Refinish: Faux Apothecary Cabinet


If you search the internet for an apothecary cabinet to buy, you’re likely going to find brand new pieces starting at $600 and going north of $1000. Needless to say, I was APPALLED at the prices I saw. Especially when it comes to the solid wood options. So, of course I scoured the internet on how I could fake one of these bad boys. I’ll save you the research and let you know that I finally came to the conclusion: Facebook Marketplace dresser + Amazon Apothecary Style Pulls can get you a faux apothecary cabinet for around $150 or less!

Facebook Marketplace is a Treasure Trove

Once I figured out what materials I needed to get going, I started my search for the perfect dresser to refinish for this specific project. I wanted a buffet-style(short and wide) dresser with either a ton of drawers or looked like it had a ton of drawers so I had to do as little work as possible to get the look I was aiming for.

This is what I found about 30 minutes away from my house:

I loved that this piece had the look of a ton of different sized drawers! The accents on the front and the scalloping on the side added some unique character as well. I asked the seller if it was a solid wood piece (so I could stain the top if I wanted to) and she confirmed it was so I loaded up the truck to pick this baby up for $75. She had it listed for $100 and came down on the price so that’s a win in my book!


Sand & Fill

I was really excited about this project so I broke out my sander as soon as I got it home. I recently upgraded to the Rigid Orbital Sander and wow that was a great investment! It runs so smoothly and really makes finishing a project a breeze.

Whenever I sand a project, I start with a low grit and then progress until I get up to a 320 grit for a super smooth finish. I had a ton of thick gray paint to get off so I started with 60 grit, then moved on to 80 grit, 120 grit, 220 grit, and finally 320.

However, if you look closely at my project you will see I have gray paint showing through under the white chalk paint. I did this intentionally by leaving some gray paint on in spots. But, I still went over those parts with the 320 at the end so the finish was uniform. The picture below shows the gray peeking through after I started doing some coats of the white chalk paint on top.

You can also see that I started filling the old pull handle drill holes that were there from the previous owner with wood putty. Once dry, I sanded using the 320 grit sandpaper to make sure my finish was as smooth as possible.


Chalk Paint!

Now that my project was completely smooth from sanding and drawer pulls were filled with wood putty, I went on to paint. You’ll want to blow off any wood dust from sanding with an air compressor (or whatever you have) and then wipe down your project with a damp cloth. Allow to dry completely.

To paint this project, I used white chalk spray paint from Walmart (around $6 per can). I wanted to see how smooth the finish would be and how many coats it would take. So I moved the dresser to an area where I could spray away and I got to work!

I took all of the drawers out and painted the faces first. Chalk paint dries super fast out of a can so I was able to get those well coated pretty quickly. Make sure to give them enough coats to hide the putty underneath the paint. Then I moved on to paint the body of the dresser, making sure to cover all of the angles as well as possible. I had the entire project painted in about 3 hours, but I took time to let dry in between. I’d say I used about 4 or 5 spray paint cans for the entire project.

Antiquing is the best part

Chalk paint dries super smooth but I still wanted to antique this piece for some character so I got my sander back out with the 320 grit pad. I like start off by hitting the corners and edges of the piece with the sander for the color underneath to show through. I keep taking paint away until I’m happy with it. In the picture below you can see the drawer faces on this dresser were perfect for antiquing with the detail they have on them! I made sure to get all sides of the dresser as well to make sure it was uniform later on.


I like to get the flat faces of the drawers and sides last because they stress me out the most to do! If you take it too far (like I usually do) you can always repaint that side and try again until you’re happy. Once I felt like I was done, I used the Matte Top Coat Finishing Spray to protect the project. I made sure to take the drawers out when I sprayed so I got all of the edges that could be hidden by the overlapping of the drawers.

Which brings me to my next and final part of the project.

Drawer Pulls

I knew I would have a hard time finding drawer pulls that fit the apothecary cabinet style if I looked at Home Depot or in Hobby Lobby so I decided to search Amazon and found these perfect pulls and label holders! Plus, they are a great price.

The tricky part was mounting them because you want them to be centered on the drawer and line up well with the others next door. You’ll also notice the top drawers don’t have a pull handle on them, just the labels. I knew that in doing this I would have to use the edge of the drawer to open it functionally, but it was an exception I was willing to make for the look of the dresser. Now that it’s finished, it really isn’t that hard to open the top drawers so it worked out!


Eventually I want to hang some large pictures of our family above the apothecary cabinet because I think it will fit better than the mirror but this works for now!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the transformation of this dresser. Let me know if you have any questions or please share pictures if you refinish your own!


Repurpose: Dollar Store Reverse Canvas Signs


Would you believe it cost me less than two dollars in materials to make this cute sign for my friend? These are perfect for holiday gifts, boss appreciation gifts, or even just cute décor for your home. I also made the one below as a thank you for my brother-in-law. These are easy to make, super customizable, and give the look of an expensive farmhouse sign without the price tag.

Here’s what you need to get started


Cricut or other vinyl cutting machine

Vinyl weeding tool


Clothing iron

Scotch Tape or Painter’s Tape

Small paintbrush or old rag

Scissors or portable trimmer

Staple gun*


Dollar Store Stretched Canvas Sign

 Black (Heat Transfer Vinyl) HTV

 Wood stain in a color of your choice

*My staple gun was jammed but I was able to get around needing it. It just makes this project way easier. More details below.


Start Crafting

To begin, you’ll want to find your canvas signs at the Dollar Tree. These can be somewhat hard to come by, but lately mine has been stocked up so I’m hoping yours is too! They have a couple different sizes, so I grabbed the 8” X 10” and a couple of the 4” X 6” for smaller signs that I want to make later.

Once I got them home, I used a stapler remover to take the staples out of the back of the frame. You can also try using an old fork to pry them out if you don’t have a stapler remover (be careful!). Pry all of the staples off and the canvas should come off of the wooden frame fairly easily.

You’ll be able to see the folds in the canvas where the canvas was stretched around the frame(pictured below). I used these marks to help me cut the canvas to fit the wood frame.

You’ll want to make sure you cut the canvas with enough room to staple it to the back of the frame while also not being able to see the canvas sticking out over the edges. You’ll want them to look something like this when they’re done…

Before You Staple

Before you get to stapling the resized canvas piece to the frame, you’ll want to paint or stain the frame the color you desire. To prep for that, you’ll want to start with sanding the wooden frame with 220 grit sandpaper so it is nice and smooth. This helps the finished product look a lot nicer. It shouldn’t take very long since these frames are pretty simple.


Next, I applied this Varathane Pre Stain Wood Conditioner. It keeps the stain from being blotchy, streaky, and uneven on your projects. If you want your stain to look good, you need this liquid gold. I use it on all of my projects. If you are going to paint your frames, you can skip this step.

All you do is apply is with a clean cloth or clean paintbrush(I used a paintbrush because I like it better) and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before staining.


Once dry, make sure you have a place to stain your frames without making a huge mess. A lot of times I’ll put down on a kitchen size trash bag and stain them on top of that in a well ventilated area. Wearing disposable gloves, grab your stain of choice and stain the frame. You can mix stain colors to get new fun colors if you aren’t completely happy with the color alone. I do this a lot with the Varathane Carbon Gray and the Varathane Walnut gel stains. I love the outcome of layering these two colors.

In the picture below, I used the Espresso Wood Stain from MinWax and Carbon Gray from Varathane. They’re both go on super evenly and are very easy to work with.

Let the frames dry according to the directions on the stain or paint. Once dry, I made sure the frames were clear of any dust that might have settled on it with a slightly damp cloth.

I really like to protect my projects to make sure they hold up well, so I would recommend spraying the frames with 2X Coverage Matte Clear General Purpose Spray . It is my all time favorite finishing product. I love that it keeps the project matte while also enhancing the color. It is available on Amazon or you can find it at Home Depot. I always keep some around in my garage because I use it a lot.

Ready to staple!


Now that your frame is completely dry, you’re ready to staple the canvas to the back of the frame!

To make this part as easy as can be, I took some Scotch Tape (or you can use painter’s tape) and taped the canvas in place on the frame so it didn’t move while I was stapling it. You will want to make sure to pull the canvas as tight as you can to make sure there isn’t any wrinkles or looseness on the canvas once stapled. Also, make sure there isn’t any canvas hanging off of the frame to ensure a clean look and get to stapling.

I did 3 staples on each of the short sides and 5 on the long sides.

If you’re not happy with a loose canvas on the frame, you can also pry the staples out and give it another go. I definitely have to do this sometimes!

They should end up looking something like this…

Add your design


At this point your reverse canvas frame is ready to be customized! I used my Cricut Machine to cut these music lyrics out of black Heat Transfer Vinyl. You can find other ready made cut files for music lyrics on my Etsy here!

Once you have your design cut and ready to iron on, you’ll want to have your iron preheated on the cotton setting. Place your frame on a surface that is safe to iron on. Center your design and apply heat using the iron with medium pressure. Do not shimmy the iron or circle it around the design because it will ruin your design!

I gently pick up my iron and move it before placing it back down for a couple seconds with some pressure. You also need to be careful not to leave the iron in one place on your design for too long. It will burn the canvas and that’s never fun… believe you me.

You should be able to see the fibers of the canvas meld into your HTV when the transfer sheet is ready to be peeled up.

***If you start to peel the sheet up(do so slowly!) and the design isn’t completely stuck on the canvas, don’t worry! You can simply place the sheet back down and iron again carefully as written above.

Woohoo! Now you’re done! These signs look great hung up on the wall or as a feature on your tired centerpiece tray. My favorite is putting them in easel displays like this one below!


Let’s see what you made! Comment below with your projects as I would love to see them. Or, feel free to ask any questions!

Refinish: Matte Farmhouse Dining Table & Black Windsor Chairs

Now that we are almost done finishing our basement, we need furniture down there and of course I got sucked into the Pinterest collage of beautifully furnished modern farmhouse homes that made me swoon. My poor husband saw so many pictures of ideas for tables that he did not want to see. Bless his heart. Well, I went to Facebook Marketplace looking for a table and chair set that fit my space and I was dumbfounded when I saw the price on some of the tables. A lot of them were super beat up and had the $500 firm price tag on them. I figured that I may as well look at brand new tables at that point.


That was also the wrong way to go! I was seeing $1000 tables that weren’t even solid wood and that’s when I knew the elbow grease and constantly scanning Facebook Marketplace was going to have to come into play.

My search for solid wood (haha!)

I finally came across this table after searching every couple of hours for days for a solid wood table with farmhouse-esque legs and details. I was hoping for a table and chair set but I wasn’t that lucky. So I went and picked this gal up from the next town over for $50! This was the original listing image.

I knew I wanted a stained top and either white or black legs so it was important to me to make sure the top was solid wood for staining purposes. I could tell it was real wood by the sheer weight of the table and because the bottom of the table showed the wood grain so we were good to go!


This project only ended up costing me around $150! It could have been cheaper if I snagged the table for free on Facebook Marketplace instead of paying the $50. (Yeah, someone posted the EXACT table for free the day AFTER I bought this one, ugh). Sometimes the chairs I bought pop up on Marketplace for free too but I wasn’t willing to wait for the perfect moment on that. So I snatched these old Windsor chairs for $45.

I see these chairs on Marketplace all of the time and they never interested me until this project. I settled on these because I was inspired by these chairs from Magnolia Home which are $349 for 2 chairs!!!

Hypothetically speaking, had I bought the Magnolia Windsor Chairs for my home, I would have been $1,049 in the hole for just six chairs(+tax, +shipping, +my husband’s tears). Don’t get me wrong, I would love to buy these beautiful chairs if I had the cash! But, I don’t so here we are.


The chairs.

Instead, I picked up this magic Chalked Spray Paint by Rustoleum in Charcoal! Link to Amazon listing below. I never saw chalk paint in a can before and I was skeptical until I saw the reviews. You really need to check out the pictures in the reviews…that’s what sold me on trying this out.

I had 6 chairs to do so I bought 8 cans to be safe. I really wanted to make sure I coated them well with both the Chalked Paint and the matte finishing spray which I will get to next.


Before I began painting, I cleaned the chairs really well with dawn and water and made sure they dried completely. One chair had some glitter glue on the seat from the previous owners that I had to sand that off. I sanded it with 60 grit and then 100 grit, then 220 to make sure it matched the smoothness of the other chair seats. (If you’re looking for a great sander, check this Rigid one out with a lifetime warranty here. I love it!)

Once the chairs were clean and dry, I moved them to a spot to spray paint far away from anything I didn’t want paint on. Since I was on dirt, I put the chairs up on two pieces of wood so I could get the bottoms of the chairs without dirt sticking to the fresh paint(I forgot to with the first chair pictured above).

You’ll want to make sure you’re painting on a calm(not windy) day that isn’t too cold. Check the specifications on the back of the can to make sure it’s a good environment to paint in.

Chalk paint advertises that there is little prep work involved so I wanted to see how well it would hold up on these chairs without sanding anything off so I got to painting!


I did three coats of paint on each chair. Making sure to follow the listed instructions to paint. To do the bottoms of the chairs I flipped them over after drying to make sure I didn’t miss any spots. & believe me… there were so many times I thought I got every spot until I found another that I missed.

Once they looked good and were completely dry, I went for the Matte Clear finishing spray(shown below). I did about 6 coats on each chair. Yes, 6 coats. I really wanted to be sure these wear sealed and I wanted them to have a chance at holding up. I will be updating this post later with how they held up.

I used the 2X Coverage Matte Clear General Purpose Spray for this project because I couldn’t find the Chalked Clear Matte Spray in stock anywhere. It is available on Amazon or you can find it at Home Depot. For this project I bought 3 cans and it even gave me enough to use on the table top!

This stuff is awesome! The finish is beautiful and it dried super quick. That’s all for the chairs! Once they were dry they were good to go.


On to the table!

Next, I moved on to the table. I wanted to make sure I had the table legs the color I wanted them first. Luckily they were already white and I just sanded with 220 grit in some spots where there were paint drips or gum under the table from the previous owners (eww…David!). I went over some of the corners with the sander to add some antique-look to it and that was it.

If you wanted to paint the legs of the table, now would be the time to do it because you wouldn’t want to get the top of the table how you want it just to accidentally get paint on it while you’re working on the legs! You should be able to follow the same process as I used on the chairs for the legs.


Since my legs were done, I moved to the top. This thing had LAYERS of gray paint and sealant and stain on it but it came right off with a fresh 60 grit sanding pad. Once I had all of it off, I sanded with 80 grit, 120, then 220 to make it nice and smooth. This is essential to making sure the top takes the stain well and you have a nice surface at the end of this.

Before I stained, I applied this Varathane Pre Stain Wood Conditioner. This stuff is a game changer! It keeps the stain from being blotchy, streaky, and uneven on your projects. From the description, “Works on interior soft wood surfaces including pine, maple, alder, fir and birch”. If you want your stain to look good, you need this liquid gold. I use it on all of my projects.

All you do is apply is with a clean cloth or clean paintbrush(I used a paintbrush because I like it better) and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before staining.


Then I grabbed the Espresso Wood Stain from MinWax I had sitting around from previous projects and applied it using an old clean rag in a well ventilated area(wear gloves! I seem to forget these at the store every time. EVERY time). I made sure to look out for any spots where it was uneven, buffed it out, and let it dry overnight.

In the morning, I made sure the top was clear of any dust that might have settled on it overnight with a damp cloth. I got the legs clean too and moved the table to an area to spray the clear matte top coat on.

Make sure to put the table on piece of wood or something to make sure it’s up off of the ground if you’re spraying it in an area with dirt like I was.


I started by spraying the top and tried to make sure I kept shaking the can during the entire process to avoid clogging. I put 6 coats on the top of the table and about 3 on the bottom. Since the bottom is antiqued, I wouldn’t mind if it got a little banged up by the chairs. It would add character to my farmhouse-esque table(and that’s why I love this style).

Once dried, I moved it to the basement and I will be updating how it holds up. I absolutely love the look of the matte top coat on the stained wood. I usually use a polyurethane, but depending on how it holds up, this may be my new go-to!

Let me know if you ended up trying any of my tips, & please include pictures. I hope you enjoyed following along this project with me!