Introduction: Junk Clock to Wall Cabinet!

About: I am an artist, builder and teacher living in Japan.

When you see an old worn out object, do you think . . . I wonder what I could make out of this? Yes!

This Instructable is how my lovely wife Mariko and I turned a junk clock into an awesome knickknack cabinet. Total trash to treasure!

Step 1: Before and After!

First you'll need a long box clock. Mariko bought this badboy on Yahoo Auction Japan for cheap. This was an exciting find, because we've always wanted to turn a clock body into a cabinet.

Step 2: Getting the Clock Ready to Paint



-Razor blade

-Random Orbit sander

-Disks of #100, #180 and #320 sandpaper

-Painters tape and newspaper

-L ruler

-Tape measure


-5mm plywood

-Wood Glue

This step is getting the clock ready to paint.

Remove the clock door and then the hinges and clasp. Put the hardware in a place you won't forget.

The decorations on this clock window were peeling off, so I took the razor blade and scraped it all off.

Take the screwdriver and remove the clock face and brackets behind it. (The clock face is screwed onto brackets or cleats)

Use the painters tape and newspaper to cover both sides of the window.

Take the sander and go to town starting with the lowest number grit. Cut out squares of sandpaper to get into the places the sander can't.

The pieces of wood you see in the body fell off while sanding. Just glue those suckers back on with wood glue.

I bought a sheet of 5mm plywood and cut out a piece to glue into the clock box to cover that hole.

5mm plywood is easy to cut with a box cutter too.

Step 3: Painting the Clock



-Emerald color milk paint

-Pistachio color mill paint

-Black acrylic paint

Advantages of milk paint:

*environmentally safe


*fast drying

*solvent free

*odorless when dry

*permanent colors

*will not fade

*longest lasting

*easily mixed with other milk paint colors

This step is painting the clock

Paint the case in the colors you want to peak through the final color coat. We used emerald green with spots of pistachio.

Let the bottom colors completely dry and then paint on the top color. We used an acrylic black paint. The top color needs to completely dry too.

Step 4: Distressing the Clock Box


-150 grit sandpaper

-Clear Briwax

-Lint free rag

-Cleaning rag

-Rubber gloves

This step is distressing the clock box

Take the sandpaper and sand away the black to get the green details. Don't use the random orbit sander!

Take it all the way down to the wood in spots for extra awesomeness!

Clean the entire clock with a dry rag and then wax it with the Briwax.

Step 5: Building the Shelves and Cleats


-5mm plywood


-Craft awl





This step is building the shelves and cleats

Cut the shelves to fit perfectly in the clock body. I used 5mm plywood again and made all of the cuts with a boxcutter.

The shelves are incredibly sturdy with the tiles!

Cut lips to run across of the fronts of the shelves to keep stuff from falling off. (We often get earthquakes in Japan and I have not had any problems with stuff falling off of the shelves.)

Use a craft awl to poke pilot holes for nails and screws.

Cut cleats to sit the shelves on. Measure the distance you want to space the shelves first. The cleats screw onto the inside sides of the clock body. You don't need a cleat on the back.

Step 6: Tiling on the Shelves


-Epoxy mortar

-Epoxy grout


Why Epoxy? We did a couple large tile projects and have some left over so we used it with this.

Epoxy mortar is awesome, but I'm not going to is tricky to work with! Regular mortar is very easy to shape, but epoxy (for me) is harder to achieve the same effect. It also dries really fast and looks plastic-y. I highly recommending mixing small batches at a time. It is an excellent product though! It will bond to concrete, brick, stone, mortar, wood, iron, steel and cured epoxy mortars. It is shrink free, insensitive to moisture during application, it has high tensile and flexural strength and is full of mold inhibitors. I live in Japan, so I bought a local brand, but you can easily find an epoxy mortar and grout with a quick Google search.

The epoxy grout is rubbed over the tiles. It is made from two different resins mixed with a filler making it is very waterproof and bettered suited to harsher cleaning products. This stuff sets super quickly too.

This step is tiling on the shelves

One shelf at a time:

Smear the epoxy mortar onto a shelf and then place the tiles in it. You can use a trowel if you have one, but we used an old spoon.

Epoxy mortar sets quickly, so you can grout in a couple hours. I found it easy to smear on the grout with my gloved fingertips and then wipe off the excess with a tile grout sponge.

If you use epoxy mortar and grout:

*It's better to buy a one time use bucket and sponge that you can throw away.

*If not, clean your tools off quickly, but do so outside with the garden hose. Don't clean this mess up in your sink.

Step 7: Enjoy Your New Wall Cabinet!

That's it! Slide in the shelves, hang the cabinet on the wall and enjoy!

Thank you for reading!

Trash to Treasure

Participated in the
Trash to Treasure