Cabinet Makeover for Bathroom – Part 1





We’re having the ensuite bathroom done right now and yes, there are tradies here again. Just like last year about this time we had tradies here doing the main bathroom.  Whew!

Given that I’m still being ‘bathroomed out’ here, it’s probably a good time to share the makeover of this 2 door black cabinet, a re-birth done for the main bathroom.

I share the project in 2 posts so you see pictures of the piece as it evolved into the shabby dusty pink cupboard with vintage patina.

The first image in this post (above) gives you an idea of the cupboard nearing completion. It was done outside in the veranda area so natural light played a part in some of these shots as did darkness and night lighting as I worked in the evenings. There were two further small embellishments to be added on the top right corner of each door which you can see in Pt 2.




The 2 images immediately above show you the piece as it was when I found it – a dark almost blue-black shade in a matt finish. I had been searching for a cupboard to fit the space between the two windows for quite a while.  It had to be the right width. This one fitted perfectly and was large enough to hold all the bathroom paraphernalia including linen, towels, guest items and so forth.

Contrary to what it looks like in this image, it was old, well used and a bit rickety. Close up I could see a roughish, rustic surface with chipping and wear hidden under coats of paint. Good for me. Joints and mitres needed a bit of TLC including some re-attaching/re-gluing in parts. All minor stuff. Parts of the moulding and trim were loose and needed a bit of fixing, re-attaching etc. It wasn’t a new cupboard. It would work.

The inside was a faded blue, a sort of duck egg blue shade. I kept that as an undercoat. Indeed the cupboard was the same blue under the black finish as I discovered. Feet were plain and too small for the cupboard I thought. It was top heavy.

It became a ‘new’ cupboard done in vintage cream and dusty pink hues and sporting larger vintage turned feet.

I used various paint mediums including Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) as used on these vintage shutters at homeon this large concrete statue of Mary and on this whistling boy statue.

In the end I got rid of the black paint (none showing at least) and saved the duck egg blue to show through in parts.


A work in progress.

I coated the outside in cream shades using a flat acrylic mainly to get rid of the dark black hues then in a dusty pink shade also using a flat acrylic. I don’t use Dulux for flat acrylic paint jobs as the matt is not flat despite what the retailers say. The flat I use has to be flat, real flat like a milk paint finish, like chalk paint. Dulux’s matt paint has a sheen and doesn’t work for me.

The inside I simply slapped on a mixture of creams and soft pinks using paints left over from past jobs. I always try to re-use paints. I simply mix, match and blend colours and mediums for whatever purpose is at hand.

In the end the black paint came off very easily once I started painting over it and once i started rubbing back to allow the duck egg blue to peep through in parts. Easy to remove where needed.




In transition. The cupboard being transformed from blue black to lighter colours.  You can see the bottom portion is still black.

Painted in creams then dusty pink hues. The cupboard is old with a nice rustic, chippy surface so easy to create a well used, worn and cracking effect.










Vintage turned feet. Four large turned pieces with rusty castors on the front two. The rear two have dowelling pieces for height and balance. Here they are being tested and fitted, to be straightened and attached permanently.






Base and feet coated in the dusty pink.




Taking shape. A blue/black cupboard now displays creamy shades inside and drab pink hues on the outside ready for the best part – the aging and antiquing processes.

I scraped and rubbed back the drab pink in parts to expose the outside undercoats of duck egg blue and creams.






Night time.

Here I’ve started the aging process at the base.  I have applied ASCP in Old White then rubbed back to accentuate the moulding and turned feet.

I must say, we are very lucky in Angaston to have easy access to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint right here at Brocante in the Barossa.



Dry brushing and wiping on and off the Old White in layers.



Before I started the aging process I attached an escutcheon/embellishment to each door, both removed from an unwanted piece of furniture.  Screwed in a salvaged brass handle in each door when done. Little handles (below) nice and tarnished just right.



I added the Old White chalk paint ever so lightly to start with. Built it up. Rubbed back to get the tone on tone effect, the shading, chipping and cracking.  The ease and beauty of chalk paint is that it allows you to work at your own speed to build up the look. I simply keep water, cloths and brushes on hand as I’m sort of dry brushing some of the time.




Better view of the finishes here showing you both doors one with Old White and one without. On the right is the finish using Old White and before I started chipping and scraping in parts to reveal cream and duck egg blue.




One door without the final finish. One with.








Handles nicely tarnished.




Work in progress …. at night.  Oh yes.






Beautiful rust.

The 6 inserts in the doors are old white salvaged ceiling tin beautifully rusted as you see here and cut to fit. The rebates were already in the doors which obviously had inserts at some point in time.

This piece of tin is yet to be attached. I’m working on cutting and fitting.




You simply measure and cut each panel to fit.  As I say the rebate helped.

This pressed tin is awkward due to its size but easy to cut as its thin and malleable. Cut it with tin snips, tin scissors or an angle grinder. I like tin snips for small jobs. This piece is one of the top panels as its cut out on the top left corner to fit.

These vintage pressed tin sheets are the original 6′ x 2′ panels. Of course they’re available new and sold in the same size (1800 mm x 600 mm). The designs are historically accurate as the sheets are pressed using moulds made from the originals. The sheets can be found at Adelaide Pressed Metal on Payneham Road, College Park.








I had to pay attention to the pattern sequence of the tin of course so that it was centred in each of the panels and each one matched the other.  I couldn’t simply cut the tin without attention to the design sequence.




Getting there.

PS  Stay tuned for Part 2.

2 thoughts on “Cabinet Makeover for Bathroom – Part 1

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