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Easy Steps For A Unique Red Cabinet Upcycle

TV Cabinet Upcycle With A Hint Of Marimekko

I really don’t like the cabinet that the telly sits on. However, it is the right size and the cupboard is great for hiding away the computer and stuff that runs with it.
The heavy mango wood of the cupboard just doesn’t go with the rest of the decor in our living room. I needed to give it the Pillarboxblue treatment.
Which basically involved colour, decoupage and a hint of Marimekko.
So out came the best chalk paint (in Emperor’s Silk) and some Marimekko napkins for a colourful cabinet upcycle.
Now when I watch telly in the evening, I no longer sit there frowning at the ugly cabinet. I already had some chalk paint left over from another project so the only cost was a few pennies for the Marimekko paper napkins.
Trouble is, I think my upcycled cabinet maybe too good for the telly now.
Chalk paint makes a cabinet upcycle so easy, as no prep is required.  This cabinet upcycle was done with Annie Sloan Emperor's Silk chalk paint and decoupaged Marimekko napkins.
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What I used for the Cabinet Upcycle

Annie Sloan Emperor's Silk Paint

How to do a TV Cabinet Upcycle

  1. The reason I love chalk paint so much besides the finish is the fact that you don’t have to do any prep. Yes, that’s right no sanding or priming. I did, however, give the cabinet a good wipe down before painting.

  3. Make sure you cover any bits of the cabinet you don’t want to be painted with masking tape. Such as the hinges and any ironwork.
    Masking tape covered cupboard

  5. In the past when painting with chalk paint I have always used the approved chalk paint brushes. However, when I updated my kitchen painted worktops with a mini roller I fell in love with the tool. With the mini roller, the paint went on so quickly and smoothly I decided to use it for this cupboard upcycle.
    The paint coverage with the roller was thinner than it was with a brush therefore, I used 2 coats of Annie Sloan Emperor’s Silk chalk paint.
    Painting a cabinet with a mini roller and chalk paint.

  7. For the Marimekko part of this cabinet upcycle, decoupage the paneled doors. Cut paper Marimekko napkins to fit the size of the panels. Then carefully separate the 3ply napkins so that only the top printed ply of the napkins is used.
    Cutting Marimekko Napkins for decoupage cupboard

  9. You can either wait until the chalk paint is dry and use decoupage glue to stick the Marimekko napkins to the door panels. Or do as I did and stick the napkins to the wet chalk paint using the paint as a glue. Either way, make sure you use something like a small roller to flatten out any paper creases.
    Marimekko napkin cabinet upcycle decoupage
    cabinet upcycle with chalk paint and decoupage

    Finishing off the cabinet upcycle


  11. To match the cabinet I painted and decoupaged 2 wooden door knobs with the same paint and Marimekko napkins.

  13. Finally to protect the chalk paint of the cabinet upcycle use Annie Sloan’s furniture wax. I used a dark furniture wax to give the red cabinet a richer more antique looking finish. The wax is simply applied with a brush and then buffed with a lint-free cloth.
    Cabinet upcycle with Annie Sloan's Emperor's Silk chalk paint and Marimekko paper napkins.
    Cabinet upcycle using Annie Sloan Emerpor's Silk red chalk paint and Marimekko paper napkin decoupage.
    Cabinet upcycle with Annie Sloan Emperor's Silk chalk paint.  Add accents of Marimekko with paper napkin decoupage.

I do love to use chalk paint when painting furniture, you should check out my other chalk paint upcycles or the ones at
The Best Chalk Paint Cupboard Upcycle
Easy Classy Craft Cupboard Transformation
Pineapple Stenciled Table Upcycle


Cabinet Re-Make With Chalk Paint

Thursday 8th of March 2018

[…] really unhappy with the cabinet the way it is? If this describes you, then seeing what Claire from pillarboxblue did with her old TV cabinet will set your mind at ease. She shares her easy steps for transforming […]

Sandra L. Garth

Friday 20th of October 2017

What a great color and the inserts are such a fun detail. Thanks, Claire, for sharing with us at Celebrate Your Story, and have a great weekend.

Claire Armstrong

Saturday 21st of October 2017

Thank you so much Sandra.


Thursday 19th of October 2017

As I think almost everything is better red (apart from traffic lights when you are in a hurry) I an genetically predisposed to think this is amazing! I love the serviette addition too, with out them it would be lovely, now it is fabulous.

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 19th of October 2017

Thank you, Julie. I just realised that this cabinet encapsulates both my Chinese and Scandinavian roots. The red chalk paint has the antique Chinese lacquered vibe to it and the Marimekko napkins the Scandi element.

Brenda Young

Thursday 19th of October 2017

Thanks for sharing your project at #fridaysfurniturefix Claire, love the design pairing. Always a pleasure having you drop in!

Claire Armstrong

Thursday 19th of October 2017

Thank you, Brenda!

Grandma's House DIY

Tuesday 17th of October 2017

Thanks so much for sharing with us at the To Grandma's house we go link party! I'll be featuring this tomorrow morning when the new party starts :)

Claire Armstrong

Wednesday 18th of October 2017

Thank you so much, I look forward to seeing it.