Guest Post - Upcycled Bedside Lockers and Drawers

Today the super talented Maura from  The Messy Brunette is sharing a great furniture upcycling project. Read on to find out how she updated this gorgeous duo and go grab your sander and paint brush to try it out! I'm now handing the reins over to Maura!

Upcycled bedside lockers and drawers

I was given these bedside lockers ages ago, they were in good nick but I wanted to change them to match my bedroom . They were originally painted in a creamy colour, which was a bit bland but there was a nice print of bicycles on the front drawer. I debated whether to leave the bicycles on or not but I did manage to tear a piece off by mistake so that was that!  Here's a before picture. I had just started to work on it when I remembered I needed to get a shot ..... ooops!

Upcycled Bedside locker

I like the look of dark stain against white, which has been popping up on my Pinterest feed lately so I decided to try this look.  Also I wanted to try out General Finishes Milk Paint and their Gel Stain which I was happy to find out was stocked by the lovely Eileen over at Sew Darn Pretty.  A successful trip ensued!

Here are a few work in progress shots. You can see there was a lot of paint to get off.  They were very rough and I think some other design was used underneath.

Upcycled Bedside locker

To be honest, I wasn't mad about them at first. I thought the dark stain was too dark but I have to say they are growing on me and the little knobs (these were a bargain find in the Tiger store) really completed the look. 

Upcycled Bedside locker

Here's the locker all done and finished and look at those little knobs, only 1 Euro each!

Upcycled lockers

Seeing the end result, I decided to upcycle my chest of drawers to match.

Upcycled chest of drawers

If you want to give it a try here's a list of materials and a brief tutorial.


General Finishes Milk Paint in Antique White

General Finishes Gel Stain in Java

General Finishes Top Coat (Flat Finish)

Foam brushes or paint brush

Sandpaper or sander 


1. First up, I sanded down the lockers with my hand sander and gave them a good clean.

2. I applied the gel stain with a foam brush and in the end I gave it 3 coats because I felt it was a bit patchy with just two.  I very lightly sanded between coats.

3. I then applied the paint and left it to dry. I gave it two coats in total and I must say this paint is the biz! Excellent coverage and very nice to work with, so I will use it again.

4. I waited for a couple of days before I applied the topcoat as the gel stain was oil based. It also needed to rest before applying the topcoat as this is water based.

All in all a happy result, and I will definitely be trying out more of General Finishes Milk Paint. Maybe next time in a different colour. Have you tried it? Any success?

Thank you so much, Maura! This is a great project to try out at the weekend!