Transform a tired wardrobe into a brand-new statement piece with this simple D.I.Y. painting project. With a little preparation, a few new accessories and a fresh coat of paint, you’ll soon have a beautiful upcycled piece that’s sure to brighten any room.
Pro tip: It’s best to do this project outside to minimise any potential mess. Lay down a drop sheet before starting.
Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (gloves, safety glasses, ear muffs and a mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.
Remove the handles, hinges and hanging rail from the wardrobe. Set aside a dedicated area to organise handles and hinges while prepping the rest of the wardrobe.
If your wardrobe has any holes or unwanted markings, now’s the time to patch them up with wood filler. Be sure not to use too much, as you want a smooth finish that’s ready for painting. Leave to dry before starting the next step.
You’ll need to remove any existing colours, stain or varnish before applying anything new. Put on your safety gear, and then load a 60 grit sanding disc onto your power sander. This will cut into the top layer efficiently, removing the surface swiftly. Once you’ve completed one layer of the coarse grit, you can slowly transition up to a 120-grit sanding disc to finish it off and create a smooth finish. Sand any corners or tight spaces by hand.
Wipe down your wardrobe to remove excess dust before moving onto the next step.
It’s always good to apply an undercoat before painting. This will protect the timber and stop any old stain or varnish from seeping through over time and discolouring the topcoat. Make sure you choose an undercoat with a stain blocker. Once you’ve painted the entire wardrobe, leave it to dry.
Once the undercoat has dried, it’s time to paint! Try to apply thin and even coats, gradually building up for a clean finish. Use a roller to make application easy, cutting in with a brush in the corners.
Make sure to let each coat dry fully before applying the next coat. Apply two to three coats depending on your preferred depth of colour.
While your wardrobe is drying, spray paint your hanging rail. As with the wardrobe, it’s important to start with an undercoat. This will help the paint stick to the rail’s surface. Once the undercoat has dried, you can begin spray painting. To prevent drips, spray horizontally in a side-to-side motion. Apply one to two coats of spray paint and leave to dry.
Once the wardrobe is dry, secure the knobs to the doors using the screws provided. Continue to tighten until the knob is secure. Reattach the original hinges.
For an added feature, you can also add patterned wallpaper to the inside of your wardrobe. Mix up the glue in a bucket and apply liberally using a roller. Wallpaper can be applied dry from the roll – simply place the wallpaper on the pasted surface, smoothing as you work your way from top to bottom. Trim excess wallpaper as required.
Finish off your new wardrobe with a mirror, which is a great way to increase the functionality of the wardrobe. Apply double-sided tape on the vinyl backing of the mirror (around the perimeter and through the centre). Carefully attach the mirror to the inside of one or both of your doors, making sure to press down so that the tape sticks.
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.