When I moved into my apartment, the built-in cabinet in my bedroom was shoddily painted in yellow and blue with brown "accents." To make matters worse, there were so many layers of paint that the hinges didn't work well.
Basically, I spent several hours over two weeks chipping away at the old paint — a process I found surprisingly satisfying. Beneath the yellow, blue, and brown, I found pink, gray, and lime green. (The top left side photo shows a true before," and the rest shows it during.)
Maybe most satisfying was uncovering the hardware and shining it up with Brasso. I used leftover gray paint on the bottom half of the cabinet and brightened up the top with white semi-gloss. To hide my craft supplies, I cut two rectangles of Ikea fabric and tacked them to the inside just above the glass panels. The supplies inside are pretty well organized and labeled, but I like the contrast between the easily changeable, graphic fabric and the cabinet's older style.
While the space isn't ideal for big projects, it is my best option for storing my supplies and sewing machine. I keep two small vintage ashtrays nearby for pins and cut threads, and I recovered two Illy containers and a can for storing elastic, seam rippers, etc.
Images: Kim Rinehimer