Thrifted Cabinet into Farmhouse Style Bookcase

Thrifted Cabinet into Farmhouse Style Bookcase

I’m the queen of slamming on my brakes and making random U-turns.

Unless I’m on my way to a wedding or a funeral, if I spot a yard sale or antique store, you better be prepared to make some stops along the way if you’re riding with me.

Farmhouse display cabinet with coleus vintage blue Ball jars and antique ironstone pitcher |

This is one of those random U-turn projects. 🙂

After using both of the  doors from my $10 Craigslist cabinet to make a“Gather” sign and a magnetic board, I still had the cabinet left over.  It was pretty rickety and I thought about just using it as bonfire material, but I asked for your ideas.  One person suggested a potting bench, and another person thought I should turn it into a dog bed.  They were great ideas, but I decided I’d make it into a paint supplies cart … but I changed my mind in the middle of giving it a makeover.

Does that ever happen with you?

The makeover was going so much better than I’d hoped, and the cabinet seemed too nice to just use it to hold paint supplies.  Instead, it turned into a farmhouse style bookcase, a total U-turn from how the cabinet started and what I’d planned for it.  But sometimes you have to go where the project leads you.

Let’s back up so you can see the cabinet when I bought it.  I really bought it for the doors and figured I’d burn the cabinet at our next bonfire.

Repurposed cabinet before makeover |

SO glad I didn’t!  Here’s what I did instead …

How to Turn a Thrifted Cabinet into a Farmhouse Style Bookcase

The cabinet is upside down in this photo, but there’s a reason for that, so hang on for a minute and you’ll see why.

A rickety Craigslist cabinet to repurpose into a rustic paint supplies cart |

The back of the cabinet was a problem.  The wood was warped, so it came off.  I might reuse the towel bar later, so I removed it and added it to my junk stash, saving the screws with it.

Whenever I remove screws that I plan to reuse, I put them in my magnetic metal parts dish which I keep on the side of my refrigerator.  No lost screws, which I’m prone to do.  I put the screws in a baggie and tape it to the piece it belongs with.  I planned to flip the cabinet upside down, so I needed a new top for it.  I had a shelf in my junk stash that would work nicely.  I’ve had that shelf forever, and I’m glad I finally found a use for it.

I filled the holes where the door hinges had been first.  You’ll notice there’s a wood piece added on top.  The shelf I planned to use as the top wasn’t quite big enough, so that wood piece is a spacer to fill in the gap.

Upcycling a craigslist cabinet into a farmhouse style cabinet |

You can see a better view of the piece that was added here.  I painted the frame, sides, and inside of the cabinet black and stained the added wood piece in the color Early American, which was a close match to the shelf that would be added as the new top.

Upcycling a craigslist cabinet into a farmhouse style cabinet |

And the view from the top showing the spacer wood attached.

My husband cut a piece of beadboard left over from who knows what project and attached it to the back.

How to turn a Craigslist thrifted cabinet into farmhouse style display bookshelves |

What a difference the beadboard made.  It really pops against the black frame and wood top and really draws the eye to the things inside the shelves.

I’m using it more as a display bookshelf than to hold books, but I can’t even believe the difference.  I had all of the supplies, so aside from the $10 expense when I bought the cabinet, this project cost me nothing.

Not bad for getting three projects from it, was it?

It was cheaper than going to a movie and much more fun to do.  I’m seriously in love with how it turned out.


How to Turn a Thrifted Cabinet into a Farmhouse Style Bookcase |

If you enjoyed this farmhouse style bookcase project, click on the images below to see more Before and After Projects.

Vaya con Dios,


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  1. Oh, Angie, it’s the shape of the corners on the shelf turned top that sent me over the moon!!! What a great project, I just love it!!!

  2. Marlene Stephenson says

    It may have looked bad but, wow what a difference. Have a great weekend.

  3. You are amazing! What a great “salvage”! Isn’t it just so satisfying when you can make something useful out of something old and worn?

    I actually thought you had painted it a dark navy blue when I saw the photos. Which would be awesome, too, but the black makes it so versatile. And I love the stained wood top with the curved corners. What a great use for a random shelf. Good job, Angie!

  4. Missy Wilson says

    Angie, that little stand is awesome. I have been looking for something like that for under my bathroom window. Guess I have to go looking through my stash of broken wood furniture to find something. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  5. In just a couple words: awesome upcycle! I wish I had your creative imagination. It is beautiful.

  6. I love how you redid this to match your style. It looks terrific.

  7. You’re so creative, especially creating 3 different projects out of 1 piece. I love the shelf.

  8. Kim Jarriel says

    Wow great idea, it truned out great!

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