How To Transform An Outdated Cabinet Into A Bright Sunflower Beauty

15 Materials
$115
8 Hours
Medium

I snagged this low sitting credenza/console/bench/cabinet (it can be classified as many different pieces 😆) with plans to do something funky, geometric and mid century modern looking. But, this piece had other plans 🤔

I promise, I'm not crazy....but... furniture has a way of "speaking" to me. I can have a vision for a piece, but sometimes, as I begin to execute that vision, I get this strong urge to change it up. And with this project, the urge was to completely scrap my original idea.

And, that's how this lovely sunflower beauty was born! ❤️

Prep

Regardless of what paint you use, always, ALWAYS, prep.


Make any necessary repairs and strip off any old finish if needed (I stripped the top of this piece, then sanded it down starting with 120 grit sandpaper, then 180 grit, then 220 grit and stained it using mahogany gel stain).

Clean the piece really well. I prefer Frenchic's Sugar Soap. It removes grease and oils, dirt and grime, even nicotine! But it isn't harsh like other cleaners. Totally Awesome from the dollar store and krud kutter are also great cleaners. Scuff sand using 220 grit sandpaper. Then wipe down with water to remove any residue and dust.

Paint

I wanted to go cheerful, bright, and happy. Frenchic Furniture Paint makes some amazing paint! "Hot As Mustard" is the absolute most perfect yellow 😍 And, it's from the Lazy Range, meaning it has a built-in topcoat! Sooo, one less step! Wooohoooo!

Paint the entire piece, including the back, (except for the wood top) using hot as mustard and a high quality paintbrush. I personally like to mist my brush and sometimes even the piece as I go. It stops the paint from drying too quickly and keeps the brush gliding smoothly. That equals less brush marks 😉

I needed to apply 2 coats, allowing it to dry for 2 hours in between coats.

Stencil

For the squares on the cabinet doors, I wanted to add a fun and unique design. Redesign With Prima makes these super detailed Stick and Style Stencils. They come in a roll and the back is sticky. I chose the "Calypso Lattice" design for this project.

Cut to size, then stick it where you want it to be. I used a transfer stick to get it adhered in the corners, but you can use anything that can push down into those hard to reach areas.

Using a stencil brush, I dabbed Art Alchemy's metallic wax in "Rich Copper" over the stencil. Then, just remove the stencil 😁 it's that easy!

Create the Appliques

This is the fun part!

I did attach a video below of this technique on a different project so that you can see exactly how I do this. It's the same technique for each piece, just different products 😉

I did use a few different Redesign With Prima Decor Moulds. The "Forest Treasures" Decor Mould is the sunflower mould, the "Butterfly in Flight" Mould for the butterfly, and for the bees, "Regal Findings". For my medium, I used Redesign With Prima's Modeling Clay.

This clay has a bit more shrinkage as it dries than the other brand that I often use, "Creative Paper Clay", but it has less cracking than the paper clay.

If you want a flawless applique, I suggest using a different medium such as resin or even hot glue.

It's really all about preference.


Press the clay into the mould. Make sure it is level and no clay is hanging off the edges. Flip it over and slowly peel the mould up so that the clay applique pops out.

*To minimize shrinkage, wait about 30-60 minutes before adhering it to the piece.

Apply wood glue to the back of the clay applique and gently press it into place onto your piece. If it has trouble staying in place, either lay the piece over so that the clay can set horizontally, or put a piece of tape over it so that it sticks in place.

Repeat this process for each piece of clay.

*If using creative paper clay, be sure to dust the mould with corn starch before pressing in the clay

*If using Redesign With Prima modeling clay, after it is completely dry, you can go back and fill any unwanted gaps with extra clay

Here is the video tutorial showing this technique using creative paper clay

https://youtu.be/F2xUPoBstPA

Paint the Clay Appliques

After the Appliques have fully dried and you've filled any unwanted gaps, paint over them using your base color. Be sure to get the sides, in any details, and any hard to reach areas.

Transfer

The middle back trim on the top had a crack that I needed to fill and sand. This was very noticable but the rest of the top sanded up so nicely and the wood is absolutely gorgeous, so I couldn't paint over it. I just needed to hide this small spot. What better way to do so than with a transfer? 🤔

I also added a couple pieces to the middle cabinet doors to tie it all in.


Redesign With Prima has dozens of gorgeous Decor Transfers in many different styles. I used pieces of the "Sunflower Fields" transfer. I cut out the pieces that I wanted to use, removed the backing of one, and adhered it to the piece using the wooden tool provided with the transfer. Apply a good amount of pressure while going over the transfer, really focusing on the edges. Then slowly remove the clear protective layer, going over it with the tool as you do so. If any area is not adhered completely, lay the clear layer back down and go over it again with the tool or your fingers until it is adhered. Continue this process for each piece



*Sunflower Fields Transfer is a very popular transfer and I sell out within 24-48 hours of restocking. We are due to get more in the first week of September

Wax

Whenever I paint with yellow, I love adding Browning wax afterwards. It adds that antique feel that I love!

Before adding any colored waxes or glazes, you should always apply a topcoat first. Even tho this paint has the topcoat built in, it will still soak up the Browning wax, which I do not want. This should only be a slight accent, so you need to create that barrier between the paint and the Browning Wax.

I personally like to use wax as my topcoat. I only use a waterbased polyacrylic when it's a high traffic piece.

I also like to sand the paint before sealing using 220vgrir sandpaper. This smoothes out any brush marks.

I applied clear wax to the entire piece using a car wax sponge, including the top (do not wax over the stenciled squares). If you prefer a waterbased topcoat, you can use that instead.

After you've applied the wax or topcoat and it's dry, apply the Browning Wax to all of the clay Appliques, details, and edges. Then wipe off any excess with a rag or paper towels

Work in small sections to be sure that the wax doesn't dry before you get to it.

*If there is too much Browning Wax left behind, you can to over it with clear wax to remove the rest

Cabinet liners

I love Redesign With Prima's Decoupage Decor Tissue Papers. Only, they are not actually tissue paper! They are extremely durable and feel more like a fabric. Best part, it's almost impossible to get wrinkles!


I used "Dark Floral" to line the cabinets. The come in 2 sheets that line up perfectly with each other. If you need to, cut them to fit the space.


First, apply a coat of a waterbased polyacrylic. I use Retique It polyacrylic. It's easy to apply and is very durable. While the polyacrylic is still wet, position your tissue paper where you want it and allow to dry.


Once dry, apply a coat of polyacrylic over top of the tissue paper.


Allow that to dry and then trim where necessary

Sit back and enjoy your work

You can find most of the products that I used in our Esty shop. Some items are our if stock, but will back in with the next few weeks.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/DeerRunRevamps

You can follow our journey on Facebook

https://m.facebook.com/deerrunrevamps/?ref=bookmarks

This was such a fun piece to create. We hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and learned something new ♥️

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out or ask below 😉

Thanks for reading ♥️

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Cinlu
    on Jul 19, 2020

    What did refinishing top entail, and which products used?

    • Deer Run Revamps
      on Jul 19, 2020

      I went the typical restoring route. I used jasco stripper to strip off the existing finish. Then I used an orbital sander and started with 120 grit sandpaper to remove the leftover finish and stain, then moved up to 180 grit and finally finished off with 220 grit.

      I then used Minwax wood conditioner to condition the wood, allowed to dry for about 30 and then applied Rust-Oleum Mahogany gel stain, wiping away excess


  • Joan\
    on Jul 20, 2020

    I like Citristip because it is doesn’t have vapors . Do you think Citristrip could be used in a project this size?

    • Deer Run Revamps
      on Jul 20, 2020

      Yes, it just takes much longer, which is why I no longer use. I just don't have the patience 😆 I have an exhaust system in my workshop, so the fumes are no longer a worry for me. But, whatever products you like to use, go for it 😁

  • Lora Taylor Hyatt
    on Jul 22, 2020

    Gorgeous! Thank you so much for all your tips too! I’m just getting started into redoing some furniture. Recently widowed and trying to keep myself busy and hopefully make a little extra money to boot.

    i have been experimenting on all my own things with different things. Sunflowers, Magnolias and orchids are my favorites. So much new stuff to learn, I’m so old school! Really interested in the dark waxing techniques? Any suggestions?

    This piece is magnificent though, it has all the factors I love, the molding, the new ways of decoupage, the blending and aging of colors, stenciling

    just pure inspiration! Thank you so much!

Join the conversation

2 of 52 comments
  • Momsila
    on Aug 17, 2020

    Impressive ideas , so inspired and thanks for sharing

  • GrandmaDragon
    on Aug 18, 2020

    This is the VERY FIRST TIME I have seen one of these makeovers that I didn't like the "before" better. I actually think you improved it. I usually see some wonderful piece with carvings and stuff remade into "farmhouse" or something with (ugh) chalk paint, but this one was "what the heck was the original designer thinking?" It's still not something that would suit my own style, but good job!

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