My Country Peanut – From Shabby to Chic Cabinet Doors and Drawer

This project was probably one of the most rewarding done to date. It was super inexpensive costing under $30. And the outcome looks high end. I took these boring grey doors from this:

Boring Flat Panel Doors

And turned them in to this:

Here is what you need:

  • Measuring tape / pencil
  • Trim
  • Wood glue
  • Hand saw and mitre box or electronic saw
  • Painters tape
  • Screw driver or drill with bits (to remove doors and hardware)
  • Paper towel
  • Paint – I used a white semi-gloss
  • Paint brush
  • Weighted items to flatten the glued down trim in place (large books work really well)
  • A work table/bench to spread out (I had one for trim work and a small one for painting)

Since the hardware on the drawer and doors were original I knew I had to keep them but, they were so dirty. 45 years of hand grime (that’s right – hand grime) and oxidizing. It was hard to tell that they were brass and copper because they were so black. I googled methods on how to clean them and the first to pop up was Salt and Vinegar (no, not the chips). Smells awful but it actually worked. I put the mixture in a mug so the pulls could be submerged. 45 minutes to 1 hour later they were ready for a scrub. Other methods include: Ketchup or lemon and salt. Which would both smell better šŸ˜‰

Here is what they looked like before:

Dirty black hardware

And here is what they look like now:

So pretty! They add a little glam to this tiny camper. When the blizzard lets up I will head out and remove the remaining pieces of hardware and try the ketchup method. This way they are ready to go once the kitchenette has been painted out (COME ON SPRING!! I’m ready for some warmer weather).

This was a fun and somewhat quick project. The time consuming part is waiting for the cabinet paint to dry between coats. I’ve done 3 coats on each door for full streak free coverage. Give every coat an hour or more to dry in between for best results with a semi-gloss paint.

If you have boring cabinet doors that are driving you crazy you should give this a try (but know you have to paint them afterwords). There are many styles of trim to choose from at your local hardware stores. Once you add the paint you will be happy you did!


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