Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Upcycled Polish Cabinet

I am a very happy girl right now. I FINALLY have somewhere to organize my nail polish that makes my OCD happy. It may have taken about 20 hours of work, but it was so worth every second.

It's like night and day lol! I found the cabinet at a yard sale for $30. It was previously used as a garage storage unit, so it was rough... really, really rough. Here are the tools I used to accomplish this.

- Goof Off
- A Spray Bottle with water in it
- cheap paper towels
- Cheap cups (you will see why in a minute)
- Sandpaper (my hubby had some of the plumbers sandpaper that is thin and super easy to handle)
- A razor
- Spray paint (I ended up using 6 bottles of the teal and 2 of the black)
- Blue painters tape
- Recycled shipping paper (not pictured)

Here's a close-up of the paint I used.

Total, I spent about $30 on supplies. So this whole thing cost me $60.

First you have to prep the surface. You need it as clean and smooth as possible. I had a lot of sanding to do, especially on the body of the cabinet. There was also duct tape residue (that I needed the razor and goof off for). After I cleaned with the goof off, I cleaned with a water bottle because you don't want any oils on the surface. This was the end result of hours of prepping for paint...

Same drawer front pre and post-prep

The interior of the drawer and cabinet I wasn't as concerned about. I have black rubber mats to put inside the drawer, and once the drawers are in, no one is looking in the cabinet haha. So, my main purpose with those was to clean them as best I could of all dirt and rust residue. No need to sand them smooth...

Same drawer interior pre and post-prep

Cabinet interior pre and post prep

As I finished with a drawer I laid them out over a tarp in our garage (James was without his garage for 3 days lol). I used the cups to act as stilts to keep the painting surface off the tarp. I didn't want to deal with paint sticking them to the tarp and then having nasty edges.

I used an empty kitty liter bucket to put under the cabinet (you can see it peeking out on the right in two pictures up). About 6 hours of work later, I was finally ready to paint.

It was unusually cold (of course... my luck) over the weekend, so to be safe I let them sit overnight after each painting step. First I painted the outside of the drawers...

The next morning I touched up the fronts and painted the insides.

This is the same, rusty drawer that is shown above...

BIG difference!

I had to hold the drawers to get even coverage everywhere, which ended badly for my poor left hand. I give you, a swatch of Rust-oleums Lagoon lol...

It took an hour and a lot of acetone to get my hands and forearms clean lmao.

Anywho, I let it set overnight again. And while it dried I cut the black mats.

It took 3 rolls, because I could only get 12 out of one. Luckily, I am an obnoxiously crafty person and one of my many crafting hobbies is sewing. So the rotary cutter and mat came in super handy and this only took about 20 minutes.

The next morning I got to work taping off the handles. I was unlucky to have found a cabinet with the handles riveted on... it made for an extra step!

The paper is from packaging materials in shipping boxes. I always keep some on hand in my crafting area. I carefully taped off the handles, and since it was Sunday and my hubby's day off, he helped spray them while I taped.

It took 2 coats to get even coverage. This is what one coat looked like.

While that was drying, I collected my nail polish from all over the house and organized them by brand...

Name Brands

James seemed less than impressed that I wanted to bring the cabinet in as soon as the handles were dry to a touch (we waited a couple of hours)... but I'm impatient. I had already waited 3 days!!

We pulled the tape off and I used a small paint brush to touch up any bleeds... Then moved it in the house to my craft space. I tried to get a picture, but I either have too much sun from the window behind it, or not enough light for a good picture. No happy medium.

I have a drawer for tools and treatments, base and top coats, nail art supplies and striper polishes. Plus an empty drawer on top awaiting the arrival of my swatch sticks from Hong Kong (UPDATE: see my swatch sticks here)

I have something in 16 of the 30 drawers, but that is only due to brand separation. None of the drawers are full. The taller polishes (OPI, Orly, CG) are just barely too tall, so they have to lay on their sides... but it doesn't bother me since I have so many drawers and I don't buy a lot of those brands. The drawers a 9" x 11.5"... to give you an idea, one drawer will hold 70 Zoyas (I only have 39, so I have a ways to go lol).

Sigh, I could look at it all day!! My OCD is finally at peace. I really took a lot of time, making sure it was as perfect as possible. I don't plan on getting rid of this any time soon, and its in my house, so it needed to look nice.

The lesson to this story is... you never know the treasures you may find at a yard sale :)


  1. This is beautiful!! Great work!!

  2. FFFFFFF Thats aweeeeesome!!!! I will definitely be on the lookout for a unit like that! Nice job :))

  3. Beautiful! A LOT of work but 100000000% worth it!! I love the colour you chose too!

  4. This is awesome!! I love the color and you put so much work into it!!

  5. That's terrific! You did a great job. I'm always on the lookout for something I can upcycle into a good storage option! Thanks for sharing your process and ideas.

  6. The lacquer gods were smiling down at you with this find. Such an amazing job!

  7. Amazing! Do the polishes fit standing up in those drawers? It is hard to tell the size. I might start scouting garage sales for something like this :-)

    1. OPI and China Glaze are less than an 1/8" too tall, so they have to lay on their sides. But I wasn't too concerned since I have 30 drawers and I honestly don't buy a lot of those. When I get my swatchsticks I will take a picture of the organization. There is a 10 minutes window in the middle of the day when the light is right in that room, and it's while I am at work so it doesn't me no good! lol

      A drawer can hold 70 Zoyas to give you an idea of size :)

  8. Awesome job, I'm jealous!! I have two Helmers and they were so expensive - plus they're almost full so I need a new one haha!

  9. This is just super cute! You did a great job! I know exactly what you mean by all of those hours being worth the joy of having something that is all yours and you did it! Oh, I am waiting for my nail sticks from Hong Kong too! I am so excited for them. I am not excited for swatching all of my polishes again, but it will be worth all of the hours in the end. :)

  10. Great Job Kelley!!! so worth the work!!! it looks amazing... I would use it to hold my handmade cards ; )

  11. Brilliant! Great work on the cabinet AND the post! I was engrossed in reading it, it was so well written, as usual! :)

  12. Wow. It looks great. A lot of hard work I'm sure but now you have a one of a kind storage unit.

  13. This is truly amazing!!! You did an awesome job!!!!

  14. Wow, wow, wow!!! Awesome job!! I specially like the "a swatch of Rust-oleums Lagoon" LOL Kisses


  15. A labor of love, it came out great!

  16. This is awesome. I'm always looking out for stuff like this too.

  17. Good job! Well done, it looks fantastic :)

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