Engan a la mode

Materials: Engan chest of drawers, scrap wood, spray wall texture, paint

We have a hall closet that we had begun repurposing as some sort of display area, but the project hung in limbo for almost a year. As belongings piled up, we wanted to compromise by putting some storage unit in place while still keeping the upper part (lit by a custom dual spot/ambient light setup) available for display. To keep it simple, we went with an IKEA transplant strategy. The Engan caught my wife’s eye since the handles look like old Chinese currency. It also resembles some more modern commodities.

The Engan is just under 31″ wide, pretty close to the width of a typical closet opening (32-32.5″), so giving it a “built-in” look is straightforward. I picked up a 2×4 and some 5/8″ and 1/4″ strapping from the Home Depot “scrap” bin, and with the help of a few wood shingles it was about an hour’s work to block it into place.

I used quick-drying spackle to smooth out the joints and after a quick coat of primer, I applied the quintessential southern California “orange peel” finish using the convenient spray-can that Home Depot sells (I used to mix my own!).

After the texture dried, I put two coats of wall-paint over the unit and neighboring sections of wall. The drawer fronts were primed, textured, and painted elsewhere. Overall this part of the project took about 6 hours, including downtime while the paint and textures were drying.

~ Matt and Sissi, San Diego

Jules Yap