Craft: How to Refinish and Stencil a Vintage Cabinet

craftsdecor & DIY

I love all things vintage and old. I generally leave the original paint finish on an antique or vintage piece of furniture. However, sometimes you get a piece that has been abused over the years and needs a fresh new life. When I received my stencil from Royal Design Studio, I knew exactly the project to tackle; a vintage cabinet that has been in my husband's family for many years.  Unfortunately, someone tried to unsuccessfully repaint this cabinet. A huge paint failure and now it was up to me to save this one from the scrap pile. I was up for the challenge. Ready to see what I started with?

A very bad paint job, broken handles, dirt, and lots of contact paper.  I actually had pulled off some of the contact paper before I snapped these pictures. For a tip on how to remove old contact paper, see this post.

Now my cabinet is freshly painted, stenciled, and in its new home.

How to Refinish and Stencil a Vintage Cabinet


I used chalk paint for the cabinet in an oatmeal color. I did two coats (the second being very light). After painting, I used a clear wax. I painted the inside and outside due to the overall condition of the cabinet.


The stencil I chose was the large Deco Damask. Royal Design Studio also sent me a couple of their stencil brushes to try out. I added the stencil down the center of each door. The stencil itself was very well constructed and the packaging for shipment was amazing. The instructions were super simple to follow and I was stenciling in no time at all. I love how easy they make it to repeat your stencil.

After the paint in the stenciled area was dry, I rubbed on some clear wax. This helped to wear and age the paint just a touch. Enough to make you believe the paint job is a little older than one week.

Find Hardware

The painting and stenciling was a dream job compared with finding the hardware. Unfortunately, AFTER I completed painting I realized that the handle holes were a very rare size. I did end up finding some online that were not a bad price. I loved the dark handles on the white paint with the original piece. I ordered a dark finish in this new handle style to keep the same feel.

Choose Cabinet Backing

For the back of the glass front cabinets I wanted to do something a little different and a little "me". I read a post on Pretty Handy Girl about using fabric as a back in open cabinets. The post came at the perfect time. I used fabric covered foam board in the back of this cabinet. It is very easy to apply and can be changed easily.

Remember I said I wanted to add a little "me" to the cabinet. I could not go with any fabric. I used vintage quilt squares as my fabric back. I sewed the squares together before adding them to the foam board. They added the perfect vintage farmhouse touch to this cabinet makeover.

The cabinet is now in the office area of my family room. It is the perfect light shade to offset the dark on my barn wood desk hutch. I am using the cabinet to organize office and school supplies plus I had to add a few vintage pieces to complete the look.

What was your favorite old/vintage furniture refinishing project?

Angie is a full time working wife and mother to three great kids.  You can find her at The Country Chic Cottage blogging about creative crafts, vintage finds, farmhouse style, and everything in between.  Angie sells some of her vintage goodies in her etsy shop.  You can also follow her on twitter, facebook, pinterest, or google plus.

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Angie @ The Country Chic Cottage


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