DIY – How To Refurbish an Apothecary Cabinet Into a Modern China Cabinet

I must say, my man out did himself yet again when he picked up two identical metal apothecary cabinets from an online hospital auction.


“Hey Baby I found something!” When Mike comes to me with those sweet words, I know it’s gonna be good; the thrill of what it could be gives me goose bumps!! And I must say, my man out did himself yet again when he picked up two identical metal apothecary cabinets from an online hospital auction.

Apothecary Cabinet Before
Apothecary Cabinet Before

I knew I wanted a cabinet that was non-traditional for china and glassware, I just hadn’t found it yet. The moment he brought them home I knew instantly that one of the cabinets would be a brilliant fit for our dining room. Looking past its purchased conditioned, it had all the things I look for in terms of style and function. First, the measurements fit perfectly for the space I had in mind (this we knew before he placed a bid on them). Second, it had simple clean rectilinear lines. Finally, and most importantly, it had 2 sliding glass front doors. All we had to do (okay, when I say we I mean Mike), was strip the rusted institutional mint-green paint from the entire cabinet and repaint it white.

how-to-sand-metal-cabinetStep 1: To prep the cabinets, Mike removed the doors, handles, and track system at the bottom of the doors.

Step 2: Using an electric sander with a 120 grit paper, he removed the paint and rust until he got down to the bare metal. The sanding process was absolutely essential to the refurbishment of the cabinet.  It not only removed the unwanted existing paint, but it also prepped the metal so the new paint would have something to grip to.

Step 3: Using Rust-oleum White Matte spray paint, he applied several light coats to the entire cabinet inside and out refinished-metal-cabinet-with-custom-glass-shelvesuntil he had the smooth dense white color he was looking for.

Step 4: For the doors, he taped off the glass and sprayed them as he did the rest of the cabinet.

Step 5: We had custom 3/8” thick glass shelves made to fit at a local glass wholesaler. Buying the glass from a wholesaler saves loads of money as opposed to going to glass retailer.

I love the final result; it turned out beautifully!! Beyond that, it was very gratifying turning a once old rusted metal cabinet into a perfectly lovely display case. Let me know what you think!ttl-signature




refinished-metal-cabinet-with-custom-glass-shelves2               china-cabinet-with-tableware

China Cabinet with Decanturs    China Cabinet with Glassware

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