There are all kinds of ways to recycle an old wood drawer. You can go all out with the DIY or you can make a simple tabletop tray with sisal rope handles like I did.
Recycle An Old Wood Drawer
Now some of you would ask why I didn't paint the drawer. That would have been super easy but it would have taken away the character.
The drawer has been hanging out in our shed (not the workshop) for as long as I can remember. It may have even been in the shed when we purchased our house in 1988.
I've been storing wood spindles, bits and pieces of reclaimed wood, odds and ends, etc. I emptied all that stuff into a cardboard box and started working on the wood drawer.
The chippy paint was nice so I just sanded it to remove the loose paint. I think this drawer is pretty darn old and it's obviously been painted more than once. It's heavy and solid. I bet it was a kitchen cabinet drawer in a past life.
After I removed the loose paint I cleaned the drawer with Simple Green. It was really grungy.
One end of the wood had holes where there was a drawer handle in the past. I drilled those holes a little larger then drilled two holes in the opposite end of the drawer.
T0 make the sisal rope handles I pulled the rope through the hole from the inside of the drawer and knotted it. Then I decided how long I wanted the handle to be and I knotted the rope before I pulled it through the second hole.
Last thing to do is knot both sides of the rope from the inside of the drawer. I left the ends of the rope long so they were easy to knot. Then I cut off the excess rope.
The last detail for the project was wax which keeps the rest of that paint from chipping off and also adds a little patina. I used Annie Sloan clear wax because that's what I had on hand. I like Howard's wax too and it's a lot cheaper.
I added magazines and my latest turquoise find to the tray and set it on the coffee table which is actually a World War II footlocker on wheels. I prefer using unconventional things as coffee tables. They have more character and make great conversation pieces.
The inside of the drawer was only half painted and I almost painted the whole inside of the drawer. I was afraid the new paint would take away from the character of the wood drawer….so no new paint.
Check out another of my recycled old drawers (ha) here.....Hang Onto Your Drawers | Thrift Store Decor
This was a really simple project. I see small drawers and trays at thrift stores all the time. They would be prime candidates for a similar project. Are you working on any projects? You should be.
Thank you for the lovely comments on the black sewing machine cabinet. You guys are the best. As always thanks for being here, Kathy
Author: Kathy Owen (Petticoat Junktion)
Kathy is the founder of PetticoatJunktion.com, a home décor blog focused on repurposing and upcycling furniture, old hardware, rusty stuff, and thrifty finds into unique home décor. Kathy’s projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Read more about Kathy here.