DIY: Cabinet Makeover

So I’m trying to stick to my project list from last week and this one is a great example of #5.  This cabinet has been sitting in the cellar half finished for weeks and taunting me.  Thankfully, I finally got my act together and finished it (for the most part) last night.

Let’s take a step back though.  My uncle (the same one who scored the card catalog for me) brought this cabinet over when his friend was about to toss it.  It was your basic 90s-ish hunter green pressboard media cabinet but he thought I could use it for storage in the cellar.  It looked even sadder against those dingy yellow walls under bare bulb lighting.

Green Cabinet Before
The flimsy backboard was warped and broken so I tossed it and got to work removing the doors and hardware. I masked off the wooden top with newspaper and sanded down everything with a medium grit sanding block..  After wiping it clean, I went in with Kilz stain-blocking primer since I figured it would work the best on covering up the dark green.  On the paneled doors, I used a trim brush to get in the grooves and then did the rest with a roller.
Cabinet Door Prep
Here’s where the progress shots get a little sketchy since I was painting the card catalog at the same time and that was much more exciting to document.  I think I did two coats of primer before moving on to the topcoat.  I used my critter spray gun to paint the inside the same color as the card catalog (Botanical Tint by Behr) and the outside with standard, off-the-shelf white interior paint by Behr.  It was 3-4 thin coats with the spray gun to get the coverage I wanted.
Cabinet Makeover Progress

So far, the entire project was free since I had all of the supplies on hand and the cabinet itself was free.  I figured I was allowed to splurge a little bit on fancy knobs from Anthropologie. These gorgeous turquoise ceramic knobs were $10 apiece, bringing our running total on the project to $20.  They might be a little big, but they make me really happy.

Knkob Detail
After I put on the knobs, the cabinet sat in the cellar backless and without shelves for about 2 1/2 months. I just couldn’t make the time to wrap up the last couple of steps.  Thankfully, that changed last night. Here’s the finished project:

Cabinet Interior After
When I painted the rest of the cabinet, I also painted some thin scraps of plywood for the back that were leftover from another project. Last night, Conor cut them to size for me and showed me how to use his brad gun to attach everything.  He also cut new shelves from some 3/4″ plywood scraps that we got from his boss.  Let’s remember that the goal was to get this cabinet finished and usable, not to get it perfect.  The doors are still a little wonky when closed.
Cabinet Exterior After

I can live with it but it drives Conor nuts.  He’s been muttering about shims and clamps and new hinges all night.  I’m just happy to have a cute spot to store the bigger things for the Art Lab.  I admit that the styling here is a lot less functional than how it will ultimately be used, but I didn’t want to load it up before I decided to either stain the shelves to match the top or paint them out white.  I could also add som cute shelf paper or something. Overall, I’m just happy to have it functional.  Not bad for $20!

Cabinet Interior Detail