Wooden cabinet upcycle: DIY part 2

Continuing on from where I left off – here’s part two of my picture tutorial on how I upcycled my old wooden trunk into a vibrant, fun, kitschy version of itself.

So the last time, I was done with the yellow coat of paint on my trunk.

upcycle wood cabinet DIY

Now, onto the border. I used a smaller paint brush I had lying around to do the borders. The width of the brush matched the size of the border exactly, so it was a perfect tool for that little fiddly bit.

I wanted a very high-contrast, bright colour for the border, so I chose this blue. The paint tin (and the guys of the local hardware stores) call this colour ‘firoza blue’, but I call it royal blue. So there you go.

diy wood cabinet upcycle

You can see how both the colours really pop in juxtaposition with each other like this.

I wasn’t happy with just this, though, I wanted to do a nice design on the biggest canvas I had with the cabinet – the door. I envisioned a nice border to the door, filled in with a design reminiscent of the muggu/kolam – floor designs – that I had grown up seeing.

To the border!

It’s not easy drawing straight lines with paint, especially since I did not want to permanently mark my rulers with paint, even though they were the perfect size for the job. I needed something that I could use, then throw.

Time for some cheap and simple DIY-ing.

diy wood cabinet upcycle

I used an old cereal box, and cut it up to make a border stencil in the shape and size I wanted. Now I had something I could paint over and simply throw once I was done with it. Yay!

diy wood cabinet upcycle

Like so.

8diy wood cabinet upgrade


I gleefully set about using the template I now had, which is when I ran into my first problem – drips!

Wood cabinet upgrade DIY

With the paint being so thin, and the cardboard also being the cheap, cereal box variety, my stencil flapped up at the end and ended up smudging my carefully drawn lines. D:

Not cool, cheap stencil.

I decided to deal with smudges and errors once I was done with the entire thing, so I set about painting the whole border.

Wood cabinet upgrade: DIY

You can see where the paint has dripped down and made a mess of things. And the portion on the left where the stencil shifted as I was painting and screwed up my nice straight line.

So, now to fix things.

Fixing smudged paint, drips, off-centre lines, and other mistakes

DO NOT DO THIS: I first used my small brush, dipping it in paint thinner and running it over the still wet smudge. BAD idea. The smudge just spread, like a cloud of blue on the yellow. It was a little like dripping a drop of water onto a picture you drew with water paints. :/

Terrible idea al around.

Here’s what you SHOULD do.

The next idea I tried was a winner – I dipped my little brush in yellow and painted over the smudges. Perfect!

wood cabinet upcycle DIY

Kitsch-style design for the door

So, once all the paint had dried off, it was time for the design on the door. I had downloaded this very awesome Indian inspired knitting design ages ago (sadly, I forgot from where – if anyone recognizes the design, please do point me in the right direction to give credit!) that I decided would be perfect for this project.

I had downloaded this very awesome Indian inspired knitting design ages ago (sadly, I forgot from where – if anyone recognizes the design, please do point me in the right direction to give credit!) that I decided would be perfect for this project.

I printed out the design, taped it to the section where I wanted it to appear, and then went over the lines with a permanent marker. The outline transferred itself to the wood, and all was good.

wood cabinet DIY upcycle

Now, I got out all my little tins of left-over paint from previous projects and my paintbrushes. I painted over the design and then did the outline in black.

It still looked very empty, so I thought I’d add a border. I drew one freehand with a bit of wet chalk. It’s a design of creeping vines with little flowers interspersed through the entire thing.

DIY wood cabinet upcycle

It didn’t look too bad, so I went ahead and painted it in, using white for the flowers for a greater contrast with the green of the leaves.

Finishing touches

After I was done, I felt that the top of my new cabinet was looking a little bare. It would, after all, be the most visible part of my cabinet, after the door, and it needed a little zing.

I decided to continue the muggu theme, and chose to do a border in a very typical muggu style – it’s one I’ve used myself for its ease and bang for buck. It doesn’t take much effort, but by gosh it looks like you did!

Wood cabinet DIY upcycle

Here’s the result!

Wood cabinet DIY upcycle

Here, have a slideshow wrap-up, cause it’s fun to watch the transformation:

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[mood| diy wood cabinet upcycle very accomplished]
[music|Sia: Chandelier]

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  1. Pingback: Clouds in my Coffee •• DIY wood cabinet upcycle

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