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Upcycled Map Cabinet from Chest of Drawers

Do you like to change things up from time to time? It’s not a new revelation that I enjoy change, especially making things broken and worn new again. Sometimes I begin a little adventure because I have to and other times because I want to. Today is an “I want to” kinda project. You see, this old chest of drawers has been tucked in my sons’ closet for few years and I am relieving it of its hardworking status. It is now time for it to be come a glorified upcycled map cabinet. Yahoo!!

Damaged Chest of Drawers Before |

Can you see my vision for this? Well, no worries if not. I’m here to show you my nutty ways. mwahahaha…

When I say this thing was hardworking, I wasn’t kidding. I put this in my boys’ room hoping to help them stay clean and organized. Well…my good intentions went down the drain. All they did was use it to cram it full of junk, so I yanked it out. I have found (as a mother of 6) that the more I created storage places for my kids, the more “stuff” they hang on to. That was NOT my goal was. So, over the years, I’ve removed much of my storage places so they have less storage – less junk, less clutter and more freedom. Freedom to not have a heartache of cleaning up “stuff”.

Back to my upcycled map cabinet project… This chest is made of a basic pine with no bells and whistles. It has much wear and needs some TLC. However, it is at least solid wood, which makes it a perfect candidate. At this point I claim fair game to let my creative side take control. tee hee.

Damaged Chest Top |

I’ve created a video tutorial for you below so you can see the steps in action. Meanwhile, I’ll take you through my process step by step.

First, I took out the drawers and removed the wooden drawer pulls. No worries. I’m saving them for another project – SEE HERE. Once the pulls were off, I began to build up the bottom of the chest to prepare to accept some legs. I felt adding height would not only increase the stature of my desired upcycled map cabinet, but also provide a stance to make it more stable. This chest is kinda lightweight and the legs would add heft.

Kreg Pocket Hole Jig for Creating Chest of Drawers Base |

*post sponsored by HomeRight and contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)

I dug into my stash to get some 1″x 4″‘s and cut them to length with my miter saw. Then, I used my Kreg Jig to add pocket holes so I could attach them to the bottom of the chest. I love these tools.

I’ve installed the slats installed on the bottom using my drill. Eventually, I’ll be adding legs once the rest of my process is complete.

Chest of Drawers Bottom Braces for Adding Hairpin Legs |

Next, the drawers on on my list of makeover fun. In order to get to the upcycled map cabinet status, I need to create the visual of many drawers. To do that, I used my circular saw and my Rip Cut jig to make shallow cuts in the drawer front. You can see my demonstration in the video below.

Using the Kreg Rip Cut to make faux slat drawers |

Ripped Drawer Front |

Do you see the shallow cut I made down the length of the drawer? The jig helps my blade stay straight. I could have done the same thing by setting my table saw blade at a shallow depth and then run the drawer over it too. I’m just trying to show you how you don’t need BIG power tools to get it done.

Cut Drawer Fronts for Faux Upcycled Map Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

I used wood filler to fill the old drawer pull holes and any dings and dents too. Once cured, I then use my sander to get it ready for the next step…paint.

Applying Wood Filler to Drawer Fronts |

Also, before I could move on to the next step, I couldn’t let a boogery thing go without taking care of it. The top of the chest had a missing chunk out of the back corner. I knew wood filler wouldn’t hold in there, so I took off the top and cut it down on my table saw. Getting rid of that damage made me feel so much better…aaaahhh.

Busted Chest Top Missing Corner |

I used my nailer to reattach the top and the back panel, filled the nail holes with wood filler, sanded, and away we go!

Sanding Chest Top with Ryobi Corner Cat |

Time to break out more of my favorite tools! Oh yeah…{{happy dance}} My motto is still #toolsoverjewels since I was a teen and this is why. The HomeRight products are so easy to use that they pop up before your very eyes.

HomeRight Medium Spray Shelter with DIY Furniture Turn Table by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

Here I have the Medium Spray Shelter, and in it is my DIY Furniture Turn Table (aka. Lazy Susan). You can get the tutorial for the Turn Table HERE. Also, to join my in my DIY fun is my HomeRight Super Finish Max Extra paint sprayer. I have a blast with this thing…literally! You can see my past posts using these tools HERE.

HomeRight Finish Max Extra Paint Sprayer for Upcycled Map Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #home #homedecor #homedecorideas

In seconds I am able to coat the chest of drawers with my custom color mixed paint. The finish is superb and done in a flash. My video demonstrates how to adjust the tip for different sides, and how to move from your shoulder, not your wrist. In addition, you can always practice your flow and spray on a piece of scrap wood or cardboard. You can see my video tutorial how to set it up HERE in this post.

Spraying Vintage Chest of Drawers with the HomeRight Super Finish Max Extra by Prodigal Pieces |

I let the first coat cure, and then add a second coat. Between coats it is important to clean the sprayer. Just pop the lid on the canister of paint to save it for later, and then clean the rest. It only takes a few minutes of time. Yay!

First Coat of Paint on Upcycled Map Cabinet using the HomeRight Finish Max Extra by Prodigal Pieces |

Last, when my paint is cured, I added apothecary label hardware and the hairpin legs I prepare the chest of drawers for. Meet my new upcycled map chest complete with a fun style.

Vintage Style Map Cabinet from an Upcycled Chest of Drawers by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Video tutorial at #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #furniture #shopping #home #farmhouse #homedecor #homedecorideas

Industrial Style Map Cabinet Chest of Drawers by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Video tutorial at #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #furniture #shopping #home #farmhouse #homedecor #homedecorideas

This little gem is no longer meant to be stuck in a closet, but is ready to shine. Isn’t it fun?

DIY Faux Map Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #homedecor #farmhouse #homedecorideas

Vintage Chest of Drawers Becomes a Faux Map Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #furniture #homedecor #farmhouse #homedecorideas

What is the icing on the cake for me is that when JC (aka. husband) came home he was puzzled at how I got all those drawers in there. I got this done in a day and he was floored. Yeah, baby! {{fist pump action}}

Subscribe to Prodigal Pieces on YouTube for DIY video tutorials and a whole lotta fun |

Vintage Industrial Style Vignette of Upcycled Faux Map Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #vintage #furniture #diy #home #handmade #homedecor #farmhouse #homedecorideas

Vintage Style Green Map Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #home #farmhouse #homedecor #homedecorideas #shopping

I even painted and lined the drawers for added peek-a-boo fun. A girl’s gotta finish all the details, right? Even the apothecary pulls have alphabetic and continental labels.

Painted and Paper Lined Drawers of Faux Map Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces

Industrial Map Cabinet Made from an Upcycled Chest of Drawers by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Video tutorial at #prodigalpieces #videos #tutorial #home #diy #furniture #homedecor #farmhouse #homedecorideas

I do believe this chest is thanking me. haha. If you’d love to own this upcycled map cabinet, you can find it and much more available in my online shop. (SOLD)

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Upcycled Vintage Map Cabinet with Apothecary Pulls by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #furniture #shopping #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #farmhouse

Now for some giveaway fun for you! HomeRight and I are all about empowering you to tackle your own DIY projects. We are giving away a Super Finish Max Extra Paint Sprayer AND a Medium Spray Shelter to you. Yahoo!!

Easy entry – just complete the widget below for as many entries as you like (daily even for more entries). Open to U.S. and Canada residents 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize. In addition, be sure to check your spam! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Do pin and share this fun upcycled map cabinet project to inspire others too.

From old and beaten to brand new, this upcycled map cabinet DIY is a must see! Step-by-step video tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces at #prodigalpieces #diy #handmade #home #furniture #vintage #homedecor #farmhouse #homedecorideas

Up next, this pink bin is going to be relieved of its pinkness and get a whole lotta fun. hee hee. See the new look HERE.

Thrifted Pink Bin Before Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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More projects like this upcycled map cabinet:

Ugly outdated stand gets industrial apothecary cabinet makeover. Get the DIY steps by Prodigal Pieces here at prodigalpieces.comA Child's Chest of Drawers Becomes Faux Card Catalog by Prodigal Pieces |

127 replies on “Upcycled Map Cabinet from Chest of Drawers”

This is beautiful! If (when) I get the proper tools (my daily excuse) I can’t wait to start painting, upcycling, and creating all the wonderful ideas and works of art I read about on a daily basis. I’m not sure why, but its taking that first step that’s so intimidating for me! Thank you so much for being such a huge inspiration!

You really are amazing. There have been many of your project pieces that at first glance I woul have passed on. But your creativity turns many ordinary items into real eye catching keepers. Of course, having the right tools always helps. I have this spray shelter and just love it! No more spray painted grass in the backyard!

Wow! Now that is a makeover! Really its like night and day! Love what you did with it and so impressed with your vision. Congrats on the new and beautiful piece! xo

Another awesome upcycle!! You are sooo creative! Wish I had half that creativity! It’s rally a gorgeous piece! Can’t believe you did it in one day!

This is so cute!!! The color reminds me of my kitchen… I would LOVE to spray my cabinet doors! They are homemade cabinets from the 1950’s, and they could use a good sanding(got my ryobo ready!) and a solid coat of paint to brighten the room!

Oh at the list!! I have 5 eastlake chairs, a bench I’m building out of an eastlake headboard, and the list goes on…

I could not love this more! Great idea! Winning this HomeRight Spray Shelter would be such a blessing. I have so many projects that need painting but it is very difficult to do in an apartment. 😊

I love that you made it into something different. You just didn’t paint it and call it a day. I was really impressed to know that you completed it all in a day; especially with 6 children!
Thank you for sharing your process!!

That is sweet and I really like the color. It’s amazing how you come up with these ideas and can still get it done in winter. Plus you’ve given me an idea for my craft storage. Keep up the good work!

This looks like it’s be easy, so it would be fun to try! I’ve just stuck with rollers and brushes. Thanks for continuing to show us new upcycles! I love the new dresser look!

Wow, Larissa! What a transformation! Would love to do something like this. You are my hero! Thank you for the opportunity to win this giveaway. I have so much to do, but I might start with a chest of drawers I found curbside. I also have tables and chairs and plants stands, oh my ! 😉

Wonderful! I would really love to win the sprayer and shelter. You make it look so easy, I’m sure even “I” could do it. Thanks for all you do – you are my inspiration!

I love this chest and have been wanting to do something similar. I recently did two end tables with a faux apothecary look. Now I am continuing my hunt for a chest to make a “map cabinet”. Thanks for all the inspiration.

I love what you did with the chest of drawers! I did not see that coming at all until the end. That type of chest is my very favorite and the color reminds me of when I was very young. What a great job you did! You don’t know how much I could use the sprayer and shelter. I am going to start painting my kitchen cupboards and they would be a lifesaver for that job!!! Thank you for sharing all your projects! You give us amateurs tons of inspiration!

very nice job! Love the color too. Need help organizing? check out the Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo! It really helped me with organizing!

You did that in a DAY??!? I am awed! It turned out GREAT!
I’m with you on not giving kids too much storage. They think it must be full! …except that it spends more time empty… all over the floor.
I’m doing a kids closet makeover now. And yes, there will be paint involved. Walls…shelves… After I get the shelves in I’ll get more precise measurements for crates/boxes to fit them, which means yet more painting. Is it safe to spray in the house? Cuz would that ever make painting All Those Little Spaces easier!

I am so inspired by your vision! I am beginning to create my own “look” in my home because ya know – at 62 – I can! haha
Thanks for all you share to help give me the confidence to try new things!

What a fun makeover! I love that you were able to do this in the house with your HomeRight sprayer and tent. I do admire your hardy spirit when you get all bundled up and work in the garage, but I felt better that you could be indoors (’cause that’s where I’d be!). I just got a bookshelf that is a little too brown for my taste, would love to paint it to look good in the kitchen.

You’ve once again exceeded my limited imagination for how you will repurpose a piece of furniture. I never saw this one coming! This is so gorgeous! Love it and the map drawers. Have a table and chairs, as well as a couple other pieces I want to paint so could really use the paint sprayer. Thanks for the giveaway!

What a difference! I can see why your husband was confused…Lol! It doesn’t even look like the same chest. Well done!

Love the paint on the map cabinet! It seems to me this could have so many uses. My bookcase needs help badly. Enjoy you always.

This makeover has truly inspired me. I have an old dresser similar to yours that I would use the paint sprayer and the shelter on. I love the green color I just wish I could find the same. Love the way you finished the drawer fronts.

Hi Larissa, Wow, what a fantastic card catalog inspired piece! The color, hairpin legs, and hardware are just perfect together!! I’ll bet your sons want to have this handsome piece back in their rooms, huh?

This is amazing. I wish I could work side by side you to learn. And you did it in one day! It would take me forever. I’d love to win a paint sprayer as I have never used one. Thank you for all your tutorials.

I want to do my basement ceiling!! Rip out the dropped panels and go black with recessed lights, but it ain’t happenin by hand!!

I love the look of vintage map cabinets, but their prices are a little out of reach. I would love to try making a ‘faux’ one and would love to win the tools to help me do it right!

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