Cleaning Out My Drawers

by brandt

Slowly but surely we’re chipping away at the unpacking that still needs to be accomplished.  I think one of the things that was told to me, but that I didn’t believe, was just how long it was going to take to unpack.  I have the feeling we’re going to be BFF’s with our local Salvation Army since we’re going to be donating a full ton of clothing and other junk there.  And one of the things that has fueled our unpacking isn’t so much the desire to get organized, but the desire to have clean clothes for work.  I come home and change into the same house-work pants and sweatshirt every night, and I could care less how much dust and soil and grime is on them, as long as they don’t stink.  But for work?  I really don’t care, but my co-workers might.

How’s THAT for keeping it real?

As we were unpacking our clothes, and re-washing them (apparently they get a musty smell when they’ve been kept in boxes and plastic Rubbermaid bins), I realized that the old dresser that we’ve had for the last 2 years was missing something.

See, before we had just a piece of wrapping paper laid down loosely on the dresser.  So after tapping into the huge think-tank database that is the home blogger network, I found this awesome post by John and Sherry at YoungHouseLove detailing how the put together their daughter Clara’s dresser here.  If you want a good tutorial, go check them out.  For our purposes, I’m going to focus on how their tutorial went over at the Malone compound yesterday night.

First things first.  We had some liner paper that we got for cheap (discounted to like $3.00) from TJ Maxx.  Normally, we’re not the type to go out and BUY specific drawer liners, because most likely they’re being marked way up, and you could probably get an alternative much cheaper.  Many use wrapping paper, some use fun paper, some even use Chinese Newspaper (which, for me living in Korea for 2 years, would be awesome).  I lined the drawers with it, found where the edges of the drawer intersected with the paper, and folded the paper up using my fingernail to make a definate groove where I would cut.  Then, I used an Exacto Knife to continue to make the paper fit the drawer.

But how were we going to make it stay?  Like I said, previously it was a piece of wrapping paper that had been sitting in there since about circa 1987.  It was time for it to go.  As I was wiping the wood inside down, I noticed it needed it, which worked out becuase I wanted whatever adhesive we were using to stick to the wood, not the dirt.  I had Ashley go out and buy some Mod Podge (because a mans-man like me would never be caught dead in Jo-Ann Fabric’s) and a spreader.

I had never used Mod Podge, but read that it worked really well for these kinds of things.  The one thing I didn’t want happening was my paper being wet, which turns it wrinkley, which makes it easier to rip.  I want this to be one-and-done.

I realized the spreader we got was big, too big to put it in the Mod Podge.  I grabbed a paper plate, dumped some of it in there, and went to work.

Things learned:

  • This wood I had must have either been very porous or I was thinking that the Mod Podge was more like paint.  I tried to put a thin layer on the wood, but it seemed to be a bit too thin that it was drying up right when I put it down.  Then, I tried putting it on a bit thicker, but that woudln’t work out to well for the paper. The correct Mod-to-drawer ratio is a tough one.

Sorry for the poor quality of that picture – it was dark, and Ashley is still adjusting to her camera.

Then came laying the liners.  The first drawer didn’t stick like I wanted it to.  There were some obvious places where the Mod-Podge was drying, some obvious parts where it was a bit too wet.  I was looking for a good “tacky” area so I could put it down and have enough there for it to stick and attach, but not wrinkle the paper.  I learned on the second drawer, and it turned out perfectly.

We let it sit for about 2 hrs, enough time for me to get all caught up on the Red Wings playoff hockey game (notice I’m sportin’ my #44 Henrick Zetterburg jersey?).  Then came the point where we would take MORE Mod-Podge, spread it over the top to give it a nice seal on the paper.  This was supposed to be a thin spread to give enough of a seal on the paper to make it last.  I guess I put it on a bit too thin, because when I checked it this morning, you could hardly tell that I had done anything.  I mean, there was a bit of a rough film on the paper, but nothing to write home about.

Finished product?  Looks pretty good.  One thing you should remember, though.  This is glue.  If you get it on your hands, or your fingertips, be prepared to be scraping glue off for the rest of the night.  It looks like you’re either a Zombie or a Leper.  Take your choice.


9 Comments to “Cleaning Out My Drawers”

  1. This is so great. I am planning on lining the back of one of our kitchen cabinets so this was a great tutorial. Thanks!

  2. Excuse me??? That picture is not poor quality. I took plenty of good pictures for you to choose from, and YOU choose the crappy one.

  3. Isn’t it so fun to have lined drawer bottoms? I used fabric in ours (but I also painted ours). It’s a little more forgiving than paper.

    • It makes opening your drawer an entirely new adventure, right?!?! Did you paint the fabric? And how’d that work out?

      • I painted the dresser (an apple green – love it) and then used a striped fabric with pink and green and… whatever other colors for the bottom drawers. I used mod podge like you did for the fabric. I actually had read somewhere that it helps to do a light layer of mod podge on the fabric before mod podging it on a large area. So I did it that way. I’d probably do it the same way if I ever do it again. The dresser was old and not even worthy of being called craptastic. Jared wanted to toss it but after a mini makeover, he didn’t hate it so much. I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about this dresser or I’d send you the link.

  4. very nice! That’s always something i’ve wanted to but always been too lazy to do…kinda like shaving my legs. i kid, i kid! (sorta…)

  5. Thats a great idea. well done you! Personally I’m too lazy to make my own Drawer Liners so I buy mine 🙂

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