Drab to fab//from dull display granny cabinet to marvellous mountain drawers!

By Door Thirty Four in Orpington, Kent, GB

G Plan was huge in the UK in the 1960s and 1970s and is still incredibly popular today. The unit I used for this project is part of a modular range of cupboards & drawers with display units, bookcases & cocktail cabinets on top. Whilst some people still love them as they are, they are commonly upcycled. I personally love the quality and the shapes are still quite modern & flexible for today.

This granny cabinet (see before photo) came to me in the midst of a flurry of ideas for nursery furniture. I removed the top part and the plinth from the bottom of the drawer unit. The handles, whilst made of solid wood, are a little dated so I set about chiselling these off and filling the holes. I needed a flat surface for my design to work.

Frog tape is a favourite tool of mine - it is so clever and the endless possibilities are so exciting. A friend had recently completed a bedroom makeover with a mountain theme, so I took my inspiration from her and sketched out the design.

These units always need priming (I learnt this the hard way!) so I used GF stain blocker and painted the main unit and drawer fronts in seagull gray. After a couple of coats and a finish with GF High Performance Top Coat in satin, I set the body aside and started on the drawer fronts. I masked the mountain shape and painted the tops with GF sunflower yellow. Once this had dried I used much smaller bits of tape to create the zigzag effect, cutting in with a scalpel where needed, until the shapes were ready for the darker grey. GF queenstown gray did the job in two coats and a few layers of top coat completed the job.

Steel hairpin legs are everywhere at the moment but I wanted something different. I had recently been gifted a Meredew bureau which was truly in such a shocking state, I could only salvage what handles remained and the legs. And can you believe the legs were a perfect fit for the mountain drawers?! After much sanding and cleaning they were refreshed with GF lamp black and sealed with top coat. It was an easy job to attach them as there is a good solid base to the drawer unit. New white ball knobs were added and the makeover was complete. I think it's an adorable piece - perfectly sized for a nursery, fresh & modern and totally unique. Granny would be proud!



Project Category

Upcycling Merit CategoriesSecondary Purpose

Products Used

  • General Finishes 'seagull gray' milk paint
  • General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in satin
  • General Finishes 'sunflower yellow' milk paint
  • General Finishes 'queenstown gray' milk paint
  • General Finishes 'lamp black' milk paint
  • General Finishes stain blocker

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