Allow ×
This Site Uses Cookies
We and our advertising partners use cookies on this site and around the web to improve your website experience and provide you with personalised advertising from this site and other advertisers. By clicking "allow", you accept the placement and use of these cookies for these purposes. Learn More
How to transform a rustic wooden cabinet with paint | Header Image | Tikkurila

More than ever, homeowners and design enthusiasts are looking for vintage and second-hand furniture to fill their homes. While flawless vintage pieces can come with a hefty price tag, there are still many hidden treasures out there that may just need a bit of love – and a little DIY.

The appeal of upcycling furniture is that it can be a far more sustainable and cost-effective option compared to buying something completely new. Plus, there are no limits to what you can create. With a range of projects out there, you can transform an unloved piece of furniture into a unique addition for your home with no previous skills required. Some of the best projects even require little-to-no effort. With a fresh lick of paint, this simple trick is one of the most straightforward (and creative) ways to make an unloved piece of furniture look refreshed.  

For a little inspiration, we came across an incredible wooden storage cabinet at our local flea market that was already in great shape. Here, we show you how with a little paint and some simple DIY, this retro cabinet can be revived to compliment your current living space décor.  

How to transform a rustic wooden cabinet with paint | Colour Choices  | Tikkurila

For this project, we treated the cabinet with environmentally-friendly Helmi 10 furniture paint.  The water-based acrylic Helmi 10 Paint is a tested replacement for traditional solvent furniture paint and boasts a low VOC-emission level. Made in Finland, the high-quality paint has also been certified by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, the EU Ecolabel and holds the M1 Emission Classification, making Helmi Furniture Paint a sustainable and safe choice for the home. 


Begin by taking time to understand whether you want your new-found object to be a standout piece or a subtle element that feels part of its surroundings, as this will inform the colour direction for your project. We wanted to take the bulkiness of the cabinet and use our colour choice to give it the illusion of unobtrusive built-ins. To complement the décor of the living room, we tinted the sophisticated matt finish of the Helmi 10 paint with the warm grey tones of V484 Driftwood to lighten the exterior of the cabinet. While inside, the interior was enriched with the spicy reddish-brown tones of S471 Etruscan to beautifully emphasise and contrast with the considered glassware, mosaic tile serving plates and deep-blue hand-painted Valencia tableware.  


Have fun with your new furniture addition – play with colour, texture and finish. With no set way to carry out this project, you can completely customise an old storage cabinet into an addition to your home that can feel personal to your style and your interior design.  

How to transform a rustic wooden cabinet with paint | Before Shot | Tikkurila
How to transform a rustic wooden cabinet with paint | After Shot | Tikkurila

Putting the idea into practice

How to transform a rustic wooden cabinet with paint | Clean | Tikkurila


Begin by cleaning the surface of the furniture using a diluted Tikkurila Maalipesu cleaning agent - ensure to read instructions thoroughly before use.  

How to transform a rustic wooden cabinet with paint | Sand | Tikkurila


Lay down dust sheets to protect the floorspace. After drying time, sand the surface carefully and remove the sanding dust with a dust brush or a dust-binding cloth. 

How to transform a rustic wooden cabinet with paint | Prime | Tikkurila


Once dry, apply a single coat of Helmi Pohjamaali Primer, that has been tinted to the same shade as the topcoat for the furniture piece. Use a furniture paint roller for best results and leave the paint to dry for 4 hours. 

How to transform a rustic wooden cabinet with paint | Paint | Tikkurila


Finish with 1-2 coats of the matt Helmi 10 furniture paint, pre-mixed with your chosen colour with a furniture paint roller and a paintbrush. Helmi 10 furniture paint can be recoated after 16 hours and usable hardness is achieved in 2-3 days.  

Clean your tools with water and soap, or use Tikkurila Pensselipesu tool cleaner for deeper results. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label. 

Colours used

Paint Calculator

How much paint do I need? 

Use this calculator to work out your requirements, if you have any question please get in touch with one of our team who will be more than willing to help you.

Wall 1
Tell us about your paint choices

Disclaimer: Tikkurila UK Paint Calculator is provided as a guide only. The coverage rates will vary depending on surface being coated and the particular product range being used. More information on these products can be found on the cans, on the technical data sheets on individual product pages, by using our live chat service or by calling our technical team on 0131 334 4999.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the estimate, however paint requirements may vary depending on the surface, type of paint, sheen level and colour chosen.