Diy Herringbone Chest Reveal

Diy Herringbone Chest Reveal

Herringbone Chest Diy (1 of 2)

Last week,  I left you with this chest which was built from The Design Confidential “Parquetry” dresser plans.

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In case you are wondering, my inspiration piece was this wardrobe built by Man Made Diy. He used prefinished hardwood flooring scraps and it gave me an idea.

Diy Herringbone Chest  (1 of 1)

I needed 9 sq. feet of wood that wasn’t pine.  My first choice would be walnut because it has a beautiful grain but due to it’s cost it was eliminated right away.  I didn’t like the grain of oak for this project so it too was eliminated.  I started thinking outside the box on this one and came up with this.

Ikea sells 9 sq. feet of solid Acacia for $25.  It comes preattached to plastic grids for you to cover your patio with. I cannot find them on the website but they had a lot of them in the store. Another option would be their Runnen Deck Tiles.

I removed all the screws while watching an episode of Game of Thrones. Some pieces looked more desirable than others so I set those aside to mix in with the rest of them to give the drawer fronts a more random look.

I cut a 1/2″ piece of Birch Plywood to about 2″ larger than the drawer opening.  I measured and found my center then drew a line using my combination square.

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Then I drew two more lines at 45° angles so that I would have a reference point for the subsequent pieces tiles that I laid. In the photo below you can see that my first two rows are perfectly centered with the same amount of wood hanging off the sides of the plywood sheet. I applied glue liberally to every row then smoothed it out with a cheap art brush. I smooshed the tiles into the glue trying to keep things perfectly aligned and avoided letting the glue ooze up between the tiles.

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I continued adding glue and tiles until I completely covered the sheet of plywood.  Because the wood was only 1/2″ thick, it wanted to bow.  I placed weights on top to keep things flat during the drying period.  I let the glue dry for 24 hours just to be on the safe side.

I used my circular saw and a straight edge jig to trim the excess off all four sides.

Diy Herringbone Chest  (5 of 25)The actual drawer fronts were cut on the table saw.  I applied painters tape to the cutline to avoid tearout.

I measured, cut and installed the drawer fronts one at a time.  This kept the pattern consistent between drawers by producing no more waste than the thickness of the sawblade which in my case is 1/8″ thick.

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At this point you could finish your drawer fronts prior to attaching to the drawers.  I opted to finish them after they were attached.

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Those sharp edges got hand sanded with 220 grit sandpaper on all sides. When I attached the screws, I avoided placing them anywhere that they would interfere with the drawer pulls.

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Once I got the drawer fronts installed I decided that the gray color was too boring and repainted the dresser in Sherwin Williams “Tidewater.”  Color matched to Behr Premium Plus in Eggshell.


While the paint was drying on the chest, I started finishing the drawer fronts. I wanted to bring out the wood’s natural color and grain on this herringbone chest so I used a Tung Oil finish. Since I was working with an oil, I decided to use something I never get to use with water based finishes.  I used steel wool.

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First I hand sanded the drawer fronts and sides using a “000” extra fine steel wool.  I quickly learned that wearing a mask is absolutely necessary when using dry steel wool.  The fibers go right up your nose.  I vacuumed away all the dust and applied a coat of tung oil finish to each piece.

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I let the oil sit for 10 minutes then I wiped the surface as dry as I could with a clean lint free rag. The last image in the photo below shows the difference between the tung oil finish and the unfinished drawer front. I followed up with two additional coats of tung oil finish.  Since this was my first time using an oil finish, I followed the instructions on the can and let each coat dry for 24 hours before applying additional coats.

Note: Because rags and steel wool saturated with tung oil can spontaneously combust, I placed each rag into a bucket of water outside once I was done with it. Better safe than sorry.

Once again I was unhappy with the second paint job.  I didn’t like the SW Tidewater color very much.  It was too green and bright.  I envisioned a muted milky Robins Egg blue.  I found just that in Benjamin Moore’s Gossamer Blue. Instead of giving the paint guy the color number, I had the swatch colormatched at Home Depot.  I also decided to use a satin finish for easier painting.

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I repainted the entire thing in two more coats of paint. I let the paint dry for a few days and then I coated it with a matte polyurethane to remove the sheen. #Imnotafanofglossyfurniture. In the photo below you can see how much deeper the Gossamer Blue is.


While I still had the piece upside down, I added these domed furniture glides to the bottom.  They will make it easy to move the chest on my carpeted bedroom floor.

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Next I added the drawer handles.  From day one I had my heart set on adorning this herringbone chest with the Streamlined handles from Anthropologie . After driving across town to see them in person, I was heartbroken to see they were too small.

Anthropologie Streamline Handle $14Image Via Anthropologie

 I settled on these Antique Brass pulls from Home Depot.

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I also grabbed a drawer and knob template from Home Depot.

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The instructions say to measure and find the center of your drawer then find the center of the two halves.  Because of my pattern, a few of my centers landed between the wood tiles.  I decided to place them where I wanted them and used the combination square to guarantee the same distance from the outside edges.

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To avoid marring the surface of the drawer fronts I tried so hard to make, I added painters tape right where the holes would be. I used my center punch through the template to make a indentation for the 3/16′ drill bit that I used to drill the holes. I added the screws and hand tightened them to the handles.


Most of the production photos were taken in my bright dining room.  These photos are a good representation of what it looks like in person in the dark bedroom.

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In hindsight, I feel like these handles were the perfect choice.  I like them so much that I plan on replacing the hubs bedside table hardware with the extras in the package.

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So how much did it cost???

Full Sheet 3/4” Birch Plywood $47.98
Full Sheet 1/2” Birch Plywood $34.45
Drawer Slides (3pr) $37.44
Wood Deck Tiles (1pk) $24.99
Tung Oil Finish $17.98
1×2’s for legs (scrap pile) Free
Paint (1st try) Free
Paint (2nd try) $11.98
Paint (3rd try) $15.28
Drawer Handles (10pk) $15.98
Steel Wool $2.96
Furniture Slides $1.94

 Grand Total


I certainly went over budget on this one but I’m still content with the price.  Where else can you get a custom piece of furniture for that price?  If you find out, let me know.

I’ve gotta start using the cheaper Euro Slides because these full extension ball bearing slides are killing my budget.  Had I got the paint right on the 2nd try and used the euro slides, the cost of this herringbone chest would round out at


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Let me just say that I am in LOVE with this piece.  It may be the first piece of furniture that actually came out exactly as I envisioned it. This was the last piece of furniture that I needed to build for this bedroom.  Now it’s on to the next project.

If you missed the beginning of this dresser build you can catch part 1 here.

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  1. says

    Oh my goodness Ayisha, that is so gorgeous. How clever to use those wood “tiles” , a little work to take apart but definitely well worth it. I absolutely love your third choice of paint, it’s the perfect blue and i have been searching and searching for it for a year now ! Thanks to you, i have found it ( : I would “like ” your project but it won’t except my email address for some stupid reason ! But i don’t just like, i LOVE it. Thanks

  2. Aly bailey says

    I would love to build this as I am a huge diy’er but have a new baby. Was wondering if you would consider making a dresser just like this for me ?
    Was thinking maybe it could be shipped in assembled but let me know if you would ever fathom that? And what you might consider for a price.
    Thank you absolutely love the piece !!!

    • Ayisha says

      Im so sorry about the late response but Im unable to do commission work. I just don’t have the time. I’m confident that you could pull this off though. It isn’t very difficult.

  3. Sephies says

    Somehow I missed if you started with an Ikea dresser and addred the fronts, if so, did you modify the drawers or move the glides to get the drawer faces to recess back into the cabinet?

    • Zoe says

      She built the dresser that she linked to from the design confidential… She made some modifications to fit her space and needs better…… I built the dresser with the same dementions from the plan maker and it turned out just fine.

  4. says

    I love your furniture piece: the herringbone, which I love anyway, and the color. Just my style. I want to make a herringbone feature wall in the nook in the powder room and now I know where to look for the wood. Great tutorial. I hope to get some experience with power tools with my project. I envy your expertise and you should be very proud of your accomplishment.

  5. says

    Just saw this over on pinterest ( where I promptly pinned it lol )
    and just had to come by to tell you how much I love this – what a fabulous job and a great tutorial !
    Thanks so much for sharing ♥

  6. Joana says

    (via Ikea-hackers) Ayisha, this is perfect! Every single one of your choices is absolutely gorgeous. The beautiful and timeless Gossamer blue, the way you brought out the color and grain of the wood, even the pulls, because while the ones you had chosen originally are more my style, the ones you ended up choosing just fit SO well! Gives the chest an Art Deco feel that just works really well. And, obviously, your talent. I’m jealous.

    The last pictures, with the entire set-up including your gorgeous lamp makes it look like a photoshoot in a really posh home-decor magazine.

    May I just add that I love that you’re wearing your engagement ring while using the jigsaw? There’s something about the contrast between the machinery and the daintiness of your ring that just makes that picture.

    Love from Portugal,

    • Ayisha says

      Wow thanks Joana. I love it when people take the time to comment on my blog. Also thanks for making me feel better about my design choices. Although I decorate mainly for my own tastes, I like knowing that others occasionally agree with me. And the wedding ring never comes off :-) Thanks for reading and I hope you visit again.

  7. debbie says

    Absolutely gorgeous !!!! You must be a genius – I don’t think I could ever figure all that out. I am very impressed with your gorgeous, perfect work. Where did you learn to do all this or do you just have a natural gene to do this? I would love to be that knowledgeable and be able to create such lovelies and save a ton of money at the same time and to own an original that I made would be so fulfilling.

    • Ayisha says

      Thanks for the kind comment Debbie. I actually have been learning from other bloggers and a lot of research in between. I found something I really like doing and I’m running with it. I’ve only been building furniture for about 2 years so I’m far from a pro Diy’er but i hope to one day consider myself a wood worker.

  8. orangesugar says

    You are seriously my hero! Did you paint the nightstand by hand? Do you use floetrol? Do you sand between coats? Have you had any issues with the paint being tacky and things sticking to it? I have used Benjamin Moore Waterborne satin impervo almost exclusively for furniture but it is hard to find. Last time I tried a different product (Sherwin Williams all surface enamel) it was still tacky months afterwards.

    • Ayisha says

      Yes I did paint by hand. All of my flat surfaces were rolled on with a Purdy roller specifically for satin paint and I was sure not to over roll. I usually use Floetrol but to be honest, I never have really noticed a difference in the brush marks. I used Behr paint in a satin finish and I did lightly sand between the first and second coat. I let the paint dry for a week before I put the topcoats of Rustoleum Ultimate Polyurethane in Matte finish. I let that dry for a week also. There is no stickiness that I can tell. I came really close to buying a quart of Alkyd Benjamin Moore Advance paint to see if I could get that perfect finish but decided not to due to cost. I just can’t justify spending $25 on a quart of paint for a piece of furniture that I’m likely to repaint in a few years.


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