I found this old cabinet at a garage sale and immediately felt the urge to bring her back to life. I decided to paint the cabinet the perfect green paint color that aligns perfectly with the modern designs in my living room and dining room. The cabinet was only $10 and the previous owner said that it has belonged to his mother who was a harpist. My living room design plan incorporated musical elements and so this music sheet cabinet was the perfect piece to add to the room.
The cabinet was in rough shape and I decided painting the wood was the best way to go. I briefly considered sanding the wood and staining it but it really seemed like too much work. My goal was to find a muddy green that felt warm and moody, but not too gray. I chose Oakmoss by Sherwin Williams and it was exactly what I imagined in my head!
I got a little nervous when I went to my local Sherwin Williams store and looked at the paint swatch under their bright lights. I reminded myself that the color really depends on the lighting in the room. When I looked at the green in the living room, it did not look as bright as it did in the store.
I have painted lots of furniture and it wasn’t until recently that I started to pay attention to the type of paint I was using. I chose the Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel option because it is more durable than a paint made for drywall. It is a little more expensive, but for furniture that will truly be used, it is worth it to keep it looking great.
How to Paint an Old Cabinet | Tutorial
For a complete list of materials used for this project, scroll to the bottom of the post!
Step 1 | Clean the Cabinet
The wood on the cabinet was in rough shape. I lightly sanded the cabinet to remove any loose debris and then wiped it down with a damp towel. The hardware on the door was broken so I removed this as well before painting. I didn’t fill any of the holes because I planned to add new hardware in the same spot.
Step 2 | Apply Primer
I recently updated our mudroom and ran into a major paint issue on the trim and doors. Unfortunately, they were painted with oil-based paint and the latex paint I applied peeled right off. I worked closely with my Sherwin Williams rep and they helped me come up with a solution. Basically, I had to scrape off as much paint as I could and then apply an extreme bond primer before repainting the surface the color that I wanted. I had plenty of leftover primer and was able to use it for the cabinet.
The wood tones were quite different so I applied 2 coats to ensure the wood stain would not bleed through.
Step 3 | Apply Your Paint Color
I purchased a quart of the Oakmoss green in satin and it was more than enough for this project. I was able to reuse this paint for a coffee table too! The first coat of paint went on nicely but definitely needed more coats.
The second coat of paint was definitely more true to color but there were a few spots that needed more coverage. I decided to apply a quick third coat and that did the trick.
I painted around the cabinet sticker that highlights the music roll cabinet brand.
Step 4 | Install Hardware
After the cabinet had a few days to dry, I installed the new hardware. I ran to the local hardware store and picked up a brass latch (similar). I marked the screw placement of the latch with a pencil and then drilled small pilot holes for each screw.
With the pilot holes drilled, I easily attached the screws by hand and love how it turned out. The original hardware on this cabinet was broken and the door did not shut at all.
Isn’t she beautiful!
Bringing old furniture back to life is one of my favorite things to do. It is so satisfying to see the transformation of a discarded item and create an original piece for your home. Its also great for the budget! The original cabinet was dirty and broken, but I could see how beautiful it could be with a little bit of polish. The green cabinet is warm and inviting and worked perfectly for holding our records.
It is also extremely versatile. I ended up moving the cabinet into our dining room to hold glassware and drinks.
- Extreme Bond Primer
- Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel Interior Paint – Oakmoss in satin sheen
- Sanding block
- Brass cabinet door latch (similar)
Check out my supplies I use for all of our painting projects!