Furniture Makeover by The Painted Hive

This cute little cabinet makeover is a stunning before and after, with a great solution for salvaging damaged wood veneer on top. 

Read more about how to refinish wood furniture here and see more painted furniture makeovers here

1Reclaimed Wooden Cabinet Gets Beautiful Makeover, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic

Refinished Cabinet with Papered Top

Hey guys! Once again I’m stoked to be back here at Remodelaholic to share another project.

If you maybe missed my previous guest posts, please allow me to introduce myself: I’m Kristine and I write The Painted Hive blog. I’m still a bit of a newbie in town so you’re forgiven for never having heard of me 🙂

Anyways, I love a good furniture makeover and here’s one of my most recent ones. I found this cute little cupboard in the gutter.

Needless to say within a few minutes it had magically teleported itself to the back of my car!

I knew that with a little love someone would eventually prefer this little guy inside their home so got to work painting the body in rich ebony before distressing and sealing it.

Learn more about painting furniture and what type of paint to use. 

Well, that was the easy part though because here’s the main reason I imagine it was on the curb to begin with:

2 How To Update Blemished Old Furniture Using Paint And Gift Wrap, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic

Someone had been waaay too zealous with an electric sander. Not only is there chipboard showing through the veneer, those lines you can probably make out are actually deep ridges.

Sure I coulda just filled, sanded and painted the whole top though I wanted to make a bit more of a statement than that. Enter….my good friend gift wrap.

3 How To Adhere A Vintage Map To The Top Of A Stand Alone Cabinet, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic

I adore gorgeous paper and for some reason have always been drawn to vintage maps – which I thought would be just perfect for this project.

The sheet of gift wrap I bought wasn’t quite big enough to cover the whole top of the cabinet so I took it to my local printer who scanned, enlarged and printed a new copy for just $20.

Before I started hacking away at my gorgeous new print I first created an accurate template using baking paper which I could use as a guide when cutting it out.

4 DIY Update Vintage Furniture With New Top Surface And Knobs, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic
Once cut to size, I gave the map a few light coats of clear matte spray.
5 How To Use Acrylic Sealer To Keep Ink From Smudging When Gluing Paper, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic

This just helps protect the ink and stops it from running if the paper becomes too damp during the gluing or final sealing process. It also helps to stiffen the paper and avoid bubbling.

To attach the paper I applied a pretty thick coat of slightly diluted PVA to the cabinet then smoodged (hey, it’s a word) my map into place.

I then applied about five coats of satin clear sealer using a paint bush making sure to cover all of the edges really well.


6 DIY Reclaimed Furniture, Beautiful!, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic
7 How To Reclaim Damaged Furniture, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic
8 Make Your Own Custom Cabinet Pulls Using Glue And Designs Printed From Your Home Computer, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic

To tie-in with the map theme I also created these cute little compass knobs using basic DIY decals. Anyone with a printer and standard copy paper can do this at home!

Simply paint a plain timber knob any colour you like then find or create a design on your computer and print it out onto normal paper.

(It’s best if the background colour of your design matches the colour of your knob so it blends in seamlessly).

Here’s my compass design if anyone wants to use it. Just re-scale it to the size you need

9 DIY Custom Cabinet Knobs, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic

The process of attaching it to the knob is basically the same as that I used for adhering my map to the cabinet top.

Give your design a few light coats of clear matte spray, cut around it closely and then glue and smoodge (word of the day) it into place on your knob. Finish with a few coats of satin sealer to protect it and voila!

I loved making these and the possibilities are practically endless – you could use letters, numbers, symbols, little clock faces, cartoon characters…anything!

Seriously – LURVE it!


Anyways, before I sign off here are a few final before and afters just for comparison’s sake:

10 How To Beautifully Refinish Old Furniture Using A Vintage Map, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic
11 How To Update Old Furniture Pieces Easily, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic
12 How To Repair Damaged Cabinet Top Surface Using A Vintage Map, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic
13 How To Use A Vintage Map Or Any Paper To Make Reclaimed Furniture Into A Statement Piece Again, By The Painted Hive Featured On @Remodelaholic
I hope you enjoyed this little project.
There’s always stuff like this going on over at my blog so if this kinda thing floats your boat feel free to stop by sometime.

More inspiring furniture makeovers:

Website | + posts

Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. >that piece is just stunning. i love the map and the compass knobs… so unque and clever! wonderful, kristine!

  2. >Kristin I am already a follower of yours 🙂 That is stunning! What a fantastic idea using the paper, and tying in the handles to the theme…simply brilliant!

    xx Karen

  3. >Great job! I was hoping to do something similar w/ a colorful world map to my sons armoire. Hmmm….I might do it sooner than later after seeing this.

  4. I cannot believe you found that on the curb!!! I’m seriously going to buy a truck and start garbage picking! I’ve always been too embarrassed to garbage pick, but after seeing this – shame-be-gone! This is probably one of the most beautiful makeovers I have seen yet (and I’ve seen a ton!). All I can say is wow, wow, wow…and kudos to a job more than well done!

  5. Great post I have to admit. Easy yet somehow informative as well as engaging.
    Keep up the wonderful job! Very much appreciated information!

  6. Appreciating the persistence you put into
    your site and detailed information you present.
    It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out
    of date rehashed material. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.
    Thanks a lot!

  7. From trash to treasure! Thanks for the tip of sealing paper with acrylic spray before applying. Love the diy knobs! The cupboard is amazing!

    1. Hi Jenny,
      PVA is just a type of glue (I believe) — I imagine you could use modpodge or something similar as well. I’m sure if you click over to The Painted Hive, Kristine can help you, too.

  8. There is nothing better than a good gutter find. Very creative, love the nobs & map & the way u tied in the items above & on it.

  9. Love your map idea! Great instructions, too! Also wondering what you used for the paint finish on the rest of this piece? Please share. Thanks

  10. This is exactly what I have been looking to accomplish with an older trunk I have. I know it’s been a while but where did you purchase the map wrapping paper?
    Thanks in advance, and absolutely a stunning piece ????