Get creative, be bold, reinvent furniture with Liberon


For most, ‘furniture renovation’, means the restoration of antiques or the re-purposing of other solid wood furniture. Another trend is to paint then distress wooden furniture to create the “Shabby Chic” look. But what about all of those modern flat pack pieces of furniture that are made of veneered particle board and Melamine Board?

These cheaper and often uninteresting pieces of furniture get the raw end of the deal with their functional yet bland appearance, often serving their time in bedrooms and lounges until they fall out of favour or fall apart. As with any other piece of furniture however, these modern pieces can be easily transformed to become a feature of any room.

Let the transformation begin

For this project we’ve taken a pretty standard 4 draw chest with a veneered top and sides and white Melamine drawers. To keep it simple, we’ve decided to go for a basic diagonal striped design that would fit in with any children’s bedroom, but the design possibilities are endless.

Flat-pack furniture ready for a Wood Finishes Direct makeover
A flat-pack chest of drawers ready for a Wood Finishes Direct makeover

What did we use

For prepping and finishing the furniture we used…

  • Masking tape – to mask off the areas that were not being painted
  • Sugar Soap – to clean the surface, ready for painting
  • Microfibre cloth – to wipe any sanding dust from the surface
  • Synthetic bristle brush – The best type of brush for water-based products
  • Varnish – Liberon Home ColourCare Decorative Furniture Varnish. Colours used, Samba Rose, Angora Grey and Aqua Blue

Phase 1 – Preparation

Firstly, the Melamine drawer fronts and veneered sides to be varnished were cleaned with Sugar Soap. This is to remove any dirt, grease or other impurities that may affect the adhesion of the varnish. Some may prefer to give the areas to be painted or varnished a light sanding with a fine grit sandpaper to aid adhesion.

We then masked off the striped area. We wanted to keep the middle stripe white, so left the original Melamine finish exposed, which is smoother and has a slightly higher sheen than the contrasting pink and grey areas either side.

Drawer fronts are cleaned with Sugar Soap then masked off ready for varnishing

Phase 2 – Varnishing or painting

Using synthetic bristle brushes which are better for water-based products, the drawer fronts and unit sides were varnished. For this we applied 3 coats allowing 4 hours drying time between coats.

Applying Liberon Home ColourCare Decorative Furniture Varnish with a synthetic brush

With the varnish being water-based, the brushes were thoroughly cleaned immediately after use with clean, warm water. This leaves them ready for the next project.

The finished article

For effect, we dressed the top of the chest with an vintage book, camera, candle and succulent plant.

Some objects added to compliment the style and character of the room
The finished article – a stylish piece of modern furniture

Excluding the drying time, this piece of furniture was completed in just a couple of hours using Liberon products. If you would like to know more about this project or have any questions about a project of your own, contact our team of resident experts who are on hand to help.


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