I’m about to let you in on an absolute gem of a DIY hack to make your built in ordinary wardrobes go from dull to amazing on a budget.
We were lucky enough to have built in wardrobes when we moved in and I took one look at them and thought bland, and then ohhh potential. There are so many little tweaks you can make to interiors and it can be easy to overlook things that are already there.
I was mostly inspired by this image on Pinterest:
BEFORE PIC OF WARDROBES:
THE BIG IDEA
When I get an idea in my head I just have to do it. So I became quickly obsessed with googling panelling. Panelling makes things look instantly more expensive and if you live in a period property it’s an ideal way to enhance traditional features. So, my challenge was – how could I get panels on the wardrobe in a quick and easy way? After much googling I found these genius little door panel packs from B&Q, and I’m not joking it took me about a week to find them. They don’t come cheap but they save you time in cutting timber to size yourself.
Those who know me well know that I am an impatient person, and this doesn’t bode well for DIY projects. Luckily my man is more patient than paper, so when I’m getting something done like Tasmanian Devil, Steve’s focusing on the detail and trust me you need quite a bit of patience for this job.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR THIS WARDROBE PIMPING DIY HACK:
WOODEN MOULDING PANELS (B&Q) or cut wood to wooden trims to size
ANOTHER PAIR OF HANDS
STRONG ADHESIVE GLUE x 2
YOUR CHOSEN PAINT & BRUSHES / ROLLER
A GIN AND TONIC
Unlike my nightmare finding the right grey paint colour for the bedroom walls finding the right blue didn’t take long at all thanks to Design Studio V. I had the blue wardrobe image in my mind for a couple of weeks, so when I was browsing their Pure & Original colour chart, out popped the most perfect blue. And the best thing about it is that it’s called Barbados Blue. Does anything sound dreamier? So Design Studio V kindly provided Barbados Blue to me for the project. It arrived in a beautiful little boxed package.
The door panels come in packs of 4 with 2 small and 2 medium – ideal for our top and bottom sized doors. So we bought 5.
WHERE TO BEGIN THIS DIY HACK
First of all, make sure any bumps or irregularities are sanded down where you’re going to be applying the panels, then give the space a quick wipe down. Now you can begin.
Work out where the centre of each door is and mark where the panels are going using a pencil and tape measure. I made a rooky mistake of taping off where the panels would go before I’d bought them. When I got the panels home they were actually a couple of mm different in size. So don’t do that (why would you do that anyway I hear you ask!?). Just pencil mark where you want each panel to go.
Apply glue to the other side of each panel, in the centre and the thinnest line of glue you can achieve. This kind of glue dries quite quickly so just do one or two panels at a time. We had a bit of a production line going with me applying the glue on the floor and Steve placing the panels on the doors and holding them (patience) until they were firmly stuck. The glue is very strong so this doesn’t actually take too long, but before it sets completely you need to make sure the panels are completely straight. So stand back, take a look and then apply more pressure. You don’t want your panels to be wonky that would be a disaster.
If excess glue bursts out the sides of the panels, just quickly wipe away with a cloth or kitchen roll. We waited 24 hours for everything to set (patience) and dry.
HOW LONG THIS BIT TAKES
Measuring the doors, gluing and then sticking took us 1 day, but we had 10 doors to do.
Unscrew all of the handles and next is the fun part, painting. The great thing about Classico Pure & Original paint is that it can be used on walls, ceilings and furniture, which not many paints can do. And no we did not remove all of the doors, you really don’t have to.
So make sure the panels are firmly stuck in place and there’s no glue popping out, as you won’t want to paint over this, it will look bumpy. We had one problem panel that just wouldn’t stick down so had to remove it and do it all again. There’s always one.
Apply a very thin layer first, all over the panels and the doors. This paint from Design Studio V is such amazing quality it’s thick and applies very easily, so you’ll be done in no time. I used a brush, which takes longer but ideal for getting into all those little areas, which you’ll need to do with the panels.
Let the paint dry for up to 4 hours before doing the second coat.
Apply the second coat a bit more carefully, avoid drips and get in those corners of the panels with a small brush.
Leave to dry.
Screw in your handles. I bought these brushed gold handles from Ebay. They were £14 for 10. What a bargain.
Your beautiful wardrobes are complete and everyone will ask you who made them for you, and you can smugly reply, “me”.