How To Update A Medicine Cabinet

7 Materials
2 Hours

How to update a medicine cabinet to look like worn wood with no sanding or staining. Video tutorial here --->

Hey everyone! I am working my way through the master half bath and wanted to show you how I updated the medicine cabinet in there. It was an orange oak with chrome lights and a mirror back plate to the lights.


I really dislike medicine cabinets. Or at least the ones that are in our home. I want a pretty mirror and cool lights. But the storage that they offer is just too good to take out!! I would just have to replace them with new medicine cabinets, so that all seems pointless.


My vision for this one was a natural, white washed type of wood. Like this finish from Pottery Barn. (Oh how I love Pottery Barn!)

I certainly could have sanded the cabinet down and refinished it with stains in this style, but that seemed like so much extra work! Instead I set out to fake this look with my trusty Annie Sloan paints & waxes.

Start Here!

Take off the lights and the back plate.

Spray Paint Metal

I spray painted these, and almost any other metal in here, flat black. (More on how to do that

Paint with Annie Sloan

Oh my, it was already getting better! Next, I cleaned the cabinet with vinegar, hot water & a bit of dish soap & taped off my edges. (No need to sand with Annie Sloan paint!)

I painted two coats of Annie Sloan Country Grey. I used an Annie Sloan natural bristle brush to paint and each coat dries in about 20 minutes. Which makes this a super fast process.

Dry Brush

Next step was to dry brush Annie Sloan Graphite all over. I tried to keep my brush motions in the direction of the wood grain. Here is a video tutorial of mine on how to dry brush like a pro

Dark Wax

Then I put Annie Sloan Dark Wax over everything, really working it in. Typically you need to put clear wax first, but in this case I am skipping it. This will essentially stain the paint brown. (I somehow missed taking a photo of this step, but you can see it happen live in the video tutorial.)

Next step was to dry brush Annie Sloan Original all over.


Final step was to reinstall the light bar.

Bamm! Finished! This orange oak medicine cabinet now has a worn wood look with no sanding or staining.

My total cost was $0.00!

I had all of this stuff on hand. It takes only a small amount of each product, so if you have to buy everything, you will have leftovers of it all.

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Originally Worn

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


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4 of 17 comments
  • Black Hills Rosie
    on Sep 3, 2020

    That is so similar to my cabinet and, yes, I've been wanting to change the look. The interior is the same wood and I was so tired of that. I had some floral gift wrap on hand and lined the interior with it - now it's so cheerful. Now to do the exterior - thank you so much for the inspiration.

    • Originally Worn
      on Sep 4, 2020

      Ohhh I love love love the idea of a floral pattern inside. How fun every time you open it!! Thank YOU for the inspiration ❤️

  • Creative Moments
    on Sep 5, 2020

    some cool Edison type light bulbs would add even more rustic charm, well done

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