how tidy are your drawers?

Marian ParsonsPainting & Refinishing, Tips and Tricks, Tutorials

Some of you have noticed and commented on the fact that I paint pieces while the drawers are still inside their recesses/cubbies.  (Drawer holes?)  And yes, I do leave the drawers in when I paint and I wanted to share the method to my madness.

The habit of leaving the drawers in started due to a lack of space.  When I worked out of my house, every square foot needed to be used strategically and I just didn’t have the luxury of being able to spread my drawers all over the floor.  (This post is getting a little personal, isn’t it?  Can’t help myself.)

So, I learned I could paint with them in and the world didn’t implode and, actually, things end up looking nice and tidy when it’s all said and done.

I paint the piece, as we’ve established, with the drawers in.  When I’m painting around the edges of the drawer, I make sure my brush isn’t fully loaded with paint.  I don’t want paint to settle into the cracks, making a mess and causing the drawers to stick.  There may be some seepage, but it’s pretty minimal.

This is what a typical drawer looks like once it’s painted…


You can see that some paint seeped through.

When I’m distressing the piece, I just hit those areas with the sand paper.  It might sound like a laborious extra step, but it takes about 10 seconds.  Literally.


And I hit the edges, too.  (I sanded the inside of the cabinet where the paint seeped in after I took this picture, by the way.)  This way, everything looks nice and tidy and paint doesn’t interfere with how the drawer functions.  With these old drawers, the fit can sometimes be pretty tight and even a coat of paint can make the drawer stick.


Speaking of old pieces, aren’t those joints fantastic?  I’m sometimes more in love with the construction of a piece or the maker’s mark or the wide, solid wood planks on the back, than I am the actual piece of furniture.

There you go!  My little shortcut when painting pieces with drawers.


I spent most of the day laying flooring in the studio.  Well, I should say trying to lay flooring.  As with many DIY projects, we ran into some hiccups.  That’s all for another post, though…

how tidy are your drawers?

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