Bold Green Cabinet Makeover With Step by Step Instructions

11 Materials
4 Hours

Another save from the burn pile! I eyed this sad little cabinet and didn't honestly think it could be saved, but it was free so I took it home with me. It sat in our living room for about a month until I finally set to work to make it good as new again!

It appeared as if someone had nailed a pallet to the back and honestly getting that off was probably the hardest part of this project. The top was in rough shape too. I'm still not sure if that was even paint on there. There were so many flaky layers!

Step 1: Tackle the top. I had obviously tried sanding some of it and realized this wasn't going to work. So bust out that stripper and a foam brush.

Put your stripper on thick. And let it sit for 15-30 minutes.

Then get our your handy paint scraper and start scraping the paint off. If it's not removing easily, add some more stripper and wait it out again. It took me three coats of stripper to completely remove all of the paint.

Step 2: Get your chalk paint out!

I used Hollow Hill by Country Chic Paint on this one. The coverage was amazing and only took two coats to fully cover the old paint. This photo was after ONE COAT!

Step 3: Sand the top.

This could technically be step 2 but I decided to paint first, then sand the top. Stripper is great and will remove all of the paint you need, but you still need to sand to remove the rest of the residue and achieve an even-colored wood top so that the stain will take correctly and not have blotchiness.

Step 4: Stain.

I used a foam brush to apply my stain in even strokes only brushing one way. Once you have stain applied to the entire top, just use paper towels to wipe it off immediately. If it's too light for your liking, apply one more coat and repeat.

Step 5: Distress.

To distress, I just used a piece of 80 grit sandpaper that I had laying around and sanded the crevices and edges of the cabinet that might typically show wear. You can see that sanding leaves a white residue. Just wipe this down when you're done with a wet washcloth.

Step 6: Age.

To age even more, I apply a dark wax using a wax brush. A little goes a long way, so you really just have to dip the end of your brush in the wax and apply lightly. I apply this in the crevices and edges, as well as along the drawer front for a more uneven and aged paint look.

Step 7: Seal.

To seal my piece, I used Minwax Polycrylic. I love this for sealant because it never yellows and is water-based. I used a foam brush to apply this the same way I did the stain; brushing one way only. I applied three coats on the top of the dresser and just one on the painted part of the dresser. Be sure to allow ample drying time between coats or your sealant will appear tacky and you will have to sand down and start over.

Step 8: Add hardware.

I purchased my hardware from D. Lawless Hardware and lucky for me, the holes on the cabinet already matched up so no drilling was needed. These added the cherry on top for this makeover and really helped make the cabinet pop but look as if it was still part of the era it was made in.

We placed this cabinet in my daughter's room and I absolutely love the addition of the green!

You can use my code "twopaws10" at checkout of Country Chic Paint for 10% off!

Suggested materials:

  • Country Chic Paint
  • Stain
  • Paintbrush
See all materials

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

Frequently asked questions

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  2 questions
  • SKSD SKSD on Jul 14, 2018

    How does the polycrylic hold up over the wax? I was under the impression that it didnt work to put a finish on over wax.

  • Lovesunique Lovesunique on Jul 15, 2018

    Your new handles use two screws where original had only one so you still had to drill a hole. I'd rather drill then fill--never can completely hide the hole! I'm wondering how the drawers pull out after so much misuse. Do they glide or did you have to do some work on them? Looking at the colors in the room I think the handles would look good in black and also wonder if you considered adding short legs to the cabinet? It's really a pretty little cabinet with a new life!


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2 of 27 comments
  • Andrea Andrea on Jul 16, 2018


  • Matty watts Matty watts on Jul 22, 2018

    I understand you don’t really like the piece ... So I’ll just take it off your hands .. As it will become my new coffee bar