Blog DIY + Decor Frugal Ideas

How I Turned a $30 Goodwill Cabinet into a Pottery Barn Look Alike!

Goodwill Cabinet Makeover

As you know, I’m sort of a Goodwill Groupie. I frequent all 3 of my local stores, looking for deals. I especially love getting cool pieces of furniture there that are in major need of some TLC.

I’ve recently been looking for the perfect piece to complete our screened-in porch. I needed a spot for the TV to sit. I was looking for a specific style and height, so I jumped on it (pretty much literally) when I found this piece at Goodwill!

Was it nice as-is? Sure. But it was much too modern for the look I was going for. It was contemporary, and a dark Espresso finish, but it had good bones. I envisioned a more rustic piece, very shabby chic. Our screened-in porch is where we display all of our fishing-themed antiques, along with rustic cabin decor. This piece needed to look old, like it belonged in a cabin.

Here’s how I transformed it.

I first covered the glass panes with tape, and then I used a hammer to break them and pull them out. I mean… my husband did. I beat those glass panes until they were black & blue, and they wouldn’t even crack! Darn safety glass!! So, Mr. B came to the rescue.

After I got all the glass safely out, I used a coat of Rust-Oleum Professional Primer. This is THE STUFF to use when you’re painting a slick surface that can’t be sanded, like the cheap particle board wood that ready-to-assemble furniture is made of.

After that dried for several hours, I applied several coats of Krylon ColorMaster spray paint in Italian Olive. It dries so fast, you really only have to wait about 5-10 minutes in between coats. Make sure you apply very THIN coats, though, or else your paint will run. And if that happens, you’re basically stuck with runs, because it’s hard to sand over coats of spray paint without ruining all your work.

After this was all dry, I mixed a cup of water with about 3/4 cup of some really old dark brown stain that I found in the basement leftover from staining the deck. Literally, any old brown stain or paint will do! Just make it very thin and watered-down. I mixed it well, and then, with a paint brush, I lightly ran my wet brush across the cabinet in long strokes, wiping off any excess. This helps achieve a rustic, aged look.
Once the piece was dry, I took a screw driver (I used the first tool I saw when I looked around, poor planning!) and I  just scratched off paint in corners to give it an “antique” finish. Sandpaper works great, too, and is probably what you should be using. 🙂 Try to sand off the paint in areas where normal wear would occur over time, like corners and knobs.

Once this was all done, I got out my trusty electric stapler (I love this tool! I use it for crafts, home improvement projects, reupholstering…) and I stapled chicken wire in where the glass once was. Just measure your size first, cut with wire clippers, then staple. Be careful! I used to think of chicken wire as just harmless, cute and crafty. Wrong! It’s SHARP! You may want to use gloves.

At the end, for added cuteness, I pulled the back off and I re-covered it with some cute red & white gingham fabric I had. Don’t look too closely, because it’s not even. 🙂 Oh well, still cute!

And here is the finished project! The perfect place to sit the TV in our cozy, comfy, cabiny, “fishing room”! I just love it, and it looks like something right out of Pottery Barn! Not bad for around $30 from Goodwill!!


SUPPLIES USED: (click on the links to purchase)
Rust-Oleum Primer
Rust-Oleum Paint
Drop Cloth
Safety Glasses
Face Mask
Electric Staple Gun
Paint Brush

 This post contains affiliate links.

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