearest pine shop or local secondhand store will get you one. Today we’re showing you how to take it from drab to fab!

What you will need:

  • 1 chest of drawers
  • Decorative door handles
  • White latex paint
  • Dark wood stain


  1. Pine chests of drawers tend to come pre-stained and chances are that if you have an older one in your home, it’s already been stained or painted. Before upcycling can begin, you need to give it a proper sanding to get rid of this.
  2. If you need to sand your chest of drawers, carefully remove all hardware (handles/knobs) from the drawers. If not, this is where you would start.
  3. If you don’t want your new handles in the same spot, fill the holes left by the original knobs with wood filler that is the same or a similar colour to the wood. Make sure to get a filler that is stainable. Once the holes are filled, give it 24 hours to fully dry and give it a quick sanding until smooth.
  4. While you’re waiting for the filler in the drawer fronts to dry, give your frame a coat of white latex paint and let it dry. Once your first coat is dry, give it another coat. 3 coats in total should do the trick. Please read the instructions on the can for drying times.
  5. Stain your drawer fronts with a dark wood stain. As individual brands may differ, follow the instructions on the can or ask your friendly Mica Hardware staff in store for advice.
  6. Once the stain is dry, measure where you want the new handles to go. If you are using the same location as the previous knobs, you can skip this step and step 7.

    Tip: Consider making a cardboard template the same shape and size as the drawer front, marking the spot you want the handle to go on the cardboard. This makes it easier to get the handles in the same spot on every drawer.

  7. Take your template and drill through the spot where you marked for your handle to go. Do so on all your drawers.
  8. Install the new handles and presto, you’re done!