Upcycled kitchen cabinets

I got to do something creative, which felt like water in a desert.

We took these two bog standard kitchen cabinet carcasses off the wall to make way for the electrician to gouge out channels for wires. They were not going back as this is to be my craft-room. So the existing fitted kitchen is all being ripped out. But despite being made from melamine faced chipboard, these were reasonably sound and I will need plenty of open shelving in my craft-room eventually. Plus I wanted to experiment with chalk paint.

Of course I have no room to do this kind of work especially since the house is like a building site, but I needed to. So move over everything else!

I mixed up my own chalk paint from paint for wood+lime and a touch of water. It worked really well. I also spent lots of time mixing until I got colours I liked.

I stenciled the sides and added some gold accents with a posca marker. They are going on the walls in this configuration so I squeezed in a small stencil on the other side of the larger one.

And I used wallpaper to pretty up the insides.

Of course now that they are finished, I don’t actually have anywhere to put them yet, I know what wall they will be hung on, but there is a whole cascade of work to be done before the walls are free.

These was one of the originals. I took off the moulding and the doors. That brown mark on the side that you’re wondering about, was grease. Ugh


They look beautiful!

Is that entire room in the background your new craft room? Because that looks like a big space!

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They are gorgeous! Hooray for pretty, new crafting cabinets!

I am so happy to hear that your carved out the time and space to do something creative amidst all the physical and mental chaos of your move and remodel. That can be a huge boost to one’s spirit and sense of well-being. And then they turned out so dang awesome… WOW! What a striking package of the custom mixed colors, the stenciling on all the important exterior surfaces, and the wallpaper.

A lot of times “upcycle” is used and the project isn’t really “recycling” and is hard to call “up”, but this really, truly is.

Fun note: I had originally mis-typed “hue boost” above and… well, it’s that, too!


Yes it will be, this is what the chaos currently looks like, but it is about 6m x 4m with a little annex that is about 2.5m*2.5m that will have a sink and will be for really messy crafts.

The annex (old utility room?) I actually really liked this arch

This wall will eventually have these cabinets, and the wall on the left will be knocked down.

It’s currently my larder and kitchen equipment store. I’m eventually going to have a walk in larder. Priorities, zero interest in a walk in wardrobe, but a proper walk in pantry and a big craft room :grin::grin::grin:

This is currently my cooker!


We are saving up for a new home but you have officially put me off moving, lol! I suddenly remember what a mess this house was when we first bought it. But it will be worth it when it’s done!! That’s one massive craft room, almost as big as my living room! And how convenient to have a little crafting sink so your food and clean dishes aren’t going to be covered in paint. I agree with you - the kitchen, larder and craft room are priorities, who cares about walk-in closets?

Beautiful job on those cabinets & I feel like I’ve had a little visit at your house, nice! Thanks for the tour :slight_smile:, that space is going to make for one incredible craft studio, wow.


Great upcycling! Functional can be beautiful and I had no idea you could make your own chalk paint! It is very pricey to buy retail!

Loved seeing the room…when it comes to a crafting space, dreaming of what it can become is wonderful! I see many happy times doing what you love…and yes, priorities!

I have a huge living room that would never get used in my lifestyle, so I converted it to storage for cooking stuff (one of my husband’s hobbies!) and for crafting supplies as well as decorative items that I change out. Make your house fit YOU…looks like you are doing just that! YAY!

I am thisclose to turning our livingroom into a craft studio. For real, the basement is depressing. I would love a big, brightly lit space with sink just for me. Why not? It’s my house after all…
Not that there’s a sink in the livingroom but it is just off the kitchen.


I think with houses you need to think about function, forget about convention and what the room is “supposed” to be. And think about where you spend most of your time.

Take my friend for example, she bought a lovely old Georgian house, poured a ton of money into it, including, expensively, fitting out a dining room. They use it no more than once a month, taking all the rest of their meals at a table she owned when she lived in a house 1/4 the size.

Your basement could be a dark comfy home cinema/TV/reading spot, and then seize the living room for a craft room. ie use the good beads (or in this case the good room)


Chalk paint is very easy to make, there are a ton of recipes online, the best seem to be ones that use lime, rather than plaster of Paris. I ended up getting a thing called bedding lime, from a farm shop. It’s a powder that’s used in calf sheds. Basically you just want calcium carbonate, and that’s used for lots of things, you can also apparently buy it as a human food supplement (health food shop), treatment for lawns (garden centre) you just want to make sure it’s a powder rather than granules.

I added it to good quality water based paint designed for wood, about 3-4tbsp to about 1-2 cups of paint. Mix the lime with a little water first to make a thick liquid, then mix that into the paint. It’s dead easy.

I did use a Matt lacqer after, that’s designed for chalk paints, because I don’t know how hard the paint will eventually be, plus it was going onto melamine, which is smooth even after a light sanding.

Rustoleum brand, chalk paint is supposed to be ok (according to a review I watched) and way less than Annie Sloan or any of the other chalk paints.

Our big box DIY store has an own brand one that is 1/3 price of the high end chalk paints. And it seems pretty good. So might be worth checking out your equivalent.


Moving is.not.fun but the potential for an improved craft space is exciting


I used a very cheap chalk paint from Action for my basement pantry a couple of years back and it did the job. Probably not the best chalk paint in the world but much better than I had expected for €2,50/can. Not sure if you have Action in Ireland, it’s like a non-food Aldi or Lidl. We’re in an old house and the walls in the basement were whitewashed so regular paint didn’t stick to it.

There’s a specific street in our neighbourhood that we secretly dream of (those houses hardly ever come on the market, we’re not the only ones) and we’ve already completely figured out how we would use that space. The ground floor and first floor are basically large open plan spaces, and the bedrooms are on the second floor. Everyone seems to use the downstairs space as a lounge-type area and the first floor as a more formal reception area, but we want his & hers spaces! We’d have a large music room + TV area downstairs for Mr Imma and on the first floor my craft/office space, a reading nook, the kitchen and a large dining area with doors that open to the rooftop terrace.

I love formal dining, if I had your friend’s house I’d serve 3 meals a day in the dining room! What a waste to not use a beautiful space that you’ve spent a fortune on. She should have made it a sewing room instead (or whatever she enjoys doing). My dining room table is next to a large window and I work and craft there too. I have a small room upstairs, but I’d rather sit next to the big window than under the roof.

That house sounds amazing, we don’t have action here, but chalk paint does come up occasionally in aldi and Lidl. I’m totally down with the idea of his and hers spaces.

If someone could have told me when I was little that eventually I would have a house with a whole room to read in and another whole room to make things in, I don’t think I would have believed it would have been possible.


I think the reason I have been married for so long is that we did agree to have space for him and for me…and separate bathrooms as well! lol

I made part of the guest room here in this house my library, with a comfy chair, and ottoman…after all, guests are here so infrequently but I am here all the time!

I am so happy you are enjoying the process and taking part in creating a space and home for you and your many interests!

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HOLY CUSS WORD! This is a MAJOR upgrade from your last craft space! I mean, that space was wonderful and begged to be snooped (I did not), but it was… compact by comparison! I do believe you will have the most square meters dedicated to crafting in all of Ireland when you are done! And I am not joking (nor am I including linen and sweater manufacturers).

And yes to making the house work for you! The last people used the bigger 2nd bedroom as a guest room and the smaller room as an office. We use the smaller room as a guest room (and sometimes office-like space) and the bigger room as a craft space/library. I mean - we’re here making and reading ALL THE TIME and we have guests about a dozen times/year for usually less than a week. The last owners also had a table in the kitchen AND in the dining 'room." We figure we’re special enough to use the dining room every day, so put an island in the kitchen and essentially doubled the practical workspace in there.


You’d have been more than welcome to snoop :grin: but yes, my last craft space was about 1/3 the size of this one. It was well organised and everything, but this one will have so much room. For all the crafts. You guys are special enough to have all the fancy food and china in the good room!


Love the job you did on your cabinets darling!


Ooh! I love the look of chalk paint and these are no exception!

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That’s a heck of an upgrade! And yeah, moving stinks

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