DIY Antique Cupboard Upcycle

This old, antique cupboard once belonged to my great grandfather and has been sitting in my basement for years! I’ve never had a use for it, but couldn’t bear the thought of getting rid of it because of its sentimental value. Plus, my mother would kill me!!

DIY Antique Cupboard Upcycle

This piece has certainly lived a long life and is showing it’s age. It has a million layers of paint that are chipped and cracked and it’s covered in dents and scratches. But surprisingly, the bones of the piece are still in really good shape. It’s sturdy and still, perfectly put together. The doors work perfectly, and the interior shelves are 100% usable. It still has lots of life in it!!!

Considering the sentimental value and the sturdiness of this piece, I decided to give it a facelift and proudly use it in my home.

My original plan for this piece was to expose the natural wood on the top, and paint the doors and base a pop of color. I’m loving this look lately!

Before I started the tedious job of removing layers of paint to expose the wood top, I tested to see if the current paint was oil-based. To do this, pour a bit of an acetone-based solvent like nail polish remover on a rag or paper towel and rub it on the surface. If nothing rubs off its oil; if paint rubs off on your rag, it’s latex. Sure enough, the paint on my cupboard was oil-based.

DIY Antique Cupboard Upcycle
Painted With House&Canvas Jameson Blue and Walnut Wax.

Removing oil-based paint is super time consuming and a lot of work. You need to use a chemical-based stripper and lots of elbow grease! Problem number one for me is that it’s November and its wicked cold outside. No way am I working in my garage, and NO way am I using paint stripper indoors. The bigger problem is that based on the age of this piece and the multiple layers of paint, there’s a chance it may have been painted with lead-based paint. No thanks.

I decided to just work with the natural imperfections this piece has gained throughout its life, and really celebrate its character. I chose to use House&Canvas Furniture Paint in Jameson Blue. Jameson Blue is a rich, deep, blue with a hint of green. I LOVE this colour. I named it after my big blue-eyed son, James. Take that sentimental value up another notch!!!

Jameson Blue color blob

I did ZERO prep to this piece. House&Canvas Furniture Paint even goes over oil-based paint with NO sanding or priming!! I did two coats of Jameson Blue and let it dry overnight.

The following day, I did one coat of House&Canvas Wax in Walnut. As I mentioned before, I decided to bring out the natural character of this piece by enhancing all of t’s imperfections. The walnut wax really highlighted all of the dents and scratches in a good way!

Open wax can with paint stir stick and brush on closed wax can

The walnut wax is designed to be layered so you can control the amount of colour you want on your piece. A few hours after I applied the first coat of wax, I went in again and added some in the corners of the door to give it an aged, antique effect.

DIY Antique Cupboard Upcycle

I am so happy with how this piece turned out. I have it sitting right in my front entrance for everyone to see when they first walk in. I love the history it offers and I know my mom will be so happy when she sees it in my home 🙂

DIY Antique Cupboard Upcycle
DIY Antique Cupboard Upcycle