Before and After: A $40 Secondhand Cabinet Gets a Modern, Colorful Second Life
You can find a lot of furniture bargains by scouring secondhand stores and online marketplaces. But sometimes those bargains come with caveats: Pieces might be scratched, discolored, or just in need of a little TLC. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can fix with paint and a little elbow grease.
Take this project from DIYer Kate Warefield. While hunting for a storage cabinet to combine her record collection with her husband’s, Kate found the perfect fit: this “run-of-the-mill” 1960s record storage cabinet she scored on Facebook Marketplace for just $40.
“We really wanted an enclosed cabinet as opposed to a shelf to keep things as tidy as possible,” Kate says. This one had one large tilt-out compartment and a drawer, making it super practical and perfect for their needs — but it wasn’t exactly stylish.
The cabinet had worn-out dark brown veneer that was peeling at every corner, and brass pulls that had seen better days, “but we knew this piece had potential!” Kate says.
Kate and her husband wanted the piece to fit in with their eclectic decor, so they reached for a bold paint to give it a fresh new look. For a super pro-looking finish, Kate cleaned the cabinet, took it apart, and sanded the surface until it was smooth.
Kate primed the cabinet before painting it a pretty medium blue that was actually left over in their house from the previous homeowners — making that part of the project $0. The existing dated brass pulls didn’t fit with her vision for this project, so she replaced them with two super modern extra long brass pulls.
Looking back on this project, Kate says, those statement-making pulls, well, pull the whole thing together — and her husband is the one who suggested them. “Be open and ready to take advice and suggestions.” she says, because one of those suggestions may end up being your favorite part of the project.
Kate and her husband love the way this piece turned out — and that they only spent $82 all told. “It fits perfectly in the space, keeps our collection organized, and makes it a delight to listen to our records!” Kate says. The takeaway? Just because something isn’t your style the first time you see it, dream big — you never know what it could become.
Inspired? Submit your own project here.