Before and After: This $70 DIY Cabinet Redo Effortlessly Blends Art Deco and Mid-Century Style

published Sep 13, 2022
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Before: a long wooden cabinet with three plain doors

The internet is a great place to start when you’ve got a DIY project on your hands, and here at Apartment Therapy, we’re serving up fresh DIY inspiration on the daily.

That’s why we were delighted to see Rachel Newport’s (@youmeandthehouseplymouth) cabinet redo, which she made after getting inspired by a previous project posted on Apartment Therapy: this IKEA IVAR upgrade by Alana Gennara.

Rachel came into a free mid-century style credenza when it was left in her new house after she got the keys. She wanted to hang on to it and add some extra flair, too. “I just knew the cabinet was such good quality, and therefore, I couldn’t just throw it out!” she says.

Inspired by Alana’s dowel DIY, Rachel decided to add a sunburst pattern to this cabinet. Of course, she had plenty of work to do first: sanding it, treating some old water rings with bleach, and lightening the cabinet with Rustoleum’s Furniture Finishing Wax. “Don’t rush the sanding, [and] allow the wax paint to fully dry before moving onto the next step,” Rachel advises.

To create the sunbursts, Rachel bought three different sizes of wooden dowels (which her dad helped her cut in half so the flat side could be glued to the cabinet), spray painted them gold, and then used No More Nails glue to attach them. Lastly, she bought patterned knobs from Amazon and spray painted the backs to match the sprayed dowels.

Rachel’s furniture flipping advice is this: Don’t rush, and have faith that your creation will turn out OK! All told, she was able to complete her project for a total of £60, or about $70 USD.

“There were times I thought I had ruined the cabinet,” she says, “but don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun!” Rachel’s experiment paid off big time as she’s ultra-pleased with the cabinet’s fun new look.

“I love the fact that I have bought this old not-loved piece of quality furniture back to life and have given it a much-needed modern refresh,” she says.