When I created the concept for my tool closet makeover, I knew I needed small drawers to hold all the small screws and bits required for a well-outfitted tool closet. The idea of apothecary style drawers immediately came to mind. I would've liked to have found the real deal at a flea market, but since I didn't, I built them myself. To complete the "wall" of apothecary drawers in my tool closet, I made over this Ikea Rast dresser to finish the look.
I specifically chose this dresser of all the dressers that Ikea offers because:
a) It's shallow enough to fit in my shallow closet. b) It's unfinished. c) It's cheap.
It was a fairly simple project to tackle, although it will take some time to accomplish. Here's how I did it:
After building the dresser, roughly paint over the entire unit with a base color. Do not cover all the wood and use only thin layers of paint. My base color was a deep blue.
- If the holes for the drawer pulls bother you, fill them in with wood putty. Let dry thoroughly and sand before you do any painting.
Roughly stain the entire unit on top of the paint. As the first layer of paint was applied thinly, the dry time is minimal. My stain color was a semi-solid gray.
Score each drawer into 3 equal columns and 2 equal rows with a screw or nail. These lines will give the look of a bunch of apothecary drawers in one chest.
Using both sides of a hammer, lightly distress the unit by banging onto the wood at random, creating divots and scratches to give that aged look. Using a third paint color, preferably light or white color, lightly go over the unit using the dry brush technique. There is a pretty good tutorial about this here. Sand down the surfaces after the first layer and add more where it suits you. Sand down again to blend the colors together.
- DO dry brush over the scored lines (from Step 3).
- DO start off light and add more light layers as you go.
- DON'T bother waiting for the paint to dry before you sand. Trust me, it won't be that wet!
- DO get excited when you see your wood distressing become more pronounced after the first layer of dry brushing.
After you've dry brushed and sanded and distressed your dresser to look all old and beat up, trace over the lines you scored into the drawers with a thick black Sharpie pen. I then went back over with a very, very dry brush and quickly brushed over the lines, following the grain of the wood, just so the lines didn't look so perfect.
Install drawer pulls with label holders to complete the apothecary look. I bought my pulls from here.
To really finish the look, use old parchment or tea-stained paper for your labels and handwrite everything. Ahhh... very old timey!