This past weekend, I completed a few more projects while awaiting the granite guy’s countertop installation at mom’s house. I have been working on this piece in my kitchen for quite awhile, and am happy to finally have it done! This is the before:

Coastal Kitchen Cabinet Beforea red cupboard (made of MDF) we purchased a few years back at Jordan’s Furniture Colossal Clearance Center in Avon, Mass (if you haven’t been there, it is so definitely worth the trip! Lots of great furniture at significantly discounted prices!) This piece fits nicely in the narrow passageway between our kitchen and dining room and holds a ton of stuff like paper towels, napkins and several pieces of kitchen equipment that just won’t fit anywhere else. The problem is, since it’s in the highest traffic point of our home, it had been scratched and worn-the finish was like a plastic veneer and scratched off quite easily (and I was tired of the dark red anyway…). Time for a fix, so this is the after: a pretty, light coastal cabinet with a top created from reclaimed window shutters!

Coastal Kitchen CupboardHere is the how-I-did-it: Sanded everything down to rough up the shiny veneer plasticy surface, and sanded the edges to round them off a bit.

Sanding the edges Nothing says “mass-produced” more than sharp, clean edges on furniture. Primed with my go-to primer: Glidden Gripper (you can find this at Home Depot in the paint dept)

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Glidden Gripper Primer

The Americana Chalky paint I planned on using says it doesn’t need a primer, but the before color was so dark, and the new color was so light, I figured I had better just to be safe.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Chalky Paint Palette DecoArt

Before I painted the entire piece, I accented the frames around the door panel inserts with the Americana Chalky Paint Called Vintage. It is a soft blue/green color that ties in beautifully with the shutter slats on the top.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Framed Cabinet Doors with Chalky Paint

Then I applied some wallpaper wainscoting (LOVE this stuff too!) to the inside of the panels to give a more country feel to the piece. (For the DIY  how-to on using the wallpaper, click here.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard with Wainscoting Wallpaper Panel Inserts

I then painted the entire cupboard, including the inside panels, with two coats of Americana Chalky paint in the color Everlasting-so soft and pretty white.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Chalky Paint for Knob Americana

The more I used this paint, the more I love it. No brush strokes, so easy to apply and clean up. I then sanded the edges to give it a bit of character and contrast.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Wainscoting Wallpaper Doors

The final coat was the Americana Ultra Matte Varnish from DecoArt. No shine, protects the white paint from fingerprints.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Ultra Matte Varnish Americana

For the star of this show, the top, I used some old shutter slats that Coach and I had picked up off the side of the road on a drive to Cape Cod. That was one of my very first blog posts, and also one of the first times we trash picked on the side of the road. What a score! The colors are all the original ones-so coastal pretty!!

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Arranging Shutter Slats

I have been using parts of them for several projects, including some little hanging chalkboards which I decided to reclaim for this project. As I was arranging the slats on the top, my original plan was to flip the chalkboard ones over and use the reverse side. But then I thought, why not just leave them so I could write cute little sayings on the surface? Fun!

Coastal Cupboard Makeover Chalkboard

Once I had placed all of the slats, there were a few that hung over the edges, which I quickly remedied with a few jigsaw cuts.

Cutting Shutter slats with jigsawThen sanded the edge smooth with my Black & Decker Mouse sander, which I also picked up at my local Home Depot.  Honestly, I spend more time at Home Depot and Home Goods than I do at home!!

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Cut Shutter Slat Edges

While I was sanding, I made sure that I sanded the top edge just a bit so that the cut pieces had the same worn edge as the rest. (this is the area that fits into the frame of the shutters when they are whole).

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Mouse Sander Edges

Once they were cut and sanded, I glued them into place with this strong sticky stuff-didn’t even require any nailing!!

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard Wood Glue

The original knobs were a nice heavy iron, but I wanted something lighter so there wasn’t as much of a contrast. These mercury glass knobs I found at (where else) HomeGoods, but I couldn’t find handles for the doors that I really liked.

Home Goods Mercury KnobsSo, I grabbed a pair of stainless ones I kept from my old kitchen and painted them with the chalk paint. What, you say?! Painted knobs? But, of course! This week’s Tuesday DIY Tip: you can paint any hardware quickly and easily, especially with this chalk paint! You just paint it on, Painting knobs with chalk paintmaking sure you get in all the tiny holes and crevices, then wipe it off,

Wiping off Chalk Paintallow to dry and done. Wipe away as much or as little depending on the look you are going for.

Painted knobs with chalky paintThe finished cupboard now stands in the space under my incredible driftwood mirror I purchased at (where else) HomeGoods a few months back, along with some other coastal-inspired decor.

Coastal Kitchen Cupboard After Shutter Slat Top PM

Which will all go so nicely in my coastal dream home (if I ever get a coast dream home…) In the meantime, have a dreamy Tuesday, everyone!! Susan

**PS: That disclaimer at the top of this article is for all the wood enthusiasts who think that no wood furniture should ever be painted…


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Coach and I recently purchased this country-style cupboard at auction for…wait for it…$10!!! It was pretty grimy and the front doors were missing, but I just fell in love with the detail in the top trim and base.

Country Cupboard Before PaintingThe color was a faded and chipped greenish-mustardy yellow with some sort of stenciling on it. So not country pretty, so time for a makeover. First step, clean it up! Second step, I had to remove the middle piece of wood where the now-MIA doors would have normally closed and latched. (If anyone knows what that piece is actually called, let me know : )

Country Cupboard Middle trim pieceIt was easy to pop out with a tap of a hammer, but there was a wood spindle at the base that needed removing, since I wasn’t planning on replacing the doors.

Removing Spindle from Door(This is the point when Bartlet the Frenchie was exiled into the hall closet, as he was none too pleased with the noise of the saw and kept trying to attack it!)

Bartlet the French BulldogEasily done with a small saw, then I patched up the holes and was good to go. The first coat, my go-to primer, Glidden Gripper. It covers lots of sins : )

Glidden Gripper PrimerAmazing how one coat of primer can change the entire look of a piece! See how the detail pops with the clean, white paint!?

Country Cupboard Primed DetailMy finish paint choice? A lovely shade of creamy white called Snowfall White by Benjamin Moore in a matte finish.

Benjamin Moore Snowfall White

If Linen White and White Dove were married and had painty children, this is the color they would be. Before I applied the top coat, I decided I wanted to add some sort of trim or wainscoting to the back panels to give the cupboard a bit more interest. I went searching through Lowes (well, first I scoured the basement workshop and the barn but came up empty handed there), where I perused all sorts of wood, metal and vinyl options. I wanted something simple and lightweight to install that would give a nice finished look. At Lowes I discovered this roll of faux paintable, pre-pasted wallpaper wainscoting by Allen & Roth. Score!

Allen & Roth Paintable Wallpaper WainscotingIt looks like a regular roll of paper, but It had the feel of foam, so it is very lightweight and easy to cut with scissors. No dragging out my saw and sanding down edges, then gluing and nailing in place. Just measure, cut, dip and paste. Perfect.

Measuring Faux Wainscoting

Simple to cut, just measured it out, marked with a pencil and used scissors.

Faux Wainscoting Measure and CutDipped it in a warm bath in the sink for 30 seconds, then removed it and allowed it to sit for 3 minutes to allow the glue to really gel up.

Dipping Wallpaper in Warm BathThis is some seriously sticky and gluey glue! The panels went on so easily over the primed surface, and since I had already premeasured and cut, no additional trimming was necessary. I just placed the paper into position and used a damp sponge to wipe it down and remove any excess glue.

Wiping Faux Wainscoting with damp spongeAccording to the instructions, I waited 24 hours prior to painting, then I painted the entire piece with the Snowfall White.

Painting Faux WainscotingAnd folks, this really does look like raised wood wainscoting!

Faux Wainscoting PrimedThis painted piece is so much better, BUT, I am not finished.

Country Cupboard Painted

I need to decide on an accent glazing color, and I am open for suggestions. Red, lavender, gray, blue, brown, what color would you choose to enhance the beautiful trim and the wainscoting without changing the overall feel of the cupboard? I am loving the white, but it needs just a touch of something!

Country Cupboard Trim Detail

And this needs to be completed quickly, as Easter is fast approaching, so time is of the essence. Help! Susan

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summer porch nautical themeAnother DIY project for the summer porch (if it ever gets above freezing around here so we can actually use the porch). This is the before, one of those old tin wall cabinets that someone had painted an awful shade of mustard neon yellow.

Nautical Cabinet Mustard Yellow Before

And this is the now: an Anchors Away Rolling Cabinet!

Nautical Cabinet Side view Stripes

A pretty dramatic transformation, yes? Here is the how-I-did-it:

1. Attached wheels to the base of the cabinet so it can roll easily

Nautical Cabinet Wheels

2. Painted with Glidden Gripper primer. This stuff works on wood or metal. Painted a coat of Benjamin Moore Snowfall white over the primer.

Antique Table Gripper Primer

3. For the sides, I decided to add a nautical stripe effect, so I taped the 2″ stripes over the white and painted with a custom (by me!) deep blue.

Nautical Cabinet Taping Stripes

Nautical Cabinet Blue Striping on Sides

4. For the front doors, I painted two layers of blue paint, a solid base and then a dry-brushed topcoat to create more depth of color.

5. For the anchor stencil. I needed to look no further than my HomeGoods shopping bag!

Nautical Cabinet Anchor Stencil Home Goods Bag

I buy these all the time, and for 99 cents they can’t be beat. I usually use them for toting stuff around, but since the anchor was the perfect size, I figured why not? I’ve got plenty more where those came from! So I used the cut-out anchor for the stencil, affixing it to the cabinet with some temporary craft adhesive,

Nautical Cabinet Spray Adhesive for Stencilthen sponging paint on with a regular sponge.

Nautical Cabinet Stencil Removed

The roping I created from my PicMonkey Photo Editor. This anchor design is very similar to the one I used, so I’m sharing that in case you would like to create one of these too!

Nautical Anchor and Roping Design6. I printed the design on regular printer paper, then affixed a sheet of freezer paper to it with some spray adhesive, just to give it more strength. Cut out the stencil with an exacto knife.

Nautical Cabinet Cutting Stencil

7. Affixed the stencil to the cabinet with painter’s tape, dabbed the white with a piece of sponge until the white was deep against the dark blue.

Nautical Cabinet Completed Anchor and Rope Stencil

For the twisted rope, I cut the pattern from the HomeGoods bag (it has two sides : )

Nautical Cabinet Cutting Rope Pattern

and taped that to the cabinet.

Nautical Cabinet Taping Rope Pattern

Nautical Cabinet Chalk Outline Roping

Outlined with chalk, then took a small, tapered sponge piece

Nautical Cabinet Trimmed Sponge

and followed along the lines, dabbing with the white paint to create the rope effect.

Nautical Cabinet Sponging between lines

The great part about using chalk is that once the paint is dried, the chalk just wipes away with a damp sponge.

Nautical Cabinet Rope Completed

For the top, I used some light balsa wood pieces that I affixed with glue.

Nautical Cabinet Balsa for top

I wanted that beachy, weathered appearance, so I added some blues mixed with water just to give it an aged effect.

Nautical Cabinet Swirled Paint and Water

Nautical Cabinet Glazing Supplies for Top

Then I glazed the top with a mixture of Martha Stewart Glaze and 2 paints, one white, one metallic silver to create that aged, driftwoody look I was going for.

Nautical Cabinet Weathered Top

With the glaze, you just paint it on, then wipe off what you don’t want

Nautical Cabinet Wiping Glaze off Top

The original handles were 1950’s chrome, which would have been perfectly fine.

Nautical Cabinet Chrome Handles

Instead, I used some brass grommets, one in each hole. I had do do a bit of drilling to make the holes larger, and then glued them into place.

Nautical Cabinet Grommets in Place Added some nautical roping to create the handles. Plus, it mimics the roping in the stenciled design. Perfect!

Nautical Cabinet Rope Handles in place

A bit of DIY FYI: when you are cutting twisted rope, tape the end before you cut, otherwise it will untwist!

Nautical Cabinet Cutting Rope Taped Ends

For the inside, I just painted it to match, then decopaged the shelves with some pretty blue tile paper I picked up at Michaels-4 for $1!

Nautical Cabinet DecPage and paper

Then I added a Martha Stewart Gloss finish just to waterproof the paper.

Nautical Cabinet Martha Stewart Gloss Finish

This cabinet is plenty big enough to hold cups, plates and glasses and an ice bucket for the porch.

Nautical Cabinet Interior Storage

The finished cabinet is perfect on our Nautical Summer porch, right at home with our white wicker seating and the Whale Coffee Table!

summer porch nautical theme

And. perhaps someday soon, we will be able to sit out on the porch and enjoy some much-anticipated warm weather! But for now, I hope you enjoyed my DIY Anchors Away Cabinet Project! Have a warm Wednesday, everyone! I know I will because I am headed to sunny California!!!  Susan


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Inspired. Rustic. New Country Style.


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Inspired. Rustic. New Country the suburbs. Because you don't have to live on a farm to create a warm and inviting country-styled home. Follow my DIY junkin' journey as I give tips of the trades and inspired fresh country design ideas to create your own Country Design Home.

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