Check out how an old hallway cabinet goes from outdated to fresh and new with this step by step tutorial. Here’s our painted hallway cabinet makeover.
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Here’s what it looked like before.
We picked it up from our local thrift store.
It was really dirty and the top had some damage to the finish.
But I think it would be a great little piece for extra storage in a small hallway or a bathroom.
First it needed a little update.
Painted Hallway Cabinet Makeover
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- Krud Kutter Cleaner Degreaser
- Old Rag
- 3×4 Vacuum Compatible SurfPrep Sander Use code RAY10 to get 10% off your order
- 220 Grit Sandpaper
- 400 Grit Sandpaper
- Shop Vac with Hose and Brush Attachment
- Tack Cloth
- BIN Shellac Based Primer (or the Spray Can Version)
- Mini 3/8″ Nap Roller
- Chip Brush
- Paintable Caulking
- Fusion Mineral Paint in Peony
- Fusion Mineral Paint in Cathedral Taupe
- Fuji Q4 Paint Sprayer
- Paint Filters
- Varathane Water Based Polyurethane – My Favorite Topcoat
- New Knob
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Hallway Cabinet Makeover
- Prep for Paint
- Prime to Block Bleedthrough
- Finishing Touches
Step One: Prep for Paint
First things first, I put it up on my workbench and removed all of the hardware, including the door hinges.
Hinges can be a mess to put back on, so I labeled them with a few details, including which one was the top and which one went on bottom, and which way they went on.
Then I put them in a container with the rest of the hardware.
Next, I scrubbed the whole thing down with some Krud Kutter to make sure there wasn’t anything on the surface to prevent the new paint job from sticking.
This thing was pretty gross and as the spray sat, I could see the spray turning brown from all of the gunk.
I cleaned it all a couple of times, including a rinse job at the end.
Then, when it was all dry, I scuff sanded it all down with my favorite little sander.
The scuff sanding is just an extra step to make sure the paint sticks really well.
Before I got this little power sander, I used to scuff sand by hand with 220 grit sandpaper instead.
But man I sand a lot of furniture so this little sander has been a game changer for me.
When scuff sanding, there is no need to actually sand down to bare wood.
You just want to remove any shine and dull the surface so the paint has a better chance at holding on.
Since the top had some damage, I sanded it down a little more, trying to sand those scratches out.
Then I vacuumed up all of the dust I created and wiped it all down with a tack cloth to remove any remaining dust.
These tack cloths really are amazing at picking up every little last speck of dust and are so much better than just a lint free rag.
Step Two: Prime to Block Bleed Through
Since I wanted to paint a light color, I wanted to make sure that I wouldn’t have any bleed through issues where the wood underneath stains through the paint.
So I busted out some BIN shellac based primer and brushed and rolled it all over.
Honestly, I completely regretted my decision to brush and roll the primer on.
I wish I would have taken it outside and sprayed it with the BIN shellac in a spray can instead.
Even though I used a nice roller, I still had a lot of texture from the roller, and it just took FOREVER to roll it on instead of spraying it on.
So, next time, it’s back to the spray version of the primer instead!
After about an hour the primer was dry, so I sanded the primer down a bit with 220 grit sandpaper to remove the texture it created.
Then I removed the dust with the vacuum and tack cloth.
And painted on another coat of primer and let it dry.
Caulking the Seams
With the white primer on, I noticed a few seams that were really showing up, so I filled them in with some paintable caulking.
This is totally optional and something I don’t do all the time.
But sealing up those dark seams makes the end product look so much better in the end.
I squeezed it on and then used my finger to push it into the seams, and then I used a damp rag to remove the excess caulking.
Caulking isn’t easy to sand down, so I really wanted to get it wiped off before it dried.
Step Three: Paint
For the paint, I used a couple of paint colors that I had on hand.
I mixed Fusion Mineral Paint’s Peony and what I had left of Cathedral Taupe together to create a more muted pink.
It was probably about a 20 to 1 ratio. (If I had more Cathedral Taupe I would have put more of that in with the same amount of Peony.)
Putting the Paint in the Sprayer
I mixed them up in my paint sprayer’s container, making sure to filter the paint before it went into the container, so I didn’t get any debris that could clog the sprayer in there.
Then I mixed in some water to thin the paint out a bit.
With this sprayer I don’t measure how much water to paint I use. With my cheap paint sprayer I definitely measure the water and paint to make sure the sprayer can spray it.
Fusion mineral paint seems to need to be more thin than other furniture or chalk paints that I use in my sprayer too.
Then I sprayed my cabinet with a few coats of the paint.
I let it dry for about 2 hours in between each coat, and I also sanded in between each coat to knock down some texture that was left behind.
**Brushing Instead of Spraying
You can also brush this paint on instead. Personally I really like the Staalmeester Paint Brushes with Fusion Mineral Paint. It’s the best way to get a brush free finish with their paint!
But if you don’t want to spend the money on their pricey paint brush, I would recommend brushing it on with a Zibra Round Paint Brush.
The Zibra round paint brush gets into details, moulding and trim so much easier than a flat brush. And Zibra brushes are high quality at a very reasonable price!
Step Four: Topcoat
Fusion Mineral Paint is a very durable paint that dries in a matte finish and technically doesn’t require a topcoat.
But if you’ve been around here for any time, you might notice that I still topcoat paints like this, just for extra durability.
I mean, if I’m going to go through all of this work, I’m going to do what I can to make the finish be as durable and long lasting as possible.
So, after the last coat of paint was dry, I sprayed on 3 separate coats of my favorite clear, water-based poly.
I also sanded in between the coats of poly with 400 grit sandpaper to make sure the finish was silky smooth when I was done.
Step Five: Finishing Touches
The next day I put the cleaned-up hinges back on and a new knob.
Check out this video on YouTube for the whole makeover.
Here’s what it looked like before…
And here’s what it looks like now!
Goodbye old outdated finish, hello modern paint job!
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