DIY Distressed Bar Cabinet
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Hi everybody, I’m back! I apologize for the 3 month break – I was traveling for a month and then I kind of fell into a rut. But I am doing better now and I’m going to try my best to stay on track!
What better way to get back on track than a furniture flip? I watch HGTV all the time and one of my favorite shows is Flea Market Flip. A lot of the episodes include an old cabinet being turned into a bar cabinet. One day, I was just surfing Letgo and saw a cabinet being sold for just $40. As soon as I saw it, I thought “Wow, this cabinet would look amazing as a distressed piece.” And because I had been watching Flea Market Flip so much, I figured I would try turning it into a bar cabinet and resell it after.
Keep in mind, I am no expert in furniture flipping. I did this flip after reading multiple articles on distressing furniture and the following process is what worked for me.
First of all, I contacted the seller and went to buy the cabinet the next day. Here is what it looked like:
The cabinet was in excellent condition, especially for $40! The only flaws were on the top. There were a few stains and watermarks, but I was able to get rid of those when I sanded the top.
Here is what I used during this flip:
- 120 Grit Block Sanding Sponge
- 80 Grit Block Sanding Sponge
- Clear Wax
- White or Black Paint ( I used Rust-Oleum but you can use whichever brand you want)
- Vintage Effects Brush
- 2 in. Chip Brush
- 1 in. Chip Brush
- Tack Cloth
- 2 Wine Glass Racks (number depends on what you want or how big your cabinet is)
- Bottle Rack (optional)
- Wood Screws
- Center Punch
- Gloves (optional)
The first thing I did was put a tarp under the cabinet so that I didn’t get my floor all dirty. Then, I took the shelf out and removed the knobs. For neater results, you can also remove the cabinet doors and place tape along the windows (if you have windows) and other hardware to prevent paint getting on them. I was a little lazy and didn’t put any tape, so I was just extra careful when I was painting in those areas. I also didn’t mind getting paint on the hardware because I thought it would work with the distressed/antique look.
Next, I sanded everything with the 80 grit block sanding sponge. I started with the medium grit versus the fine grit because I was a little intimated by the thought of sanding. If you’re a little nervous about sanding, I would recommend starting in a less visible spot and with a lower grit. I also found it helpful to have the block in one hand and a tack cloth in the other. This way I could see how much I was sanding.
After sanding everything, I used the 120 grit sandpaper to sand edges and the doors in certain spots to get a more antique look. The tack cloth come in very handy here to wipe away the dust and see how much wood was actually showing. Here is what the cabinet looked like after sanding:
You can see in the picture that the wood is showing in some areas. I also sanded parts of the knobs to give them a more antique look as well.
After sanding, I passed a tack cloth over everything to get rid of dust. Then, I began painting using the dry brushing technique. I used white paint because I thought it would look better with this gray, but you can also use black paint or a color that is a darker than your piece.
This part of the flip was my favorite because I found it quite relaxing. You can let loose a little and let your creative juices flow. It is VERY important, however, to keep your brushes as dry as possible. To do that, I only dipped the ends of my brushes and then dabbed them on a paper towel to get rid of excess paint. I found it helpful to have a paper towel in one hand and the brush in the other.
I alternated between short and long strokes. I used the 2 inch brush for wider surfaces like the top, sides, the inside, and the shelf. I used the 1 inch for narrower areas such as the doors and legs. For the top, I made the strokes go in the same direction as the wood. For the rest of the cabinet, I mostly went in the same direction as the wood, but I occasionally went perpendicular to the wood.
I let the paint dry overnight. The next day, I lightly sanded the cabinet with the 80 grit block to make everything feel smoother to the touch. I passed a tack cloth everywhere again to get rid of any dust.
I did one coat of the clear wax using the vintage effects brush and let everything dry overnight. Once everything was dry, I turned the cabinet upside down and installed the wine glass racks.
I placed the wine glass racks where I wanted them to go, making sure that they would be in the right direction when the cabinet was upside right. I marked the screw holes onto the cabinet with a pencil before removing the racks, and then grabbed a center punch and a hammer. I made a small hole for each marking and then placed the racks back in place. I then used a drill to screw my 10 mm wood screws in. The size depends on how thick the top of your cabinet is. Mine wasn’t very thick, so I used small screws.
Once I was sure the racks were securely attached, I turned the cabinet back over and placed some wine glasses to try it out! I placed the shelf back into the cabinet and put the knobs back on. I wanted to put a wine rack lattice in half of the bottom shelf, but I didn’t have the materials or experience to cut wood, so I opted for a 4-bottle wine rack from Ikea instead.
Here is the finished look!
For this project, I spent $97.89 dollars on the cabinet, brushes, sanding blocks, paint, wax, and racks. However, I will be able to reuse the brushes and sanding blocks, and I still have plenty of wax and paint left over. I am trying to sell the cabinet for $175 on Letgo, OfferUp, Craigslist, and 5miles. I will update this post when I do sell it with the final price and profit!
Let me know what you guys think in the comments!
Plein de Bisous,
A Bonnie Bon