Tips on Choosing Second-Hand Drawers

When sourcing furniture to up-cycle for my business Reloved by Jo, I love nothing better than finding something unusual. Ultimately, I fall in love with it and don’t want to part with it! Hazards of the job.

However, there’s no getting away from the fact that we all need storage and drawers, and although not so interesting they are necessary if we want our homes to be in any kind of order. Second-hand drawers can be found in many places such as auctions, sale rooms, online platforms and local papers, etc. I see many pieces for sale which at first glance look quite charming until you struggle to open each drawer and then fight to close them again. Not so charming.

However, there are some lovely drawers out and about and I still manage to fall for the odd set for various reasons. It may be the workmanship, some carved detail or the quality of the wood? Whatever it is, I always make sure that each drawer glides easily!

I recently up-cycled these two chests of drawers which are both lovely for different reasons.

These green drawers are made from oak and have a charming carved detail across the top. The handles were in a good condition and I liked the style so I decided to re-use them and coated them in a matt black paint. I can imagine this lovely piece of furniture in a conservatory or garden room.

Upcycled drawers – painted with my own mix of green chalk paint
Carved detail & iron knobs

Not so detailed, these are classic, good quality drawers. I painted them in a light grey and replaced the old and dated handles with large ceramic knobs. Now they look great and I’d love to keep them if I had the room.

Grey drawers – Reloved by Jo

Inside the drawers is just as important for me. I clean them and apply a wax oil to the inside of each drawer, although on occasion I do paint them. It just depends on the quality of the wood. Grey paint and natural wood are one of my favourite combinations at the moment.

Inside top drawers

So although a second-hand chest of drawers may not very exciting, I still get a lot of pleasure from updating them and as we have to have them in our homes, they may as well look good too!

Love Jo x

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