Repurposed Lingerie Chest Boho Style

Do people still have lingerie chests?  I just cram all my undergarments into a dresser drawer lol!  But I guess whoever had this chest decided it was not worthy anymore and placed it by the curbside in our subdivision.  I think they secretly knew I would pick it up.  They did not live far from me, and they have seen me outside sanding furniture pieces!

It was in great shape, however, the hardware and the color were awful, at least in my opinion.  It had a total 80s look which is not my style.

Underneath the top had a bit of damage, but I knew it could be repaired. D was kind enough to go and pick it up for me.

The chest sat there for quite some time behind a few old dressers that I have in my shed.  Normally, I just give a piece a makeover when inspired, but I had a client who was looking for a tall cabinet that she could use in her small kitchen for storage.  This lingerie cabinet would be perfect for her small kitchen.

She asked if I could give it a boho vibe and I was excited!  While I love farmhouse style, I also love the boho look on furniture pieces.

Prepping the Lingerie Chest

The first order of business was to figure out what to do with the lid. The entire sectioned storage piece was missing and the wood bottom. Since it was missing pieces, we glued the top down with wood glue.

After inspecting the chest, there were a couple of things that I did not like. For one, the decorative molding at the bottom.   It makes the chest look so outdated. The second was the hardware. But with a few minor tweaks, that could be solved!

D removed the bottom molding and I removed the ugly hardware from the chest. After the molding was removed I was digging the straight-edge look of the chest. But I felt it needed some height.

One of my clients had given me several sets of furniture feet.  These wood bun feet were perfect for this cabinet!

D attached the bun feet to the bottom of the chest for me. He added a piece of 2×4 on each corner to attach the bun feet to.

Sanding the Lingerie Chest

After sanding one of the drawer fronts, I realized that I may be dealing with a chest that was 100% wood. The drawer fronts were beautiful wood!

The drawer fronts had beautiful, light wood! My plan now was to sand the entire chest and leave it in its natural wood state!

D took the chest outside and I started sanding the top and immediately STOPPED!  Why?  It was not wood boohoo!  Nope looked more like particle board, as you can see here. 

Plan B For the Finish

Since the chest was particle board on the outside, I lightly sanded it by hand, just to scuff it up a bit and remove any light scratches while I had it outside. I used a piece of 220-grit sandpaper.

Plan B for the finish would be to paint the entire chest but whitewash the drawer fronts since they were wood.  The wood on the front was so pretty, I didn’t want to cover them entirely with paint.

For the lingerie chest color, I chose Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth. It is the perfect color to coordinate with other design elements in a space without having too much color. It’s a milky beige color just like the color of a drop cloth! Not too white, not too beige!

Painting the Repurposed Lingerie Chest

I gave the chest two coats of paint, allowing them to dry in between coats overnight.  

After the second coat was completely dry, I lightly sanded the chest with a piece of 300-grit sandpaper to give it a smooth finish.

Prepping the Drawer Fronts for Whitewashing

Before starting the whitewash part of the project, I needed to decide on the hardware for the chest. The existing hardware would not work for the makeover I had in mind.

After measuring the hardware and looking for a replacement, I began to realize that the size of the hardware was odd and made it difficult to find the right size hardware

While searching for hardware on Amazon (my last resort) these beautiful boho rattan knobs popped up in my search. It was almost like Amazon knew what I needed! But these were knobs and not pulls, so work would be needed on the drawer fronts in order to add the knobs.

Changing From a Pull to a Knob

To use the boho knobs, I needed to fill in the existing holes where the pulls were added with wood filler.  Now, trust me when I tell you, follow these instructions to the tee.  I have been filling holes in my furniture makeovers for years now, and this is the best process!

Many folks want to get it done and get it done quickly.  However, you need to keep in mind, that if you do not fill the holes correctly, you will see where the old hardware was placed and we don’t want that! 

Filling the Existing Holes

First, I took a piece of tin foil rolled it, and stuffed it into each hole.  This is just to keep the filler from going through and getting all over the inside of the drawer.  You do not have to fill the hole entirely with filler.

Take your filler and press it into the hole.  Then take your paint scraper, and slowly move it over the filler until it is leveled out.  Now, this is where you will be tempted to keep adding and keep adding filler, do not do this!  Trust me! 

Allow the wood filler to dry completely (overnight if you’re patient enough).  Then repeat the process.  This will give you a smooth finish. 

D used a drill bit gauge to determine the size of the screw that was on the hardware.  You simply measure the end of the screw by placing it in the premade holes that are different sizes until you get a match.

Next, measure to find out the center of your drawer. He used one drill bit size smaller so that the screw fits tight.  If for some reason your screw still doesn’t fit, screwing it in slowly with the drill should shave enough wood for it to fit.  You do not want your screw to be loose! 

Whitewashing the Drawer Fronts 

After the holes were drilled, I gave all the drawers a good cleaning to remove any dust or wood particles. 

Whitewashing is dipping your paintbrush in just a little bit of paint, and swishing it quickly on your surface.  The key here is not to cover the surface completely but to add a more worn look. If you apply too much paper, simply wipe away any access while the paint is still wet.

Adding Character and Texture to the Drawer Fronts

To give the drawer fronts a bit of character and texture, I decided to apply wood appliques that I found in my stash.  You can get these in a set and they are pretty reasonable on Amazon.  They give furniture pieces that have plain, boring fronts, that extra special touch!

Before applying them to the drawer fronts, I gave them a whitewash finish using my Dixie Belle Drop Cloth paint.

Next, I applied a wood applique to each drawer corner using wood glue and hot glue. I eyeballed the placement.

After the first drawer was completed, I was happy with the outcome!  The remaining drawers got the same finish using the same process.

The Lingerie Chest After

I was happy with the way the rattan knobs brought the entire piece together! Hardware makes all the difference when it comes to repurposing a piece of furniture.

The client loved her chest!  She uses it to store plastic containers, knives, and other things that need to be organized in her kitchen.

I always love repurposing a piece and giving it an entirely different use!  This repurposed lingerie chest can be used anywhere in your home where you may need more storage, even in a bathroom or a sewing room!

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