Campaign Storage Chest Makeover

A few years ago, Grant was out running some errands on a Saturday afternoon and decided to stop at a yard sale on his way home. When he got home, we walked through the door with a big smile on his face, "I have a surprise!". I went outside to see this adorable little stand with campaign hardware, mint green porcelain pulls and multiple drawers. The wood was gorgeous too. I had no idea what we were going to use it for but I thought it was adorable.

Fast forward a year or so when an idea randomly popped into my mind. I realized that the only thing that was ever going to fit in those small narrow drawers was paper. At the time, I was using multiple totes to store anything from cardstock and stickers to Trudy's coloring books and flashcards. This piece could hold all of that and more... it was perfect! Assuming that one day it would go in an office/craft room, I knew it needed to be painted. This. Was. Heart Wrenching. Everybody knows that when you come across beautiful wood, you just leave it alone. The wood on this little guy is perfect... gorgeous.... flawless. But I couldn't get the color white out of my mind. I mean, I could just imagine this sexy chic little white storage stand with brilliant gold/brass shining everywhere. I mean, right?

Before starting the project, I had to figure out what to do with the knobs. I wasn't about to have to guess what was inside each drawer so I knew that I would need to find label pulls with pretty specific dimensions. After finding some that were perfect, we got the party started with some wood putty to cover the existing knob holes. After that we sanded everything. This made the thought of painting even more depressing because after a good sand job, the grains in the wood stood out even more. I honestly thought my husband was gonna die covering up the wood, but he pressed forward;)


Next I pulled out my Brasso and rubbed away a lot dirt and grime on the campaign hardware. I realize that the one I polished caught a glare in the photo and makes the two look even more different, however I hope you can see that there is still a pretty big difference with the untouched hardware on the left compared to the one I polished on the right. 

When the drawers are all inside and pushed all the way in, you can still see the edge of the drawers stick out on the ends. It would look silly to paint the whole piece white to then have wood poking out on the sides, this required paint on not just the front of the drawers but the sides as well. I decided to just paint the top and side rims too (such a pain!).

Lining the drawers was something I had been so excited about from the beginning, I'd had some tortoise shell wrapping paper on my Amazon wish list for months. We used Rustoleum's Oil Based Paint and did 2 coats with 1 touch up coat. I ordered the hardware from Amazon and just printed the labels.

Trudy's stickers...

 Flash cards...

Linked up here.

Featured on Apartment Therapy and Better Homes & Gardens.