A Quick 1-2-3 Vintage Corner Cupboard Makeover

I have a vintage makeover for you today. I mentioned earlier in the week that I had purchased a newer corner cupboard to use for display in my antique booth.

Well, before I placed it in my booth, I painted and waxed it to give it a distinctly vintage look. I think you’ll agree that it looks so much better now than it did originally.

Quick 1-2-3 Vintage Makeover with Paint and Dark Wax adirondackgirlatheart.com

I only had a few days to accomplish this project because I needed to get it out of my foyer (where I do many a DIY project!) before guests arrived for a weekend birthday party.

Corner Cupboard in middle of vintage-style makeover (800x1200)

This shot gives you an idea of the “lovely” unfinished, orange-y, pine that I had to ignore in order to see the true potential of this piece. Though not terribly old, I knew I could give it an attractive vintage makeover.

BTW, if you’re wondering, I did paint the undersides of the shelves; I just waited until I put the cupboard up on a table to paint the bottom half–easier on the neck that way.

PRO TIP: Set your piece of furniture on wooden blocks so when you paint the bottom you’ll get a cleaner edge than if it sat directly on newspaper or plastic.

Hinges on corner cupboard (1200x800)Before painting, I removed the door hinges–much quicker and easier than trying to paint around them.

PRO TIP: Place each hinge and set of nails in a labeled baggie; I labeled my “top” and “bottom”. In the past, I’ve had trouble when I’ve mixed up hinges; sometimes they aren’t interchangeable. Trust me, I know!

Corner Cupboard after vintage-style makeover (3) (1101x1200)I painted the first coat with pale, pale yellow “oops” paint and the second with light taupe “oops” paint, both of which I had on hand.

For a little surprise, I painted the inside of the door with a Sherwin Williams sample of “Infinity Falls.” 

Close up of knob on Corner Cupboard with vintage makeover (1200x1165)After allowing the paint to dry for 24 hours, I sanded back some of the paint to distress the piece. Then I applied a coat of homemade dark wax to the entire surface, let it sit for 15 minutes, and then buffed it.

The dark wax makes the exposed wood a little darker and gets into the lines left from the paint brush, which helps create the vintage look you’re after.

Related Article: How to Make & Apply Homemade Dark Wax

Close up of corner cupboard after vintage makeover (1200x800)

You can see both the sanded and the dark waxed areas in this photo. [Remember this painted horse?]

Close up of corner cupboard after vintage makeover (1200x800)

In this shot you see more of the distressing and dark wax.

Upper half of Corner Cupboard after vintage-style makeover 4(787x1200)

I was very pleased with the results of this farmhouse-y project.

Corner Cupboard after vintage-style makeover (700x1200)

And here’s the finished product. Now in my antique booth at the Gristmill Antique Center in Troy (NY), priced at $125 (SOLD).


For anyone who thinks, “I can’t do that!” Trust me, you can: (1) Paint (2) Sand Paper (3) Dark Wax. Boom. Vintage-style furniture. It’s that easy.

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Bye for now,
scan of Diana signature

Other projects you might enjoy:

Vintage Keyhole Desk Makeover
French Style Chair Makeover
A Painted Dresser

I’d love it if you’d pin me 🙂

Quick 1-2-3 Vintage Makeover with Paint and Dark Wax adirondackgirlatheart.com



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  1. BOOM! I think I can do that! Thank you for the great project details. I think I will think twice before passing on a furniture redo project next time because I have a new sense of confidence that I can get great results!

  2. I have a rough cupboard that is that exact ugly type of pine. My dad gave it to me, and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with it. I think it would look great with this method. I love that you use “oops” paint! I always seem to have some on hand as well:)

  3. It looks great, Diana! And an interesting process to start with the yellow paint. I never would have t ho’t to do that, but after the distressing it sort of suggests that it was originally painted yellow like many vintage pieces were. I could also see using that old vintage green color in place of the yellow which would give the same effect. So…I just learned something new to try! Thanks, friend! Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. I think your cupboard turned out lovely and isn’t it a great feeling to be able to use up a couple of cans of paint as you did? Enjoy a fun week-end with family…I do love being invited to a wedding!

  5. Your cupboard came out beautifully. Be sure and tell us when it sells; I’m sure it won’t be long! It is a lovely neutral color that will be popular! I like the surprise blue, too!

  6. did you sand the entire cupboard down before applying the first coat of paint? I want to refinish one that I bought secondhand and just wanted to know if I need to sand all the nooks and crannies first.

    1. I only sand when the surfaces is very slick and shiny, but even then, I don’t go crazy with it. I sand slightly to give the surface some “tooth” to grab onto the paint. Hope that helps!

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