Shabby Chic Furniture | Kitchen Cupboard Makeovers

Kirstie Allsopp’s Fill Your House For Free inspires people to cast aside their wallets and transform their homes by using free sourced and upcycled furniture. With this idea in mind we’ve found an easy way to give your kitchen a trendy shabby chic furniture makeover without the usual expense.

Shabby chic furniture is rapidly increasing in popularity thanks to the current trend for vintage fashion. Second hand certainly does not mean second best, so read on to find out a brilliant way to update cupboards and make a feature of door panels and handles.

A Coat of PaintKitchen Cupboard Makeovers

For instant glamour cupboard doors can be updated with a new coat of paint.

You Will Need

  • Sugar soap
  • Medium- to fine-grade sandpaper (or liquid deglosser)
  • Undercoat
  • Kitchen paint in chosen colours
  • New handles (optional)


Prepare the Surfaces

Before you paint you should ensure that the surfaces are free of grease by cleaning with sugar soap. To ‘key’ the surface of the clean cupboard, cabinet or shelf, so that the new paint bonds to it, sand it down lightly but thoroughly with a medium-to fine-grade sandpaper. Cupboards with a shiny finish will definitely need sanding before you can paint them. Or, use a ‘liquid deglosser’ (also called liquid sander) available from DIY stores.

Paint With Care

Next you should remove the cupboard doors (and the hinges and handles). Carefully apply a thin coat of undercoat, followed by one or two thin top coats. Thin coats dry more easily and will give a smoother finish. Make sure each coat is dry before applying the next. Never be tempted to slap on a thick coat of paint hoping to cover the doors in one go! Go for a specialist kitchen paint that is designed to withstand the heat, steam and repeated cleaning.

Add New Handles

With handles you could go for something ultra-modern or opt for a shabby chic furniture look. We chose to use some old teaspoons. To attach the teaspoon, use a soldering iron, an epoxy adhesive or drill and screw to the door, depending on the structure and material of your door. If you are a DIY beginner then it is better to stick to ready-made handles.

Tip: You don’t need to paint the backs of doors or the inside of cupboards (unless there’s a dreadful clash between the old colour and the new!). Also use masking tape to prevent the colour running onto the areas you don’t want to paint.

Kitchen Cupboard Makeovers Blackboard

Unusual Finishes for Shabby Chic Furniture

You can make a feature of door panels by using wallpaper and varnish or sticky back plastic, which comes in an array of designs. To help keep your life organised, try painting one or two cupboard doors with black chalkboard paint. This is a great way to write reminders, shopping lists, to do lists, meal planners, appointments and more. If you are feeling creative, a découpage finish is a fun and funky way to display favourite images.

It really is that simple to refurbish your home at no cost, so get creative and create some amazing free shabby chic furniture that would turn Kirstie Allsopp green with envy!

Project ideas extracted from the book Make It and Mend It.

Other Topics You May Enjoy ...


Blog, Home Decor, Other Craft, Upcycling

About Ame

Ame Verso is the daughter of legendary cross stitch designer Jo Verso and has been cross stitching since the age of 10. She also sews and crochets and is the face of the SewandSo YouTube channel.

One thought on “Shabby Chic Furniture | Kitchen Cupboard Makeovers

  1. Hi there!

    I just wanted to say I love this idea, I never thought that doing something like this its that easy ๐Ÿ˜‰ May give it a try ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I run my own home decor blog, please check it out if you’d like

    I have seen that you have got quite a few bloggers, and I was wondering if you accepting some more? i would love to contribute ๐Ÿ˜‰
    If this is something you could consider please drop me an email and I will provide you with the ideas that came into my mind when I was reading your blog ;0
    Many thanks