Small Cabinet DIY


This post provides information on a small cabinet DIY and shows you how to update an existing cabinet using paint and contact paper.

A quick note that this post includes affiliate links and I will receive a commission but at no additional cost to you. I am presenting you with my own opinion and honest review of the information provided. If you want to read the entire disclosure statement, please click HERE.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just want an easy project that I can complete in an afternoon. This is particularly true after working on something long and complicated. So, the purpose of this post is to share an affordable cabinet DIY. I think this DIY cost less than $5. (Excluding the cost of the cabinet)

Back Story

As an antiques dealer, I always have extra inventory in our basement. Part of having a successful booth means that you keep things fresh and change your displays every 3 months. So, I am constantly rotating inventory in and out of my booth. This past weekend, in the basement, I came across a small cabinet that had not sold. I realized it would be perfect for storing my essential oils. However, the color was not consistent with my current decor. So I decided to paint it and line the interior with some contact paper.

I will walk you through the steps I took for this affordable DIY

Small Cabinet DIY

The first thing we need to do is gather our supplies.

Supplies Cupboard DIY
  • A small cabinet of your choice
  • Contact paper from the Dollar Store. ( Technically, everything in the store is now $1.25)
  • MMS milk paint in the color of your choice. I chose Arabesque
  • MMS Milk Grip (bonding agent)
  • MMS Milk Mix EZ
  • MMS Milk Wax
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • 150 grit sandpaper
  • Kraft paper to cover your work surface

Step 1 – Prep Your Cabinet

Mint green cuboard

This is the little cabinet that I wanted to update- it is about 12 inches high and 10 inches wide. It is truly tiny. The other day, I was wandering around the Dollar Store when I came across this contact paper and fell in love with the color and pattern. I picked up several rolls knowing that at some point and time, I would find a use for them.

Since I was going to paint the cabinet Arabesque, a dusty pink color, I decided to give it a quick sanding using 150 grit sandpaper. This took about 10 minutes. Then I wiped down the cabinet to remove any sanding dust.

Step 2 – Paint your Cabinet

Next, I mixed up 1/2 a cup of MMS milk paint in the color Arabesque. If you don’t know, milk paint is a powder so I used 1/2 cup powdered paint and added 1/2 cup warm water. To ensure the paint would mix easily and to ensure it would adhere to the cupboard I added a few drops of MMS milk mix EZ and a few tablespoons of MMS milk grip.

Painting small cupboard

Then I started to paint the cupboard – both the exterior and interior. This took about 15 minutes.

Painting Cupboard

Arabesque is a light color, so I needed to apply two coats of paint to the cabinet. You can see in the photo above how the cabinet looked after the first coat of paint. You can see some of the mint green still peeking through. I let the first coat of paint dry for 30 minutes and then applied a second coat of paint. Then I sealed the exterior with milk wax.

MMS milk paint coupon

As an affiliate of the MMS milk paint company, I can save you 10% on your order.

If you order any products from the link provided, enter the code 10OFFSH to save 10%.

Step 3 – Add Contact Paper

I really wanted the interior of this cabinet to look charming. So, I decided to add some of my recently purchased contact paper. If you have every tried to line the interior of a drawer or cupboard with contact paper, you know it can be a bit challenging. Here are a few TIPs

  • Measure your shelf or wall section that you want covered with a ruler
  • Cut out a piece of contact paper slightly larger than what you measured
  • With the backing still attached – dry fit the contact paper to the area you measured.
  • Use your scissors to trim any excess contact paper
Measuring Contact Paper

Here is another TIP – I always flip the contact paper over and use the grid on the backside. There are areas where the grid “disappears” because text is added or there are graphics. So, I use a ruler to draw my straight line through those areas. This helps to ensure I cut a straight line through those portions of the paper.

Another TIP– if your contact paper is curling, try wiping it down with a damp rag and let it remain dry fitted in the area it will be installed. Moisture helps reduce the curling of the paper.

After the contact paper has been dry fitted and trimmed to the area, I slowly remove the sticker backing and put it into place. There are times when I will have to lift off the sticky area and reapply the contact paper so that it lines up correctly.

Take your time with this process so that your paper lines up correctly.

Small pink cupboard

First, I lined the back of the cupboard and then I lined the shelves.

Step 4- You are done!

With a little patience and time, I finished this cute cupboard in a Sunday afternoon. If you want to save this DIY for future reference, pin the images below to your Pinterest account. In the future, if you want to revisit this post, simply click on the image you saved in Pinterest.

Small Cabinet DIY

Now, I have a place to store all my essential oils. I love it when a project provides a useful solution while requiring minimal time and cost. Can you believe that contact paper was $1.25? Quick – run to the dollar store!

Small Cabinet DIY

I am so happy with how this turned out because now I have easy access to my essential oils and can use them in my diffuser.

Thank you for stopping by the blog today. I hope you found some inspiration or at least an activity to keep you busy on a Sunday afternoon.

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  1. What a cute cabinet!! I love the paint color that you chose and the contact paper has such a pretty pattern on it!! It’s a perfect size for storing all kinds of little things.

    1. Hi Rachel! Thank you for reading the post and for commenting. Yes, the little cabinet would also be great for storing jewelry.

  2. What a fantastic cabinet for storing nail and beauty supplies or essential oils! I LOVE the color you chose and how you added the backing as well. It really gave it a custom feel. Hugs, CoCo

    1. This is the first time I used the color Arabesque and I too like the dusty pink color. Thanks for commenting CoCo!

  3. What a sweet little cabinet! I need something that size to hold my mani/Pedi supplies! Love the pink color you chose and the contact paper makes it special!

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