Introduction: Faux-Stone Plastic Organizer

This Instructable will walk you through the key steps I took to transform my basic, cheap, plastic drawers into a piece of furniture that looks more natural and better fits the aesthetic of my home.


  • Plastic Drawers to Transform
    • (I used) a 10-Drawer Organizer Cart - Seville Classics Inc - Pearlized Multi-Color - Model No. WEB241
  • Spray Primer
    • (I used) Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer for All Surfaces - Bright White Zinsser - Rust-Oleum - Bright Write Product No. 02008
  • Spray Paint
    • Drawers
      • Base Paint
        • Brown
          • (I used) Rust Stop - Leather Brown Satin ACE - Indoor/Outdoor - 1197060
        • Green
          • (I used) I didn't actually use a green paint base, but wished I had as it reduces the number of coats needed of the stone spray paint
      • Stone Paint
        • Brown Stone
          • Stone Textured Finish - Mineral Brown Rust-Oleum - American Accents - 238324 AA Stone Mineral Brown
        • Green Stone
          • Stone Textured Finish - Canyon Moss Rust-Oleum - American Accents - B001G3FWZ8 - 238325 Stone Creations Spray 1 oz
    • Metal Frame
      • Hammered gold hammered Krylon - 3902 Gold Hammered
      • Premium Metallic plum purple Krylon - 1200 Plum Purple
      • Metallic - Aged Copper Rost-Oleum - Universal - 249132
  • Sealant
    • UV-Resistant Clear Acrylic Coating Krylon - 1305 UV-Resistant Gloss
    • Smooth-On XTC-3D
  • Wax
    • Candle wax works, but anything that will reduce friction
  • Tools
    • 220 grit sandpaper
    • Disposable plastic shopping bag
    • Painters Tape (blue)
    • Dremel
    • Personal protection - dust mask, respirator, safety glasses & gloves

Step 1: Prepping


  • 220 gritsandpaper
  • Rinsing/dusting materials
  • Disposable plastic bags
  • (blue) Painter's tape
  • Scissors
  • Safety supplies

1. Sand

Using the 220 grit sandpaper, lightly sand every surface of the plastic drawers and metal frame that will be getting paint. You shouldn't need to sand hard or thoroughly, as the sanding is to give the paint something to grip to and will help prevent peeling in the future. Be sure to use a dusk mask while sanding.

Note: I chose to keep the original color of the bottom of the drawers so I did NOT sand that portion.

Note: Don't forget to sand the drawer pull if you are going to paint it

2. Clean

Rinse off the plastic drawers and dust off the metal frame to remove all dirt.
Note: I do not recommend using water on the metal frame as the sanding removed the protective coating on the frame that prevented rusting.

3. Mask

Mask off any portion that you do not want to have paint on it. I chose to keep the original color of the bottom of the drawers. I used old plastic shopping bags and painters tape to carefully mask off the inside and outside bottom surfaces of each drawer. I was careful to only cover the areas I did not want to have paint and to make sure those areas were completely covered.

Step 2: Priming


  • Primer Spray Paint
  • Screwdriver
  • Stand to prop pieces on
  • Drop cloth
  • Safety Supplies


In a single light layer, apply primer to every surface that will be getting painted.

Note: Be sure to install the drawer pulls prior to priming if they are going to be painted. Have them only loosely screwed in if you wish to be able to take them off in the future.

Note: I used stands and flipped my drawers and the metal frame upside down in order to get the bottom areas in their own pass of primer

Step 3: Painting


  • Spray paint of choice - base color, stone, and metallic
  • Stand to prop pieces on
  • Drop cloth
  • Safety supplies

Spray Painting the Drawers

Note: I wanted a gradation from brown stone at the top to green stone at the bottom.

  • Gradated Paint Scheme
  1. Determine what order the drawers will be stacked
    1. Example: Rainbow order with Red at top and Purple at bottom
  2. Apply a single light layer of base Brown Spray Paint to all drawers EXCEPT bottom two (Purple)
  3. Repeat Step 2 for a second light layer of base paint
  4. Apply a gradated layering of Brown STONE Spray Paint by:
    1. Apply a single light layer paint to all drawers EXCEPT BOTTOM TWO (Purple)
    2. Apply a single light layer of paint to all drawers EXCEPT bottom FOUR drawers
    3. Apply a single light layer of paint to TOP TWO drawers
  5. Apply a single light layer of base Green Spray Paint to bottom two drawers
  6. Apply a reverse-gradated layer of Green STONE Spray Paint by:
    1. Apply a single light layer of paint to all drawers EXCEPT TOP TWO (Red)
    2. Apply a single light layer of paint to all drawers EXCEPT top FOUR drawers
    3. Apply a single light layer of paint to BOTTOM TWO drawers

Note: Use your judgement. At this point all drawers should be fully covered in paint. If not, apply applicable paint where needed

  • Non-Gradated Paint Scheme - if you don't want a two-tone drawer set
  1. Apply a single light layer of the base paint
  2. Apply a single light layer of the stone paint
  3. Repeat step 2 until the drawer is covered to your liking

Spray Painting the Frame

This should be fairly straight forward, use single light layers and ensure that eventually the frame is evenly coated. I traded off between layers of three different colors of metallic paint. I tried to have the different colors evenly transition so in some places the gold is dominant, some the purple-ish bronze is, but over all the frame is a darker bronze color than any one of the paints could achieve singularly. This is very much a "paint as you see fit" situation.
Tip: If you don't like what you've got so far, don't be afraid to keep adding LIGHT layers of paint until you do like it.

WARNING: Spray paint is toxic! Spray only in a well-ventilated area and I highly, HIGHLY encourage the use of a respirator with the appropriate filter.

Note: I alternated between painting the drawers and frame right-side-up and up-side-down in order to get an even coating everywhere.

Note: While painting, I kept the frame loosely connected with the screws. It was loose enough that it would wobble when touched but could stand on its own and never collapse. This meant that after painting and sealing, I can still remove the screws and completely deconstruct the frame.

Step 4: Seal and De-masking


  • Sealant of choice
  • Safety supplies

Seal the Paint

Protect your paint by sealing it. I started off by using the clear acrylic spray paint coating but decided I didn't trust it to hold up to the abuse of being storage drawers in a workshop so I did a final coat on the drawers using the Smooth-On XTC-3D. I only used the spray-on acrylic on the metal frame.

WARNING: XTC-3D is very toxic and exothermic. Follow all safety precaution measures, including: working in a well-ventilated area, use of a respirator with the appropriate filter, and use of disposable gloves.

Note: While the XTC-3D gave me a top coating that I felt is more durable, it also made my stone effect look like "mud", so I would suggest a different sealant.


Remove any and all masking from the drawers.

Step 5: Finishing


  • Screwdriver
  • Long-nosed Pliers
  • Dremel with sanding bit
  • Wax

Tighten the screws in the frame to make it rigid and try out the drawers. If they don't fit or slide easily use the following three methods to get them to glide smoothly:

  1. Widen the frame
    1. Carefully, slowly, and evenly pry apart the metal guide that the drawers slide into
  2. Sand the drawer slide
    1. The paint likely has made the portion of the drawer that slides into the guide too thick. Use the Dremel to sand down the underside of the lip to reduce the height - see picture
  3. Wax
    1. Wax the inside of the metal guide on the frame to reduce friction