DIY Bathroom Cabinet Restoration

by DIYfixman
2 Materials
3 Hours

One of my hobbies is recycling and restoring found materials into stylish and functional decor for my home. When I found a discarded bathroom cabinet, despite the fact that it was in terrible condition, I knew I could restore it and make it usable in my home. The back had fallen off and so the entire cabinet was wobbling and falling apart. I was able to fully restore both the function and appearance of the cabinet and add valuable storage to my bathroom without spending a dime. The next time you see a cabinet thrown away or donated, imagine its potential for a DIY restoration project and try it yourself!

Here is the cabinet before restoration:

cabinet before restoration

Here is the cabinet after:

DIY Bathroom Cabinet After Restoration

You Will Need:

  • Orbital Sander
  • Sanding Sponge
  • Drill
  • Thin Plywood (to replace cabinet back)
  • Wood Glue
  • Chop Saw
  • Brad Nailer
  • Paint (I used white spray paint inside and black on the exterior)
  • Paintbrush
  • Cabinet Hardware (Optional only if necessary)

Step 1: Remove Hardware

I used a drill to remove the existing cabinet door hardware and set the doors aside. The hardware was still in perfect condition so I decided to reuse it after applying silver spray paint to give it a revitalized appearance.

Remove Hardware

Step 2: Disassemble Cabinet Box

I removed the screws holding the cabinet frame together with my drill and set aside the four disassembled boards. My boards were in good enough condition to refinish and reuse them.

Disassemble Cabinet Box

Step 3: Sand the Wood

I removed the finish from all of the pieces of the cabinet. I used an orbital sander and a sanding sponge to sand and remove the old finish from the outside and the inside of the doors, top, bottom, and sides of the cabinet. 

Sand the Wood
Sanding Wood

Step 4: Reassemble the Cabinet Box

After I finished sanding all of its components, I reassembled the cabinet using a combination of screws and wood glue to join the corners. 

Reassemble the Cabinet Box

Step 5: Reinstall the Shelves

I lined up the sanded shelves with their pre-drilled holes and used wood glue and screws to securely reinstall the shelves inside the bathroom cabinet. I dabbed wood glue on the tip of the screw before drilling into the shelf from the side of the cabinet.

Reinstall the Shelves

Step 6: Measure and Cut and Install New Cabinet Backing

I had a thin sheet of plywood on hand and cut a new back for the cabinet from it that I was able to slide into the slot the previous one fit in with my chop saw. Replacing the olf backing gave rigidity to the new cabinet and would ensure that it won’t end up thrown away on the roadside again.

Measure and Cut and Install New Cabinet Backing

Step 7: Paint Cabinet

I used white spray paint on the interior of the cabinet and then brushed a black paint on the exterior of the cabinet box and the still unattached cabinet doors. Because the surface of the cabinet was not a high-quality wood, paint is the best option but choose a paint color to suit your own decor.

Painting the Cabinet
Paint Cabinet

Step 8: Reinstall Cabinet Doors

I used the original cabinet door hardware to reinstall the cabinet doors and reattached the door hardware. If you want to transform the look of the original piece even more drastically, change the pulls with a version that suits your style and install in their place.

Reinstall Cabinet Doors

Many homeowners throw out cabinets and fixtures when they are remodeling their homes and replace them with new ones. I love to use recycled materials in my projects and prefer to fix and remodel old or damaged items than to buy new ones. It is so easy to find a cabinet like the one I restored by stopping by thrift stores or a Habitat Restore. This tutorial shows how easy it is to change the style of an old or outdated piece and customize it to fit your style and decor. By sanding and repainting this discarded cabinet, I improved the look and increased the function of my bathroom wall. With a little work, I added much-needed storage to my home at no cost! Take a look at the before and after photos!


Have you rescued an abandoned piece of furniture and turned it into stylish and functional home decor or added storage by recycling discarded materials? Share your tips for recycling rather than buying or find inspiration for remodeling DIY projects like this one on Hometalk!

Suggested materials:
  • White color
  • Sandpaper
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