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!

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!

Resources for this project:

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

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  2 questions
  • Lillyrose 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 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 Twiggy on Jun 20, 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 Maude LaFountain on Jun 21, 2020

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