Upcycled Kitchen Cabinet – A Furniture Repurpose

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A few months ago one of my friends asked if I could make a jelly cabinet for her mom. So I said “YEAH! … what’s a jelly cabinet?”

Apparently it’s just a storage cabinet you keep in the kitchen, but really you can put anything in it. She sent me a picture of what she had, and it looked a lot like a regular kitchen cabinet so the idea to just repurpose an old cabinet popped in my head.

For $20 at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore I picked up this hot mess:

kitchen cabinet repurpose - before

Zsa Zsa wasn’t totally on board, but it had good bones. I used a hammer and a pry bar to rip off that bit of trim at the bottom, then a palm sander to smooth it down and get some of the paint off.

That big gap at the top part really stood out (it’s where crown would have gone when it was an upper cabinet), so I flipped the cabinet over- having the gap at the bottom made a lot more sense. .

The sides where the biggest challenge though- they needed to be built out to line up with the facing and to hide the original purpose of the piece.

kitchen cabinet redo - meter 1x2 sides

I cut down some 1×2’s at a 45 degree angle and framed out the sides. To attach, I used both Gorilla Glue and finishing nails (the black stick next to the nails is called a puncher, it helped me to bury the nails).

I used wood filler to make my joints a little more seamless, and because I knew I was going to paint this piece I caulked all the seams between the 1×2’s and cabinet as well.

repurposed kitchen cabinet after

To lift the cabinet up and get it looking more like a freestanding piece, I just screwed in some heavy duty top plates and pre-drilled legs.

After 3 coats of black paint, a little charcoal gray on the inset of the door, and several coats of wax- I think she’s looking pretty darn good.

diy storage cabinet from old upper kitchen cabinet

It’ll be off to it’s new home in a few weeks, but I staged it in my sunroom in the meantime. And you know what? I freaking love it there. Looks like I’ve got my next project lined up. I think I’m going to try to build my from scratch though. 😉

upcycled cabinet inside - storage solution

My quality control inspectors decided it was good and sturdy, and super useful for extra storage as well.

Here’s the side by side:

kitchen cabinet redo - upcycle before and after

I know the whole mitered side thing seems intimidating, but I promise it’s very doable and it’s the hardest part of this whole project. For just about $50 this is a good, long lasting piece that looks pretty timeless as well.

What do you think? Don’t you want one now too?!

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