DIY cabinet re-vamp

When we bought our house the previous owner left behind this cabinet. It was originally a dark wood, then I painted it a mint colour which was a trend at the time, now it’s definitely not my vibe. I was inspired to re-vamp this cabinet after seeing these black sideboards on Pinterest.

I love mixing industrial and cottage styles. These cabinets have the cottage shape, but the dark paint and the types of handles used are very industrial. I was originally using my cabinet for makeup storage, but after shifting some furniture around in our lounge I needed something to fill a space and this cabinet just happened to fit perfectly. It was also going to be utilised much more in the lounge.

The first thing I needed to do was take the handles off, and give the cabinet a really good clean and a light sand.

Weirdly it had black, almost gothic style handles on the bottom draws, but nice bronze round handles on the top draws which I decided to keep as we have the same colour hardware through our house.

I also had to use filler on the holes, let it dry, then sand back smooth, as my new handles were a different size so the holes weren’t going to line up.

Normally I use water based paint for every project, but after looking into it, I read that oil based paint is actually better for furniture as it’s more hard wearing.

I must say after using oil based paint for this project, I despise it. It was like using tar, just thick and sticky, and atrociously fumy. BUT the finish does look nice, and if it stops it from wearing off then it’s worth it in my eyes. I tossed up whether to go for a matte black or satin finish, but decided satin might be a bit more forgiving with finger marks and the like.

Because oil based paint is so smelly and takes longer to dry, I would definitely recommend moving furniture outside for this process. I had an absolute mare with painting, because the rollers I bought were cheap, and they malted something terrible, meaning as soon as I rolled them through the paint, then onto the cabinet, little fibers came off and went everywhere. If it was water based paint I would have been able to just use a wet rag and wipe it straight off, no such luck with oil based! I didn’t have turpentine on hand so decided to just stop using the roller and do the rest of the cabinet with a brush which worked just fine for the two coats.

I left the cabinet outside for the day so it could dry.

I really wanted to get some of the old medicine/filing cabinet style label handles for this project, and managed to find some online in the bronze colour to match the original handles I left on the top drawers.

I first drilled some pilot holes, then used matching bronze screws to attach the handles.

I am so happy with how this cabinet turned out, I find myself sitting on the couch just staring at it! It’s become one of those pieces in my house that I can’t imagine ever getting rid of, and I’m really looking forward to styling this as the seasons and holidays go by. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration to re-vamp something in your own home!

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