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The Best Chalk Paint For A Unique Cupboard Upcycle

It’s about time I had a proper grown-up dining room. So slowly I have been moving out all my craft clutter and doing up the room. Included in this transformation is my fabulously creative cupboard upcycle, with the best chalk paint.

I’d bought this display cabinet a few years ago with the intention of revamping it. However, before I got around to painting it, the cupboard was stuffed full of craft papers and supplies, and I soon forgot about it.

Now I want to use it as a display come curio cabinet. Therefore, it was time to revamp it.

before creativ cupboard upcyle

Using The Best Chalk Paint, Decoupage and Decals for A Creative Cupboard Upcycle

It took more than a lick of paint to make this cupboard special. As well as using the best chalk paint I pimped it with a few extras such as decoupaged vintage graphics and decals.

I grew up in Hong Kong which is probably why I’m drawn to the gorgeous deep red antique Chinese furniture we used to have at home. That is why I chose to paint this curio cabinet in red chalk paint. I used what I consider the best chalk paint, Annie Sloan Red Emperor’s Silk Chalk Paint.

Also as the cabinet reminded me of an old curios cupboard you’d see in a museum I decoupaged the inside with vintage graphics. For the final touch, I added some decals to the large glass doors of this cabinet.

The best chalk paint cupboard upcycle with Annie Sloan Red Emperors Silk, decoupaged vintage graphics (Cavallini's insect wrap) and printable window decals.  Full tutorial.

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What I used for the best chalk paint cabinet upcycle

  • Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk Chalk Paint
    Annie Sloan Emperors Silk Chalk Paint for creative cabinet upcycle.

The Cupboard upcycle

First, the paint job using the best chalk paint.

1. To me, one of the best things about using chalk paint is that there is very little prep needed. I hate preparing furniture for painting. When I decide to paint I want to paint straight away and not to have to faff about with loads of prep. The only prep I did was wipe down the cabinet with a damp cloth.

2. I started with the red chalk paint. Making sure I stirred the paint well before I applied it. If it was a little too thick I diluted it with water. After masking off the glass doors I painted 2 coats of the Emperors Silk red paint to the outside of the cabinet. Allowing the first coat to dry before applying the second.

3. At this stage, the cupboard was looking a bit of a pinky red and not very Emperor like. But I wasn’t too worried as it’s the wax that transforms the paint. To achieve the antique Chinese red I wanted with my cabinet I used dark chalk paint wax.

4. The idea is for the cabinet to look old. Therefore with a fine grade of sandpaper, I sanded the wax and paint off in bits around the edges of the cupboard. This gave it a more distressed and antique look.

5. To finish off the paint job I applied a final coat of wax and buffed off the excess.

The inside of the best chalk paint cupboard ..

1. Firstly I painted the inside of the cupboard (except for the back panel) in grey chalk paint. This time I used a clear wax to seal the chalk paint.

2. However, the star of the show with the inside of my cupboard was the decoupage. I used a gorgeous vintage style gift wrap (3 Sheets).

3. I measured the back of the cupboard. It took 3 sheets of gift wrap to cover the backboard. I used decoupage glue and stuck the first sheet of gift wrap in the center.

4. The next thing I did was cut the other sheets of paper to finish off the decoupaging of the back of the cupboard. I used a wallpaper brush and a credit card to iron out any trapped air bubbles as I stuck the paper down.

best chalk paint cupboard decal inside.

Decals for the doors of the best chalk paint cupboard..

Half the point of upcycling furniture is not just about reducing waste and reusing what you have already got. It’s also about creating your own unique one of a kind piece of furniture and to personalize it.

So not only did I make this cupboard unique with best chalk paint, but I also personalized it by adding some decals to the glass doors.

  • This is pretty straightforward to do. All you need is some printable window cling. Simply design what you want on your glass doors in a program like Word.
  • I choose our family name (Armstrong) and the No.5 as there are 5 of us. I printed the decals according to the instructions that came with them and stuck them onto the glass doors.
The best chalk paint cupboard upcycle window decals and decoupage

What was once a boring but useful cupboard has now become a centrepiece of my dining room. I absolutely love how the Emperors Silk red chalk paint turned out and the decoupaged back.

The cupboard is now far too good for random craft supplies it’s now a home for all my love Anthropologie dinnerware.

I used the same chalk paint but in graphite for my tea towel upcycled chairs.

The best chalk paint cupboard upcycle window decals and decoupage
The best chalk paint cupboard upcycle with Annie Sloan Red Emperors Silk, decoupaged vintage graphics (Cavallini's insect wrap) and printable window decals.  Full tutorial.
Furniture flip using the best chalk paint Annie Sloan Red Emperor's Silk and decoupage vintage graphics.

This furniture flip featured under the letter F in the A to Z of clever upcycling ideas.

You should check out my other fabulous furniture flips.

IKEA Hemnes Hack with wallpaper
Classy Craft Cupboard Transformation
Pineapple Stenciled Table Upcycle
Ikea Hack Map Table Hack

Free Natural History Posters

You can also visit the DIYideacenter for even more furniture transformation ideas.

Anita holland

Tuesday 11th of February 2020

It is gorgeous, I do like the insect paper. Good choice.

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 12th of February 2020

Thank you, yes that paper is lovely.

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Friday 6th of July 2018

That insect paper at the back of the cupboard is a cracking idea! LOVE that. Might do the same on one of our glass fronted shelves that have things in too - would make such a difference! :)

Claire Armstrong

Friday 6th of July 2018

Thank you, I do love that insect gift wrap too!

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