Painting an Antique Cabinet a Bold Blue

I'm sharing how I painted an antique cabinet a bold blue and choices I made along the way.
blue cabinet

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Hello and welcome to October's Thrifty Style Team! We are a group of thrifty loving DIY and decor bloggers, and we share unique ideas and inspiration with you each month! You will find all the links at the end of my post! But first, I can't wait to show you more of my bold turquoise painted antique cabinet!

I've been a neutral loving decorator for several years. I like white, black and pops of color. However, I was feeling the need to get out of my comfort zone a little bit! Things were feeling a little bit bland. 
I've owned this antique cabinet for many years. It had been painted white when I bought it from a thrift store, and I painted it a creamy taupe a couple years later. Here it is in my last home office in TN.

The glass in the door has been missing since I bought it. Because I use this cabinet in my office to hold craft supplies, I needed an affordable solution to disguise the mess inside. Mr DIY and I added chicken wire to the opening, then I hung a piece of antique lace to mostly block the view inside. It's stayed this way for a long time.

In my new office, this cabinet sits against a tall shiplap wall and it looked a little lost. The color just kind of faded away to nothing, so it was time for a change. A big, bold change! When I spotted a new chalk paint color by Dixie Belle called Antebellum, I was hopeful that it would be perfect for my antique cabinet!
I'm a huge lover of blue in all shades, and I already have a little bit of aqua in my home office. I was sure that this deeply saturated color would make a bold statement against the white shiplap walls that Mr DIY and I installed when we turned a messy room into my office.

After taking the door off and removing the large drawer, I had Mr DIY help me lift the legs so I could tuck a drop cloth underneath. I painted this piece right there in my office, being veeerry careful to control the paint and get it ONLY on the cabinet!! I have been known to make quite a mess while painting...there was the time I backed into a can of paint and knocked it over, liberally spraying the carpet and sofa (luckily I got it all off with water and Totally Awesome!)...and another time I knocked a tray of paint off the ladder I was standing on 😨😵😬 But, nothing like that happened this time and I didn't get any paint on the walls, floors or other furniture!

If you've never used Dixie Belle chalk paint before, you are in for a treat! It's a little pricier than the craft store paints, but it's rich and creamy and you can often get away with just one coat! I love saving time and money!

I used my favorite Purdy brush to paint this beautiful color on, starting at the top. I chose not to paint the medallions, the door frame or the hardware on the drawer because I love the contrast.

Giving this antique cabinet such a bold, saturated paint color makes it feel more modern. I took the lace off, exposing the chicken wire in the door frame. This meant I needed to do a some serious tidying up inside the cabinet. I incorporated some baskets and wood crates that I already owned to hide the clutter and  make it look tidy. I'm using a reproduction sugar mold to hold markers by color. Anytime you can incorporate functional decor is a win!

Now it looks pretty with the door closed.

I chose not to do any distressing on this piece, although there are a couple spots where the undercoat shows through. There are a lot of quirks and imperfections to this piece, so I wasn't too worried.

Styling the top of the cabinet once the paint dried had me a little bit stumped. There's a lot of white shiplap above the cabinet, and I have a tall black bookcase on the wall to the right that has a rather commanding presence.

I needed something above the cabinet to give it some oomph, and balance the dark furniture. I styled it three different ways and took pictures so I could compare them and see what I liked best. Can you see all the sun pouring in this room? I love it but it makes it hard to take great pictures!

cozy reading corner

Option 1 - a white mirror and framed sign

Option 2 - a set of flat willow baskets

Option 3 - a large burlap sign I made years ago

I liked the simplicity of the willow baskets best, but it's nice to know I have other great looking options when I decide to switch it out.

Designer tip: if you're visual and can't decide on wall decor, use Command picture hanging strips to hang different decor so you can take pictures and compare them side by side. It really helps!

Do you have an item in your home that you could paint a bold color and give it a modern update? You can see more of my modern farmhouse home office here and the evolution of this room into beautiful home office here.

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Check out what my Thrifty Style Team sisters have been up to this month!

Thrifty Spooky Halloween Corner from Redhead Can Decorate

Framed Mirror Tray from 2 Bees in a Pod

Step Stool Makeover from Bliss Ranch

Fall Leaf Candleholders from Chatfield Court

Thrifty Homemade Candles from Cottage at the Crossroads

Fall Crafts Using Spray Paint from Duke Manor Farm

Fishing Basket Turned Fall Door Decor from I Should Be Mopping the Floor

DIY Watercolor Sheet Music Leaves from Postcards from the Ridge

Tomato Cage Pumpkin from Salvage Sister and Mister

Embroidery Hoop Halloween Wreath from The Creek Line House

Halloween Letter Board Ghost from The How To Home

Simple Eucalyptus Garland from What Meegan Makes

bringing beauty to the ordinary, 


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  1. So as a color challenged lady I was thinking I would like the white version better, till I saw the update. I love it, particularly the chicken wire doors. Pinned.

    1. Thanks girlie, I know just what you mean! I usually paint furniture white, but this one was crying out to be noticed! 😂

  2. Wow, Cindy! You gave this piece a whole new life. I love a pop of blue. I LOVE Dixie Belle paint. Great quality, for sure.

    1. Thanks so much Meegan! If it can't be white, blue is always a good choice for me!

  3. I love the way this turned out! It is beautiful!! What a lovely pop of color for this space!

  4. I just knew that color was going to be gorgeous on your piece! And I'm liking the willow baskets on the wall above, too!

    1. Thanks Jane, I was hoping I'd love it on my cabinet as much as I love it in the container!!

  5. Cindy- what a great blue to add a pop of color to your office! I have never heard of that craft paint before but will look for some next time I need paint.

  6. With having a lot of white & light coming in, you needed to have a pop of color in that room and I do love the color along with having the white accents. Really makes that blue cabinet stand out that much more and it's saying, "Look at me, aren't I the pretty one now." :}
    The wicker baskets look nice mounted on the wall, but I do like the mirror and that framed scripture. Can't quite make out that whole scripture. so would you mind informing me on what it says? Thanks
    Have an enjoyable and delightful day.

    1. Thanks so much Colleen, you definitely can't miss the cabinet now! The scripture is Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  7. Looks amazing!!! Its a toss up between one and two for me :}. Great job! I am also getting very bored with all whites. It is a beautiful look but becoming to steril for me. Have a great day! :]

    1. Thanks so much Sandra, paint is definitely an easy and inexpensive way to bring color into all the neutrals!

  8. Wow! Loving the amazing blue color, and the texture of the baskets on the wall!

  9. LOVE how this turned out! Such a great job!!!

  10. Wow. Changing the color of the cabinet makes a big difference! It's a beautiful shade and goes very well with the room.


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