Update Your Space With This DIY Cabinet Makeover

13 Materials
1 Day

I love turning trash into treasure, and this project is no exception! My grandma was getting rid of an old VHS cabinet and I snapped it up. I knew that I could make something clean, contemporary, and functional for my home. In my step-by-step tutorial below I’ll show you how to work with MDF furniture and give you tips and tricks to help you refurbish old furniture that you may have laying around. Making over furniture doesn’t need to be intimidating, and once you’ve mastered these skills you’ll be looking for more pieces to update for your home. Check out my project to get started!

This video file cannot be played.(Error Code: 102630)

Tools and Materials

Tools and Materials:

  • Old VHS cabinet
  • Chalk paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint roller
  • Contact paper
  • Screwdriver
  • Electric Sander
  • Gold wax
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Wax brush
  • Handles
  • Wooden appliques
  • Tape

Prep Your Piece

Prep Your Piece

I started by removing the handles. I’m using different handles for this project, but the original handles are pretty neat looking and made of wood so I’ll save them for another project.


I also gave the whole piece a light sanding. Because it is made of MDF, it was important to make sure that I didn’t go too deep.


Then I wiped the whole piece clean and I was ready to paint.



I used a foam brush to paint along spots where the foam roller would have some trouble reaching. 

Paint with a Paint Roller

Then I used a foam roller to paint the rest of the piece. I like working with a foam roller because the paint goes on smoothly without leaving any brush strokes.

Paint Two Coats

I used chalk paint for this project. When working with chalk paint you don’t need to sand or use a primer. This saves a lot of time and is also great for things that aren’t made of real wood. I painted two coats of the paint all over the piece, including the shelves on the inside. 

Paint the Inside

I didn’t paint the back of the inside of the piece as I was adding some contact paper there. 

Measure for Contact Paper

Once I had painted everything, I measured, cut, and stuck the contact paper in place.

Add Contact Paper

Create an Applique

Create an Applique

I wanted to create a nice applique with some wooden hexagons I had, but I needed to paint them first. 

Stick on Tape


When painting a whole bunch of little things, attach a piece of tape, sticky side up, to some butcher paper. Then stick everything you’re painting to the tape and paint then with a roller. This makes it quick and easy to get a lot done at once. 

Paint the Hexagons

I painted all of my hexagons a nice bright yellow.

Add Gold

Then I added a layer of gold cream paint. I’ve found that this paint over a bright yellow really makes the piece shine and look like it’s made of gold.

Apply the Applique

Apply the Applique

Using hot glue I glued the hexagons onto the cabinet. If you don’t want to use hot glue, E6000 or wood glue would work well here.

Add Hardware

Add Hardware

I had some handles that I loved, but the screws for them were a bit too long. Here’s a nice tip for what to do when this happens.

Add a Nut


If your screws are too long, add a nut on the inside and your problem is fixed. It acts as a stopper and helps your handles and drawer pulls fit nicely.

Add Some Gold

Add Some Gold

I used some gold wax and a lint-free cloth to apply the wax to my piece. I rubbed it along the edges to add some depth to my piece. 

Rub the Wax On

Brush the Wax On

I used a wax brush to apply the gold wax to the top of my piece. 

Add Wax to the Top

Rub the Wax In

Then I let it sit for 12 hours before rubbing it in with a cloth.

DIY Cabinet Makeover

That’s it! I love how I updated an old cabinet into something contemporary and new. How have you upcycled old furniture? Let me know in the comments below!

Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

30 Fun Ways To Keep Your Home Organized
32 Space-Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
31 Creative Ways To Fill Empty Wall Space
32 Space Saving Storage Ideas That'll Keep Your Home Organized
How To: Make Hot Glue Placemats + More Crafts Ideas!
25 Fun Things You'll Want to DIY Before the Spring Arrives
3 Super Cool Marbelizing Techniques Everyone's Trying!
Fake It Until You Make It! 27 Creative Hacks for High-End Looks
3 Gorgeous Ideas to Use Photo Frames - and Not for Pictures!
26 Adorable Ornament Ideas to Get You REALLY Excited for Christmas
15 Stencil Patterns You'll Wish You'd Seen Sooner
15 Amazing Projects To Help Make Your Home Look Fabulous
20 Ways To Improve Your Drop Cloth
These Clever Decor Ideas Are So Perfect For Summer
Do Your Kitchen Cabinets Need an Update?
Holly Grace

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


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Lillyrose
    on Jun 19, 2020

    Did you pput legs on it to make it taller. A picture from the front would give a better view of the finished product.

  • Jacquelyn Perry
    on Jun 20, 2020

    How do you "attach a piece of tape, sticky side up, to some butcher paper?" It's not really "attached," it just lays on top of th paper. Does th weight of the hexagons keep it down while spray painting. I'm envisioning everything flying all over. Or, in my world anyway.

Join the conversation

2 of 4 comments
  • Twiggy
    on Jun 21, 2020

    Looked very nice but I didn’t like the hexagons that gold !!! A white,navy blue or a pale blue would b more my style. Just saying...... Creatively is within us all n different styles. Nice job,thanks for sharing!!!

  • Maude LaFountain
    on Jun 21, 2020

    Nice makeover !!! You did a great job ...

Your comment...