Cupboard Restoration




Hello there!

I finally finished my cupboard! I was very pleased with the result. We had a few concerns, but it turned out well. I recently started sewing and you need a lot for sewing (believe me!). There wasn't any space to put all my stuff together so I needed a new closet. I really love to do some handywork, so I decided to get an old cupboard and make it look the way I wanted it to. It is very low budget (I found a free cupboard) and you can do with it whatever you want. Enjoy!

Step 1: What Do You Need

  • An old cupboard
  • paint in the color you choose
  • chalkboard paint
  • sanding supplies
  • decopatch paper (we will use this to decorate the cupboard, you can also use wallpaper)
  • wallpaper glue
  • Scrap wood pieces to make some structural changes to the cupboard (we used a 2x2 leftover from another project)

Step 2: How to Start

Before you can start sanding, we will have to take everything apart. Gently start to take everything of with a screwdriver like the knobs and the hinges, take out the drawers and the doors. Strip any stickers and glue residue so you end up with the bare cupboard.

Step 3: Shelf Adaptation

I wanted the shelf a little bit lower than it was in the beginning. We used a 2x2 to cut the holders for the shelf. 4 in total, same length preferably. (Not if you want your shelf to be skewed, but that would be silly) We used some glue to attach the holders to the inside of the cupboard. Put on the shelf and done!

Step 4: Change to the Interior

I want to place three boxes under the shelf in my cupboard. The boxes that I bought aren't long enough to take up the whole space underneath. To prevent the boxes from sliding in to far, we'll be making a stopper rail for the boxes to bump against. Simply measure the width of your cupboard and cut a piece of 2x2 to this measurement. Then measure the depth of your cupboard and subtract the depth of your box. Saw 2 pieces of 2x2 to this lenght (don't forget to subtract the extra 2 inches from the stopper rail that we just made.)

Step 5: Sanding

Sanding... Sanding... Sanding...

We choose not to sand to the bare wood, but just rough up the surface to give the paint something to adhere to. Once everything is sanded, wipe everything down with a humid cloth to remove all the dust.

Step 6: Painting

In this step, we finally saw some progress. Make sure you give the cupboard enough layers of paint. We ended up putting 3 layers on.

Step 7: Painting Small Parts

Time to paint the small hardware parts. We drove nails trough an old piece of cardstock and put all the hardware pieces in such an orientation so that we could paint everything at once. We started with a grey primer and finished with 2 layers of matt black paint.

Step 8: Decopatch Time! :D Part 1: the Shelf

We started with the shelf. First you apply the wallpaper glue to the wood in a thin layer. Then you need to apply the paper, but beware of ripping and air pockets. Make sure to keep equal tension on the paper when applying it. It is easier when you do it with another person. You have more or less 15 seconds to take the paper of again when you didn't place it right, after that, it rips easily. When the paper is placed correct, you also need to put a thin layer of glue over the paper. Again, beware of ripping. In the last picture you see a small mistake we made by putting on the glue too rough.

Step 9: Decopatching Part 2: the Drawers

You need to use the same technique to apply the decopatch to the drawers. We left about 2 centimeters hang over the edge and we will trim this later once the glue has dried.

Step 10: Decopatching Part 3: the Door Ornaments

To apply decopatch to the inlay in the doors, we wanted to try a different technique. We applied painters tape to the part where we wanted to apply decopatch. We then trimmed of the overhang of the tape and were left with a perfect copy of the inlay. The idea was to cut the decopatch to exactly this size, but this turned out to be too difficult. In the last pictures you see that the corner doesn't fit correctly and the curled piece at the top was impossible to cut out perfectly.

Step 11: Decopatching Part 4: Door Ornaments the Easy Way

Once we failed to cut the paper to the right size, we just used the tape to cut out a rough pattern. Then we applied this with some overhang.

Step 12: Chalkboard Paint

I wanted to write some stuff on the doors, so we choose to use chalkboard paint for the middle part of the doors. Follow the instructions which come with the paint you buy, because it isn't always the same.

Step 13: Decopatch Part 5: Finishing Up

Once the glue had dried, you can trim the excess paper. Use a super thin blade and a straight edge to make sure you end up with crisp edges. Again be very careful as this stuff will still tear pretty easily. Apply some more glue to the loose parts to finish everything up.

Step 14: Protecting the Decopatch

We applied 3 layers of high strength lacquer to the shelf and insides of the drawers as these will be used a lot.

Step 15: Reassembling the Cupboard

Time to put everything back together!

Step 16: Tadaaaa


Thanks for reading and don't hesitate to leave a comment if you liked this project or if you have any questions.

See you around!

Before and After Contest 2016

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2016

Plywood Contest

Participated in the
Plywood Contest

Living Without Closets Contest

Participated in the
Living Without Closets Contest



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    8 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Thank you! The cupboard was very old, so I think they wouldn't mind :p


    3 years ago

    Beautiful makeover, well worth the time & effort. Love it!

    1 reply