I literally spent the whole of last year on the hunt for a chest of drawers for the spare room. James and I were both dead set on having something similar to a merchants or apothecary chest which would complement the industrial inspired decor but didn’t want to have to remortgage to get the perfect piece.

The Search

Our problem was it couldn’t be too deep as it would be next to the door opening but needed to be functional and roomy enough to hold a rather large selection of menswear. Everything on eBay was too large, everything antique was too expensive. Then we found a gorgeous vintage piece which was slightly on the small side but then found we couldn’t transport it home without a costly courier fee.
The room has oak doors, skirting boards and floor so I had decided against a wooden chest though hadn’t ruled out the idea of finding a cheap second-hand one that I could paint up.
As we neared the end of the bedroom project I was at the end of my tether. In a last ditch-attempt I searched Google for the umpteenth time and ended up on the Pine Solutions website looking at their white oak range. I wished I could find a vintage version of their 4+3+2 chest of drawers.
The more I looked at it the more I realised it was the perfect size and price (with free delivery too!) but it just didn’t have the overall wow factor.
I’m not sure about you but the idea of buying a brand (like Mattress City) new piece of furniture and then covering it with paint wasn’t one I would usually consider. Most definitely it was old and needed a spruce up but not something that was straight out of the factory. It all seemed a bit wrong.


After a chat with James we decided that it would be daft not to order it. For an extra few quid and a bit of elbow grease we would get a truly customised piece that was just right for the room. We would just have to get over the fact that we were defacing a perfectly fine piece of furniture.

After the chest arrived James gave it a good sand and then applied a coat of primer, followed by two coats of Farrow and Ball’s Estate Eggshell in Down Pipe applied with a radiator roller to get an even crisp finish. All the recommendations for Annie Sloan came after the paint job but next time we plan to give it a try.


I then took to the pages of eBay to find some suitable replacement handles. I settled on the reproduction printing shop cup handles at less than a fiver each. Originally I was keen to get nine for each of the drawers but thought too many of them might lose impact so in the end snapped up four of them with a plan to track down some simple iron knobs for the other drawers. As an interim measure I painted the original wooden knobs with the same F&B paint and actually think we’ll stick with these ones as any other iron versions I’ve found cost an absolute fortune.

We are both really pleased with the final result and the original oak finish is just a distant memory!

So folks, have you ever bought a piece of furniture just to change it? Did it seem a bit crazy? Why is it that you can buy a brand new house and think nothing of painting over freshly painted magnolia but it’s a different story when it comes to furniture? Any tales to tell about the search for the perfect wardrobe, table, chairs etc?

{Edit: My husband James was reading this post a few days after it was published and pointed out that the chest is painted in F&B Railings, NOT Down Pipe. I am handing back my Interior Design qualification….}