Old cabinet revived with Tjhoko Paint

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This mid-century sideboard was given a new lease on life with bright retro colours and a simple stencil technique.


• First clean any surface coated with varnish, oil or polish with lacquer thinners before you paint. Use an old rag dipped in thinners (wear gloves) and clean the cabinet thoroughly in a well-ventilated room. Allow the thinners to dry completely for at least 40 minutes. You may need to clean it more than once to ensure any excess oil from the furniture polish has been removed.

Important: Avoid furniture that has been treated with varnish or oil (like linseed oil) in the previous six months.

• Tjhoko Paint contains a built-in sealant but since we wanted a low-gloss finish, we let the paint dry for at least 4 hours and then applied a coat of Clear Glaze, diluted by half with water. Use a damp microfibre cloth for this task.



• lacquer thinners

• old rag

• gloves

• 100-grit sandpaper

• 50mm Hamilton’s Ensign paintbrush

• 110mm sponge roller

• 1L Tjhoko Paint Neo’s New

• 250ml Tjhoko Paint John’s Joy

• 250ml Tjhoko Paint Matt Black

• 250ml Tjhoko Paint Cloud White

• Tjhoko Paint Clear Glaze

• Woodoc Water-Borne Deck Clear

• masking tape

• Tjhoko Paint stencil number MC018-15

1. Using the sandpaper, lightly sand the top, the front of the third drawer and any other sections of the cabinet that you won’t be painting. Seal the sanded wood with Woodoc Water-Borne Deck Clear.

2. Paint the two doors and sides with Tjhoko Paint in the colour Neo’s New. Use a 50mm paintbrush for the grooves and edges and a 110mm sponge roller for the flat surfaces. Don’t roll over the same spot too many times as this will make the surface rough. Wait about 40 minutes for each coat to dry completely.

3. Paint the front of the second drawer in Cloud White (see tip) and allow to dry. Secure the stencil to the surface with masking tape, then paint Matt Black over the stencil with the sponge roller. Be careful not to use a soggy roller as the paint will seep under the stencil. Tip: If you want to paint a light colour such as white or yellow on dark wood, first apply a coat of Stone Wash as a primer over the raw wood.

4. Paint the top and bottom drawers with John’s Joy.

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April 2023

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