Make a ‘vintage’ cabinet

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Photograph: Francois Oberholster
Photograph: Francois Oberholster
Inspired by two beautiful old doors, we built a cupboard with them and then applied a paint technique.
Project notes

    • Look out for old cupboard doors at flea markets or on Our doors were 370mm wide and 1 940mm high, which determined our measurements and material quantities; adjust yours according to the door(s) you choose.

    • Remember to drill pilot holes.

    • Sand the boards beforehand.


Hard labour 3/10

Skill level 3/10

Time needed 1 to 2 hours

Do it yourself for less than R2 000:

wood and screws R1 770,

hinges R200

(doors and varnish excluded)

You will need


  • three sheets plywood, cut to: two 1 940 x 350mm lengths (sides)
  • two 640 x 350mm lengths (top and base)
  • one 1 904 x 640mm length (rear)
  • five 640 x 300mm lengths (shelves)
  • four 2 400mm lengths of 69 x 32mm planed pine, cut to: four lengths of 2 040mm (legs)
  • one packet 6mm x 40mm screws
  • one packet 6mm x 16mm screws
  • one packet 8mm x 30mm screws
  • two sets of 75mm flat hinges
  • second-hand doors
  • two magnetic door catches
  • sandpaper
  • plastic shelf support pins


    • cordless drill and 3mm and 4.8mm drill bit

    • pencil

    • tape measure

    • wood filler

    • paintbrush

Get started: Build the cupboard

1. Using the 6mm x 40mm screws, attach the 640 x 350mm top and base between the ends of the 1 940 x 350mm sides to form the frame of the cupboard.

2. Lay the frame flat, place the rear piece inside the frame and secure it in place from the outside with screws. 

3. Screw the four pine legs to the outside of the cupboard at each corner; this also strengthens the structure where the hinges will be attached.

4. Screw the hinges to the inside of the doors, then screw the doors to the front of the cupboard.

5.  Attach the magnetic catches using the 6mm x 16mm screws. Measure where the shelves will be positioned and then drill the holes for the shelf support pins with the 4.8mm drill bit. Place the shelves on the pin supports.


Hard labour 1/10

Skill level 2/10

Time needed 4 hours

Do it yourself for R1 060:

three tins Annie Sloan paint R750,

waxes R310

You can use leftover paint from another project to save cash!

You will need


    • Annie Sloan chalk paint in Pure, Old White and Duck Egg Blue

    • Annie Sloan Soft Wax: Clear and Dark

    • masking tape


    • paintbrush

    • offcut piece of wood

    • cloth

To best effect…

1. Remove the doorknob. Mask the glass panels as well as the hinges.

2. Using a paintbrush, coat the exterior of the cupboard with the colour Old White.

3. To paint the next layer, use the wooden block instead of the brush. Using the brush, load the block with the colour Pure and smear it onto the cupboard. You’ll notice that it doesn’t cover the first coat completely; this is what you want. Continue to apply the paint over the entire exterior of the cupboard using this technique. Let it dry.

4. For the next coat, use Duck Egg Blue and the same technique as in step 3. However, apply the paint in a more solid layer at the top of the cupboard and let it ‘fade out’ as you go further down. Let it dry

5. Apply the soft wax to seal the paint. Start with the Clear Wax and add Dark Wax in selected areas to make the paint look worn and old.  

6. Remove the masking tape.


Annie Sloan

Deon de Goede 084 589 5026

MRP Home 0800 212 535

Timbercity 021 927 5000

Woolworths 0860 022 002

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()

April 2023

Read your favourite magazine here.
Read now