Ode to Secondhand: Refinished Crafting Cabinet


This is the third post in a series called Ode to Secondhand, in which I regale you with the wonders of Craigslist, the online resale feast that has supplied much of our furniture (and fodder for refinishing projects).

I have a penchant for neutrals. Give me black, navy, or grey over pale pink or mint green any day. Whenever I buy new clothes (which, since my childbearing years began, is seldom), Hubs pleads for me to add some color to my wardrobe. When I shop with my mother, she does the same.

Ok, people. Here you go: I painted this cabinet turquoise.

It was originally a computer cabinet, complete with a CD rack and pull-out drawer for a keyboard.

I re-purposed it into a sewing cabinet when I didn’t have desk/table space for my sewing machine and now it houses most of my arts and crafts supplies. While I’m currently fortunate to have an entire room dedicated to craftiness, I don’t expect that that will always be the case.

So, if I do ever lose my craft room (actually, we’re calling it the “art room” now…or maybe the “studio?” hmm), I imagine I’ll be able turn any corner of the house into a crafty space just by moving this piece; it has lots of storage space plus a shelf that I can pull out and use my sewing machine on.

Now, the deets.

The Before

The original finish, in all of its orangey glory...with a few spots of sample paint.
The original finish, in all of its orangey glory…with a few spots of sample paint.

The After

See Hubs? Turquoise. I can do color after all.
See Hubs? Turquoise. I can do color after all.


The How To

1.) I lightly sanded the surface.

2.) Then I painted 2 coats (I think it was 2…might have been 3) of Cooled Blue by Sherwin Williams

3.) And followed with some distressing of the edges and nooks with Rub ‘n Buff

4.) Finally, I sprayed it with a polycrylic spray.

5.) I also changed out the hardware for some cute knobs from good ol’ Hobby Lobby. Personally, I consider Hobby Lobby’s knob selection one of its greatest assets. Like Anthro, but reasonably priced.

Epilogue: About a year later, I decided to make it look more antique-y with a coat of Fiddes Wax (I used a combo of Clear and Rugger Brown). I also got tired of the original orangey stain on the inside and brightened it up with a coat of Behr’s Magnolia Blossom, which is my favorite white for everything from kitchen cabinets to furniture.

I heart these knobs. Lots.
I heart these knobs. Lots.
Also love me some Fiddes Wax.
Also love me some Fiddes Wax.

What I Spent

  • Cabinet: $70, if memory serves. I think I may have haggled on this one.
  • Paint: $22 for a quart of Duration paint by Sherwin Williams in Cooled Blue (could have color-matched this at Home Depot or Lowe’s for less, though…)
  • Knobs: about $10 for two, after 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby

Total Cost: $102

Not bad, in my opinion, especially considering my best store-bought option was going to be something like this (which is more than twice as much).

What I Learned

1.) Color is fun. Yet I will not be painting my walls turquoise any time soon.

2.) Computer cabinets make for great crafting storage. They generally come with shelves, drawers, and random nooks and crannies, perfect for hiding random art supplies.

3.) Painting the inside was worth the effort. If you use a cabinet like this as a crafting workspace, painting the interior a light color and adding a light source nearby is super helpful. It’s kinda dark in there otherwise.

4.) Never underestimate the power of pretty knobs to affect your mood. They make me happy.

5.) When painting large pieces like this, use a paint roller as much as you can. Painting will go faster and smoother. This dawned on me mid-second coat.

Have you re-purposed anything lately?

About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.

  • brenda venable

    Re-Purposed? Yup, I’m working on my yard rigth now (does tht count?), attempting to clean up after wintertime and the dog. Raking, mulching new soil in, re-seeding a couple of areas and watching my bulbs peek through. The daffodils are so pretty. Actually, it was snowing the other day while I was working on ‘shop hill’. Fun!

    • I don’t know if that counts as re-purposing :), but it sounds great! Would love to be out gardening with you, Mom.

  • Alex Sudan

    love those knobs and the turquoise color!

    • Thanks, Al! Me too 🙂

  • Rick S

    My favorite furniture painting project was end tables and coffee table for the sunroom. My wife and I were hoping to find inexpensive table to paint at garage sale or CL-Madison. No luck,then found set of 3 for $60 at Shopko. Big chunky farm table style in dark orangy finish. We sanded everything and primed and painted in a warm tan to pick up the color in the wingback loveseats we already had in the room. we looked for new knobs but being cheap just gave the wooden ones gloss white spray paint to look like ceramic. Perfect. The tables pull together the whole room all for about $85.

    • Sounds like a great deal, Rick! I like the sound of the chunky farm style table…

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