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Make your own mid-century chest of drawers: add some 50s or 60s glamour to your home

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A chest of drawers with a mid-century look and feel, in front of a grey wall, next to a grey sofa.
Your new chest of drawers will fit perfectly in a Scandinavian-style living room
  • Difficulty
  • Costs
    50-100 £
  • Duration
    1-3 h


You see a lot of furniture from the 1950s and 60s in interior design magazines and blogs nowadays. But like many other beautiful items, they can be expensive. Here we show you how to make your own mid-century piece of furniture easily and cheaply – using a standard chest of drawers!

What you need

Icon accessories
Additional items
  • work gloves
  • face mask
  • protective goggles
  • floor protector or cover sheets
  • tape measure
  • screw clamps
Icon confirmation
Material list
  • chest of drawers with four drawers
  • 2-in-1 paint/primer in dark brown (around 400 ml)
  • 1 can of spray paint in gold, bronze or brass
  • 8 furniture handles in gold, bronze or brass, with matching screws
  • 4 furniture legs, with matching screws
L: Length, W: Width, H: Height, D: Diameter

Let's start - step by step

1 6

Measure and drill the holes for the handles

The position of a hole is measured with a ruler.
Measure where you want the handles to go, ensuring they are spaced apart evenly. We positioned them 20 cm from the edges of the drawers.
A drill is used to make a hole in a drawer, with a second drawer in the background.
Drill the holes carefully, as the veneer may damage easily.

What you need: cordless combi drill, wood drill bit: 4mm, tape measure, screw clamps, Pencil, chest of drawers

First think about where you want the handles of your chest of drawers to go. They should be spaced apart evenly to ensure the drawers can be pulled out easily. Measure the positions of the handles and mark them up with a pencil. Then use the cordless combi drill to drill all eight holes, one after another.

Icon hint

The material may be relatively soft, so don’t apply too much pressure when drilling. Secure the drawers firmly to a table or worktop to prevent them from slipping.

2 6

Carefully sand down the chest of drawers

An abrasive sponge is used to sand down one of the drawers.
To avoid sanding down too much of the veneer, simply use an abrasive sponge

What you need: Sanding sponge, work gloves

Before you paint your chest of drawers, you should carefully sand it down. Caution: because the veneer is relatively thin, an abrasive sponge will do. Feel free to sand down the holes you’ve drilled with a little more force.

3 6

Paint the chest of drawers

A paint spray system is used to apply brown paint to the main body of the chest.
Paint your chest of drawers in the dark brown shade that was typical of the 50s and 60s.

What you need: paint spray system, paintbrush, Protective gloves

Now fill the paint spray system with the paint and apply it to the chest body and drawers. Make sure you put on your work gloves, face mask and safety glasses before you start. To avoid getting the paint anywhere else, it’s important to cover the floor and, if necessary, surrounding furniture and walls. Use a paintbrush to paint the narrow sides of the chest, to avoid getting too much paint on the rails. Alternatively, you can cover these with masking tape before applying the paint. Allow the furniture to dry before applying a second coat.

4 6

Paint the furniture legs

A wooden furniture leg is sprayed with gold-coloured paint.
Spray the furniture legs gold.

What you need: disposable gloves, spray paint

Now spray the furniture legs with the gold-coloured paint. Put on some disposable gloves first to protect your hands. You can also wear a face mask if you want. Then leave the furniture legs to dry for a while.

5 6

Mount the legs and set the chest of drawers upright

A cordless combi drill is used to drill a hole in the bottom of the chest.
Carefully drill four holes in the bottom of the chest of drawers.
A furniture leg is screwed into the bottom of the chest.
Then tightly screw the legs to the body of the chest of drawers

Carefully drill four holes for the legs of your chest of drawers into the bottom of the main body. We simply made the existing holes in the chest a little deeper but, ensure the holes are evenly spaced apart and mark up where you want them to go first. Now screw in the legs tightly. Set the chest of drawers upright, in the place where you want it to stand.

6 6

Mount the handles on the drawers

A cordless screwdriver is used to fix a knob to a drawer.
Attach the handles to the drawers using a cordless screwdriver

What you need: cordless screwdriver, handles

Mount the handles on the drawers. Make sure the screws are straight, not crooked, and screw in the handles in the same direction. Now all you need to do is put the drawers into your chest and your mid-century chest of drawers is complete!

Legal notice

Bosch does not accept any responsibility for the instructions stored here. Bosch would also like to point out that you follow these instructions at your own risk. For your own safety, please take all the necessary precautions.