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In the Magazine

Cabinet Conversions

Home Among Gumtrees > Around the House

Tara showed three ways to take a plain cabinet and give it a great new designer look. For the makeover she used Aneboda cabinets from Ikea, priced around $169 each. These are 1810mm tall and 400mm wide, and are a good way to add lots of storage to a room when space is tight.

Creative collage

Tara used a photocopier, shellac and chicken wire for this clever conversion!

You will need

  • different sized photocopied bits of text from books, magazines and newspapers, torn into a variety of shapes to suit the different cabinet sections, approx. $5
  • 1 litre PVA glue, $12.89
  • 300g shellac flakes, $12.14
  • 1 large (63mm) brush, around $10.18 each
  • chicken wire 900mm x 300mm, for the door, $1.74
  • 500ml methylated spirits, $2
  • 500ml varnish (Tara used Wattyl Estapol Satin, $13)
  • Alphabet Letter L, $1.29 from Bunnings Hardware or craft shops
Instructions
  1. Assemble the cabinet but don’t attach the door. Take out the decorative plastic door insert using a Stanley knife.
  2. Paint adhesive glue on the back of photocopied pieces of paper and stick them onto the cabinet (including the door handle). Allow plenty of time for the PVA glue to dry.
  3. Mix the shellac flakes with the methylated spirits (see the instructions on shellac container for the right amount of methylated spirits to add to the mix). Tip: keep on stirring the shellac until all the flakes have dissolved. Paint the shellac onto the paper sections, allowing the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. Continue this process until the desired, slightly aged effect is reached (and don’t forget to paint the little cabinet legs with shellac, too).
  4. When the shellacked cabinet is completely dry, give it a protective coat of varnish. We used Satin finish for an aged look.
  5. Staple the chicken wire to the back of the cabinet door.
  6. Finally, attach the alphabet handle and the door to the unit, put your shelves in and there you have your ‘old’ collage-look cabinet for less than $60.

Shabby chic

For less than $75, Tara gave the second cabinet shabby chic charm using patchwork fabric teamed with a distressed pink paint job.

You will need

  • 1.5 metres fabric (Tara chose American cotton Ashbury Collection patchwork fabric, $25.50 per metre, from The Fabric Shop)
  • 1 litre White Knight Grip Lock, $21.95
  • 500ml sample pot Taubmans Colour selector (Tara chose ‘Snuff’), $8.15
  • 76mm metal handle polished gold/pink, from Bunnings Hardware, $4.50

Instructions

  1. Assemble the cabinet but don’t attach the door; take out the decorative plastic insert from the door using a Stanley knife. Lightly sand down the door and cabinet, then wipe both down with a damp cloth.
  2. Putty up one of the original holes for the door handle, then measure where the new hole is to be drilled and drill a hole to suit.
  3. Roll on the White Knight Grip Lock in white and let it dry completely.
  4. Paint on the Taubmans ‘Snuff’, let it dry, then give it a rough and patchy sanding.
  5. Water down some of the White Knight Grip Lock and wipe it over the sanded coat of Taubmans ‘Snuff’, using a cloth, sponge or a broom, then let it dry.
  6. Using a staple gun, staple the material on the inside of the door, pleating it as you go.
  7. Finally, attach the handle and door to the cabinet unit and put the shelves in.

Beautiful bamboo

Tara turned a plain cabinet into an Oriental-style storage unit for less than $100, using bamboo offcuts and a crackle-look painted finish.

You will need

  • 500ml Taubmans low-sheen acrylic ‘Poinciana Red’, $8.50
  • 500ml Taubmans low-sheen acrylic ‘Black’, $8.50
  • 1 litre White Knight Grip Lock, $21.95
  • bamboo offcuts, around $20
  • 500ml Wattyl Estapol gloss, $13
  • 500ml Porter’s Crackle Medium, $28

Instructions

  1. Assemble the cabinet but don’t attach the door; take out the decorative plastic insert from the door using a Stanley knife. Lightly sand down the door and cabinet, then wipe both down with a damp cloth.
  2. Give the cabinet a coat of the White Knight Grip Lock and let it dry completely.
  3. Paint on two to three coats of the Taubmans low-sheen acrylic ‘Poinciana Red’, letting it dry between coats.
  4. When the final coat of ‘Poinciana Red’ is completely dry, apply a coat of the Porter’s Crackle Medium. Leave this to dry completely for around 24-48 hours.
  5. Apply a coat of the Taubmans low-sheen acrylic ‘Black’ paint, and leave to dry and form a crackle finish.
  6. Apply a final coat of Wattyl Estapol Gloss to protect the paintwork.
  7. Cut the bamboo for the door to size and attach with a glue gun. Make up a handle from scrap bamboo and attach with two pieces of rope through the existing handle holes. Attach the door.

Stockists

Bunnings Warehouse (formerly known as BBC Hardwarehouse) Sydney (02) 9876 0888, Perth (08) 9365 1555, Melbourne, Adelaide, SA & Vic (03) 9607 0777, Qld (07) 3399 0300
House of Bamboo 1300 665 703, www.houseofbamboo.com.au
IKEA (02) 9418 2744, www.ikea.com.au
Porter’s Paints 1800 656 664, www.porterspaints.com
Taubmans 131 686, www.taubmans.com.au
The Fabric Shop (02) 9411 5777, www.thefabricshop.com.au
Wattyl Australia, 132 101
White Knight Paints 131 686, www.whiteknightpaints.com.au


Further information

This story is featured in the October edition of the Burke's Backyard magazine, available from newsagents and supermarkets for $5.50.

Copyright CTC Productions

Disclaimer:  Burke's Backyard and Backyard Blitz do not accept payment to promote products. All recommendations are genuine. Details on the fact sheets are accurate at the time of publishing, however prices and contact information are not updated and may change.

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