Makeover on a budget – How to upcycle a charity shop cabinet

Do you remember my story on Instagram about this dark brown cabinet that I purchased from a charity shop? It was an absolute bargain, but in urgent need of some love.
To fit with the rest of our living room colour scheme, I imagined something light with a splash of a colourful pink – so basically the total opposite of the current status quo. It didn’t take me long to find the right colours: a chalk paint in white and a lovely coral tone.


Materials used:

  • sugar soap plus sponge
  • Rust-oleum chalky finish furniture paint in “coral” and “chalk white”
  • Rust-oleum furniture lacquer
  • 2 small paint roller & 2 paint brush plus tray
  • screwdriver for dismantling
  • masking tape
  • some old fabric

How to:

  1. It’s all about the cleaning! Use the diluted sugar soap (see instructions on bottle) and scrub away any potential grease and dust. Worth the effort, otherwise the paint won’t look as nice.
  2. Dismantle: I find it easier to paint when you take out the shelves, dismantle the doors and handles.
  3. Last but not least: Protect your floor with some old fabric and cover the parts you don’t want to have painted with the masking tape.
  4. Painting fun: Now to the fun part, the painting! The application was super easy and worked without any primer. I used a small paint roller for the bigger surfaces and a brush for the corners and details. In total it needed two coats plus a clear coat at the end. Make sure you let each coat dry properly, before reapplying the next one. Tip: When it comes to painting the shelves and doors, raise them up (eg with some wood blocks) so the paint can drop off.



What do you think, was it worth the effort? Would you give it a go as well?


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