If you have a wooden chest of drawers that you would like to spruce up with some wooden drawer pulls, or you would like to jazz up other cabinets or drawers, then why not paint your own unique ones?
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Cabinet and drawer hardware can get expensive, and if you just want something unique, fun and something different, then this is a great project. You don't even have to be artistic or handy, you can also decoupage them.
Prepare - Remove old Hardware
If your dresser has older hardware that is more of a handle, and you would like to switch to wooden drawer pulls, then you can take wood filler and fill the holes after removing the old hardware, then drill a center hole for your new one. Do all of this before you paint the dresser so that you don't see the old holes afterwards. Or in the case of a drawer, you will need one at each end. Make sure all the holes line up, to look the best.
If you have just painted a dresser, for example, and the old hardware that was on there is looking tired and glum, and simply old fashioned to put back on, then head to the hardware store, and find packages of "unfinished wooden ones" You can get them unfinished, and the idea is that you would most likely stain them the same color as your dresser, but if that is what you want, then great, but if you want something a little different, then purchase the bigger sized ones (at least 1.25 inches across) so that your design is going to show.
Take them out of the package, and set yourself up on a plastic sheet or some kind of table protection, and get out your acrylic paints, and then just paint freely. If you wanted, you could even let your kids paint little designs on these handles. It works best if you paint them with a primer to seal them, or coat of paint first, so that the design will stand out and the knob does not absorb the paint..
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You can even use a tiny stencil (scrap booking supplies) if you want them all to look the same, but a great way to do this is to pick a theme, such as birds, or flowers or whatever and create a slightly different one on each knob. Try practicing on paper first, if you are trying to get creative for the project.
Once you have painted your wooden handles or knobs, then sit them carefully somewhere to dry, and then once fully dry, you should varnish them. I personally find that a water based varnish works the best, since oil based varnish will yellow any white or bright colors you use on your work.
If you just don't like the idea of free hand painting, or using paint much at all, you can decoupage them. The easiest way to do this, is to get yourself some decoupage medium or white craft glue slightly watered down is very similar. Find some pictures you like (best to use paper photo copies, either in black and white or colored) and then cut them out and put lots of glue on the surface, and then place your picture on the drawer pull, and using a brush, push out all the bubbles, and form the picture carefully to the drawer pull shape.
Put somewhere to dry, you could even just paint the background black or some other color and then decoupage your picture over that. Paint a couple of layers of the decoupage medium or watered down glue over the picture and drawer pull, and then let dry.
Once dry, you can then give the wooden drawer pull extra protection with water based varnish.
There are so many different creative ideas you can use on plain unfinished wooden drawer pulls. Your imagination is your limit. If it is for a child's room, and they are of a good age for painting, let them paint them! They will be proud of their dresser drawers every time they go to open a drawer. You can always change them out again later, as they are usually attached with one simple screw through the back.
The unfinished wooden drawer pulls, usually come in packages of two, and are affordable. They can change the look of a drawer or cabinet quickly.
Wooden Drawer Pulls - Protection
It is best to use a water based varnish to finish off these drawer pulls. You can usually purchase this water based varnish in gloss, satin or flat. The gloss can give your paintings depth with a lot of shine, and the satin gives them a slight sheen, the flat looks like you didn't add any shine at all but still protects.
You need to decide based on your paintings, designs or decoupage if you want them to be shiny or not. Once you have decided, you can get water based varnish in small cans and use a brush, or you can set up all your wooden drawer pulls and spray them. If you do this, you will need to secure them in such a way that they won't fall over while spraying, and that they can dry somewhere where you wont touch them. (make sure to where a mask if you spray)
I personally like the spray, as it is not as messy and you don't get brush marks, but you can get runs if you do too heavy a coat. It is best if you do two light coats. Water based varnish dries very quickly and is tough as nails.
Once you have this done, you can secure the wooden drawer pulls to your dresser or cabinet door, and this will be a great way to achieve a unique look, and a treasured piece of original art!
Also see How to Paint a Dresser for more great ideas!