Update a Cabinet with Numbered Baskets

A thrifted cabinet gets an update with a fresh coat of paint, numbered baskets and a handy hook for a functional piece with style that can work in any room!

tall cabinet before
Updated 8/2022

This post may contain Amazon or other affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

I usually start with a pretty after picture, but today we're switching things up! As a mom of three and chief CEO of a busy family, I'm always looking for ways to add stylish storage to my home! An organized home (aka organized family) just functions better when there's a place for all the important things!

When we redid our laundry room recently (a makeover accomplished for under $100!), there was a little upright cabinet that needed some love. I purchased this cabinet years ago at a thrift store. It's kind of wonky, with some water damage on the bottom shelf and another shelf that has a chunk missing.

However, I liked it. I like the narrow square footage it takes up and the fact it can really be used anywhere to help me stay organized.

Today I'm going to show you how I gave this cabinet a quick update with new paint and stenciled baskets to maximize it's organization. If you've never considered numbered baskets, this has been a game changer for our family!

tall cabinet before makeover

Fresh coat of paint

I started off spraying the cabinet with a couple coats of Rustoleum white as a base coat and then finished up with Rustoleum Chalked in Aged Gray. This new paint color is a much better match to the neutrals that I have going on in the laundry room anyway!

spray painted cabinet using Rustoleum Chalked

After the fresh new paint job, I took my palm sander to the edges to reveal some of the original wood. This would have been very difficult to do with a sanding sponge. When you need to get through a few layers of paint, an electric sander is much easier!

sand to distress edges

After wiping off the sanding dust, I brushed on a coat of clear wax.

Unsure about when to wax and when to skip it, and what types of protection to apply to your painted furniture? Read this post that explains it in more detail!

Then I spent a couple days thinking about how I wanted this cabinet to function. So far, it had become a kind of catchall for random stuff in the laundry room that no one wanted to put away.

I really wanted it to function better than that!

The answer was baskets

I measured each shelf and headed off to Michaels to see if I could find matching baskets. I wasn't entirely successful in that I didn't find 5 baskets that matched, but I got close enough. The baskets I found are all in the same color family and they were all 40% off!

I decided to go a step further and stencil numbers on the three larger baskets. I love typography and anytime I can personalize something I will! Like my labeled canisters and stenciled fishing creel.

I created simple number stencils using my Silhouette machine*, cut them out and taped them onto each basket.

Then I lightly pounced some white chalk paint onto each stencil using a stencil brush. Lightly is the key when you stencil; it keeps the paint from oozing under the edges and gives you a clean line.

*If you don't own a Silhouette machine, you can still create your own stencils! Use Word to type the numbers. Enlarge them to the size you need and print onto cardstock or even regular copy paper. Tip: pick a simple font to make cutting the numbers out easier! Use an Xacto knife and a self healing mat to cut out the numbers, remove the number and you have a custom stencil, good for one use! You can proceed to stencil the numbers onto the baskets that same way that I did above.

painted cabinet before and after

This simple step of numbering the baskets has increased their function incredibly! Now when someone in the family is looking for, say, the bug spray, I can tell them, "it's in the number 3 basket with the sunblock". Not only is this cabinet more functional now with the addition of the baskets, but the stenciled numbers add some farmhouse charm...something I love!

I also added a black hook to the side for hanging a broom or duster - or even my purse! Don't overlook the power of a well-placed hook when you're wanting to stay organized!

painted cabinet with numbered baskets

UPDATE: I'm using this vintage storage tower in our MS rental too! We just added function and style to our small laundry room for less than $50! You can see it here.

Pin it to remember

painted cabinet with DIY numbered baskets for storageI'm planning to fill the baskets with a lot of smalls that always get lost in drawers. Then when someone needs something, I can easily point them to the correct basket!

Love organizing? You may enjoy these posts:

bringing beauty to the ordinary,


share this post


Post a Comment

Your comments are like sunshine and chocolate! Thanks for taking the time to leave a nice one ;) I read all comments and love to respond if you leave your name and email! Otherwise, please look for my response under the post where you left it!