Small Cabinet Makeover

Something I've had on my to-do list for a good long while now is to paint a small cabinet that's main function is to hold our Berkey water filter*.  The Berkey is awkwardly large as far as water filters go and if it weren't the best at filtering all the things, we'd probably ditch it for something smaller.  But, here we are with this big, chrome, bullet-looking thing in our kitchen. 


There isn't really a good place for it on our kitchen counter because it's so tall and takes up too much space so we kept hoping to find a small cabinet at just the right height that we could set on this small expanse of wall right beside the kitchen counter and obviously, found one.  


It was for sale on Facebook Marketplace for $10 and not only was it not the prettiest cabinet in the wide world, but the lady who sold it to me used it to store makeup and so it smells...like makeup.  It's a weird smell to have a cabinet giving off.  I knew the smell would eventually go away but that faux wood finish had to be dealt with.  Fast forward months and months when only this #letsroomtogether challenge could provide the motivation I needed to get this thing looking a little more like it fits in with it's surroundings.

First, I removed all of the old chrome hardware and filled in the holes with some wood filler.  Once that was dry, I cleaned and lightly sanded the entire outside of the cabinet.  The laminate on it was really smooth and pretty shiny so I wanted to give paint the best chance of survival with that little bit of elbow grease.


With that shiny laminate, I was nervous my go-to primer wasn't going to be able to stick (I even tried a little bit (see that white spot?) but it scratched off pretty easily with my fingernail...) so this was a good chance for me to try out something new - Valspar's bonding primer.  It's supposed to stick to shiny surfaces, even glass!  We shall see, huh?


I used a small brush to get in all the crevices and corners...


and a small roller to get all of those flat surfaces.


If this were a more expensive piece of furniture, I'd have pulled out my paint sprayer for a better finish but I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the primer dried, especially since it's so thick.  (Side note:  I used this short nap roller because I had it in my stash but really, I prefer foam roller covers.  I've tried lots of small roller covers, including ones big bloggers have recommended up and down but I really can't tell a difference between mohair and short nap and all the other types I've tried.  Foam roller covers are a little tricky to work with because they can cause bubbles to form but you can usually get rid of them just by rolling over them lightly.)  

I didn't paint inside any of the spaces behind the doors, only that small narrow space 1/3 of the way down because it wasn't covered. 


After one coat of primer, I was so surprised to see how little I actually used!  (Pssst...I actually took the primer back to Lowe's to have them tint it so that I could use this primer on something else in this room.)  


As far as it sticking and not scratching off, it passed the fingernail test but we'll see how it holds up over time.  I'll do a quick update in a few months.

Once the primer was dry, I went back and painted the cabinet with paint we had leftover from painting the walls in here.  I don't want this cabinet to stand out so painting it the same color as the walls helps it blend in.  Plus, how can you beat using leftover paint?  #free

This is after one coat:


While my second coat was drying, I got to work spicing up these handles* I grabbed a few months ago.  I used this spray paint to glam them up a little.  


Once those and the cabinet were completely dry (the next day), I attached the handles and slid the whole thing back to it's spot.  I didn't set the Berkey on it for a whole week because it's heavy when it's filled and I didn't want to ruin my brand new paint job.

A week later though...


No more faux wood which definitely makes it more modern.  Before the handles were in different places but these allow for a more streamlined look - all the handles sit in the same place on each door, even though they open differently.  It still smells like makeup when you open it but at least it's just makeup and nothing else, right?  #itcouldbeworse 

Every time I finally get something done, I take a step back and gleam at the finished piece and the progress but it only takes a slight movement of the eyes to notice how bad that "new" thing makes the "old" thing next to it look.  In this case, those kitchen cabinets.  Yowsers.  


They're also getting a fresh coat of paint that will look so good with new counter tops and a backsplash but it's not happening tomorrow.  

So, we'll just focus on the cabinet for now, shall we?  We'll get to that kitchen soonish.  ;)


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