Reduce, Reuse, Restore:

Makeover an Antique Cabinet

See how our friend Molly completely made over an antique cabinet - and saved herself $1000 in the process!

There’s nothing like the adrenaline rush that comes with scoring a great deal on antique furniture - especially when that furniture needs a little TLC. Not only did you find a beautiful statement piece for your home, you’ve also found your next DIY project!

As our friend Molly (@totsandtimber)  demonstrates in the video below, buying used items reduces waste and gives you freedom to customize your space on a budget. Molly’s dream cabinet was over $1,200, but after securing a $150 antique cabinet on a resale site, she was able to DIY a near-perfect copy.

Watch her process in the video below.

See how Molly restored this cabinet with new paneling, wood stain, and adhesives in the written, step-by-step breakdown below.


  • An antique cabinet in need of a second chance
  • Loctite® Super Glue Ultra Liquid Control
  • Loctite® Power Grab® Ultimate Crystal Clear Construction Adhesive
  • Sander
  • Scrap wood for paneling
  • Shims for spacing panels
  • Paintbrush
  • Wood stain in color(s) of your choice
  • Matte top coat


1. Sand down cabinet interior

Start by sanding down the cabinet’s shelves and back and sides of the interior to prepare for new paneling. 

2. Create new paneling

Molly cut scrap wood into strips to line the back and sides of her cabinet’s interior. She used Loctite® Power Grab® Ultimate Crystal Clear Construction Adhesive to attach the paneling to cabinet walls and separated each panel with shims so spacing remained consistent.

Loctite® Power Grab® Ultimate Crystal Clear Construction Adhesive has a zero second grab and bonds instantly, so Molly didn’t need to add bracing or nails to her project, even on the sides of the cabinet. It was a sunny day for her, but the adhesive works on all types of materials and weather conditions, so she would have been able to complete her project in rain or shine. 

3. Repair trim

The trim on the outside of the cabinet was damaged, so Molly used wood filler to cover any chips and glued cracks back together using Loctite® Super Glue Ultra Liquid Control. This adhesive has a precision control applicator great for tight fitting spaces and quick repairs. 

Molly had to get creative because bits of her trim were missing entirely. She replaced a cylindrical piece of missing trim with a small wooden dowel but didn’t want to nail it down in case  it would crack the older, brittle wood used in the existing trim. Instead, she used Loctite® Super Glue Ultra Liquid Control to firmly secure it in place.

4. Paint cabinet 

Molly painted the exterior of her cabinet with two coats of matte gel stain and one top coat of matte polyurethane. She then moved onto whitewashing the interior wood panels and added a light, custom stain over the top.

And with that, this project was finished. The cabinet retained its vintage feel, but Molly was able to give it a modernized twist.

Not only did she give the cabinet a second chance and save it from the landfill, she saved over $1,000 in the process. The sustainable option is often the most affordable option, too!