Janky Cabinet Gets a Makeover

4 Materials
6 Hours

I wanted something in our entry area that would serve for to place their purses and shoes on while they toured or came for events at our place. And a piece that was narrow enough for the limited hall space. After measuring and looking over really well- I found an old cabinet in the very back room of an antique place that I thought would be perfect!. I got the piece for $25. Then I mixed up a combination of paints to get the perfect robin egg chalk paint and we were good to go!

Turning an old cabinet into a rustic bookcase!

Dusty and old and definitely seen better days

This is the BEFORE!Scrubbed it clean before removing the doors and sanding it down lightly

Removed the old backing as it had water stains and was well warped.

Removed many a nail, staples and dust before prepping for paint.

2 coats of chalk paint and prior to sanding.

Closeup of light sanding to reveal staining underneath in random areas for a distressed look.

Bought some beautiful old wood pieces to use for the new backing. I snatched them from our local antique shop for a few bucks. They worked out better than expected!

This is the AFTER!Looks amazing! Perfectly distressed and rustic with a new purpose.

Decided on sanding off the paint on the top shelf and re-staining it to give some character and definition to the overall look. I love how it turned out! I saved the doors in case I decide some day to replace them or I can use for another project. I love repurposing!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Chrissy
    on Jan 22, 2020

    We saw that some people don't even use wax. Do you? It's so what brand and where did you find the best price? Also what brand and where do you get your chalk? This is an amazing project. I love it!

    Thanks so much! Have a great day!

    • Laura
      on Jan 30, 2020

      i use a similar recipes for chalk paint. Instead of plaster of Paris, I use calcium carbonate with similar results. And you’re right, so much more affordable.

  • Ruth
    on Jan 24, 2020

    Not sure from the pictures how you did the top of the piece--did you add more wood?

    • Gail
      on Apr 13, 2020

      I started to ask the same question and then looked at the pictures. I like what you did but I probably would have added atop board and stained it. It would have made it very stable, which i don't know if the piece already was. I also think there are pros and cons to having a smooth top Vs a top with edges all the way around. Smooth to clean, edges so things don't fall off. I think the way you did it makes it very unique. You did a great job of repurposing and I love that you saved the doors...you never know what you can accomplish with them. You have a Knack.

  • Kelly Hintz
    on Apr 13, 2020

    I see that you mix up your own chalk paint; can you tell me what colors you mixed to get the final bluish green color? I love it! Thanks

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