The Little Cabinet That Could

By Kate Riley February 7, 2011

Hello!  Today I thought I’d share the quick and easy makeover on my jewelry cabinet that I refinished last week.  After I painted the inside of my closet, I wanted the little cabinet to coordinate with the new look, but it was a dark mahogany color that wasn’t working for me anymore. 

I happen to love rich dark wood, and often I hesitate to paint it.  But since this was no antique, rather a mass produced piece from a decade ago, I turned to spray primer and spray paint to give it a fresh modern look.  Now I’m loving the gray with white trim!

jewelry chest b and a

Step one was to give it a coat of spray primer.  You know I love the brush on version of Zinsser’s oil based primer, but for smaller pieces of furniture you can go right ahead and prime with a spray can, it works great ! 


cover stain in can


Next came two thin coats of RustOleum’s ‘Winter Gray’, a beautiful medium hue in gloss finish.  RustOleum has several colors in their ‘Painter’s Touch’ line that are not the saturated colors you expect from spray paints, but rather muted colors that appeal to more modern tastes. 

rustoleum winter gray


Once the gray was dry, I used painter’s tape to mask of the raised trim which to me was just screaming to be painted a contrasting white.  Two coats of white paint applied by hand was all it took. 

paint trim


I also spray painted the hardware white and simply reused it. 

cabinet before and after lower


I even painted the interior too, for a complete look.

refinished interior


One of the quickest and easiest makeovers this gal has ever done!

For more tips on spray painting, take a peek at this article: Spray Paint FAQs.

I prettied up the top with a simple silver dish I found at a thrift store years ago. 

jewelry in shell dish


apricot roses on chest


top of jewelry chest


Also on top is the jewelry tree I made out of a branch back in 2009.

I’m a lover of chandeliers, so this is where I like to keep them!

jewelry tree


I’ve always been a big fan of RustOleum products, and this is yet another example of how their spray paints really can work to give smaller pieces of furniture a brand new look. 

Lucky for me, tomorrow I’m off to attend a RustOleum conference in New Orleans to talk about some of their newer products, I’m very excited!  Can’t wait to report back !



  1. It looks awesome. Love the color and in contrast with the white, really makes it pop!

    Have fun at the conference! :)

  2. It looks amazing. I wish I had a piece like that to hold my jewelry. It seems to be strewn about all over my dresser. :s Have fun in New Orleans!! You are one traveling girl lately…I am envious. :)

  3. Looks great! I’m toying with the idea of painting a pair of tables I have, and spray paint seems to be the solution. Got any tips or tricks for a nice smooth finish without the drips and mess I seem to have everytime I spray paint something?

  4. I love how you are so brave to paint furniture! But like you said, it was not an antique so why not make it more beautiful by painting? Great post as usual. Love how you explain and post pictures with each step!

  5. I’m impressed with your ability to paint the trim. I happen to hate taping things and seem to always make mistakes on things like this. I should take a lesson from you and be more concerned with the project paint.

  6. Woo hoo!!! Have fun in NOLA, my hometown. There are millions of top quality restaurants to choose from, but the one I will go to before even seeing my family when I visit is Dragos. Charbroiled oysters. Nuff said. I’ve fed this to people who hate seafood, would never touch it, etc. and it’s a life changer. Have fun!

  7. Love love love it! It’s so amazing what a quick coat of paint can do! I’m a firm believer that anything can “belong” in your house if you spray it to match the room.

  8. Is it just me, or did you find the perfect match to the pain you used on the shelves? When you first put the pictures up of the closet, I was sure it was painted with the same color!

  9. Looks fabulous!

    “But since this was no antique, rather a mass produced piece from a decade ago…”

    Am I to understand that I could use this technique to paint my prefab Sauder bookcases? Was it that sort of furniture? That would be so nice… they’re so out of place in my home now.

    I had always thought I couldn’t paint them, because they have the shinyish veneer, and once when I painted a cheap bathroom cabinet veneer with wall paint I regretted it because it barely stuck and required 4 or 5 coats.

  10. Ah, there’s nothing like the smell, er, I mean look of freshly painted furniture! (c: It looks awesome, as usual, and I am just enamored with the cute accessories for the top…they are so much fun! I think every girl dreams of a fabulous closet, it’s the closest we get to being a real princess…lol!

  11. Fabulous! Do you have a post about when you decide to use spray paint versus painting with a brush? If not could you possibly do one? Spray paint seems so much easier I am tempted to use it all the time but there must be a reason not to.

    I love your blog. Thanks!

  12. GORgeous. I have one of these…slightly different style, but one I specifically asked for and received as a housewarming gift from my parents when DH and I bought our first house. It’s so formal…which I’m not any more. I think you may have inspired a makeover!

  13. I love what you do with Furniture. Do you mind sharing what I maybe doing as my painted furniture pieces are sticky. Months later I find clocks, lamps, picture frames stick to the surface. I hand painted the pieces, waited 4-8 hrs between coats and finished with a painted on clear finish.

  14. Love the cabinet and jealous of the trip to Nola! We just moved away from there last fall and I’m starting to feel a bit homesick for that crazy city.

  15. You blow me away Kate. I watched you on Nate Berkus and YOU should have your own show. You are talented, creative, smart and gorgeous to boot. What can’t you do?

  16. The cabinet came out beautiful, and you may have inspired me to undertake a similar project for my jewelry armoire, did you protect the velvet lining in the drawers? thats been my concern

  17. How many cans of spray paint was used because ipainted a small bookcase and thought one would be enough. I went through 3 cans. Spray paints expensive!

    • Hi Vernonica, it’s been a year, but I’m gonna guess I used two!

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