Upgrading 2 homemade cabinets

Many years ago I came up with a simple design for making tall shelves with doors from scrap wood (and sometimes louvered doors) and I’ve been running with it ever since. Easy, fun to make, and oh-so-useful when space, especially storage, is minimal. I just made upgrades to two I’ve had a long time.

This one is kind of a utility cabinet, tall with shallow shelves that holds household stuff like tape, extension cords and batteries. I’d previously painted this unit wild colors (the shelves were orange) when I had it in another room (holding different stuff) but once I moved it into the main living area, those colors weren’t working. Here’s the new upgrade.




Sage green, beige and white – tasteful!



Organized, convenient, and hidden from sight. (Those Bob’s Red Mill boxes that hold 4-packs are handy.)


This next cabinet’s upgrades make me so happy. It has cool doors a neighbor gave me but for many years one of the doors was hanging lower than the other and being the person who made it, well, it bothered me. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy fix because the two end pieces are hollow inside (the screws has shifted and made one of the doors sink lower). I spent some time fooling around with it and got the doors aligned (and hopefully they’ll stay put, at least awhile). Then I needed to move one of the doorknobs since it was now out of alignment with its mate.

I had previously painted the inside of the top panel so it couldn’t be seen through and really liked the light green with the black design. But it was time to go bolder. I painted the lower front of the doors the same sage green as the other cabinet. Because I’d built a small wall-hanging cabinet where these photos had been, they needed a new home. These are all pictures I’ve taken, shown in various yardsale frames. Frankly I’m running out of wall space so the left side was perfect!




Here’s the painted inside of the door.



It’s a food pantry – but you’d never know it from the outside. I think that makes it interesting; why can’t food go in something  that looks nice?!


13 thoughts on “Upgrading 2 homemade cabinets

  1. Sheila Moss

    So what looks like stained glass is actually clear glass with paint on the back? Clever. Looks as if you are a lot handier with a hammer and saw than I am. Have you ever tried chalk paint? It looks really nice and is supposed to be easy to use. I want to try it when I get something that needs painting. I’m looking for a small table 9-10 inches wide or a bookcase. Not easy to find.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. writerinsoul Post author

      And the part that looks like stained glass is atually plastic! Which makes the doors light (and considering how I’ve hung them, that’s for the best). I’ve never heard of chalk paint. Painting stuff is one of my favorite things – I get paint from yard sales or quite literally by-the-side-of-the-road. I see lots of bookcases around but little tables, you’re right, they’re harder to come by.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sheila Moss

        Plastic? Wow! If you get time, Google chalk paint and read about it. It is plaster of Paris in acrylic paint and is said to cover really well and give a rustic look. It also has a soft wax coating to give it an antique look.



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