Vintage Medicine Cabinet Door Upcycle

A while back I was given a vintage medicine cabinet door from my husband’s grandparents old home. It didn’t include the cabinet. I just had the door. Since the door was mirrored and the wood frame was old, I made a plan to upcycle it. I could use a mirror on one of our cabin dressers, so I went to work making the cabinet door a little more presentable. Since all I needed to do was refinish the wood, my cabinet door upcycle was a simple one.

To start, the entire cabinet door was painted green, including the hinges and the knob. The paint was so thick, dark, and messy, that I almost felt like scrapping the project and just buying a new mirror. However, where is the fun in that? So I went ahead with the process and am pretty glad that I did.

Medicine Cabinet Door Before

Here what I started with. It really amazes me sometimes how paint was just slapped on back in the day.

medicine cabinet door before

To make matters worse, there was also paint on the glass. Luckily paint is easy to scrape off of glass but I wasn’t so sure about the general film all over the glass. It looked like it had been that way for a very long time.

First Step: Sanding Of The Knob And Hinges

Before I did anything with the wood frame, I wanted to see what the finish of the hinges and knob were going to be like. I started sanding the knob first and I was happy with the patina I was getting on the metal. To get through the thick paint, I started with a medium grit sand paper and then switched over to a fine grit.

sanded medicine cabinet door knob

I was liking the mixture of colors with the black, gray, and gold. Because of that, I didn’t paint over metal. I just buffed the metal out with turtle wax when I was done sanding. Then I went to work on the hinges.

before and after of sanded hinge

The patina of the hinges wasn’t exactly the same as the knob but they would blend fine. I was really glad to be done sanding all of the metal. Once I started on the wood, it was a breeze.

Finishing Steps

Although I sanded the loose and thick areas of paint off of the wood frame, I did not bring it down to bare wood. Once I had a smooth enough finish, I just painted over the remaining green with a couple coats of flat white paint. Of course I couldn’t just stop there. Since I had some vintage number stamps, I decided to stamp the zip code for the farmhouse that this came out of.

The cabinet door upcycle was not finished until I did something about that foggy glass. I have had good luck with Goo Gone in the past and decided to use that to get the majority of film and grime off the mirror. After spraying on the Goo Gone, I worked the grime off with a razor blade and paper towels. The last step was to go over the glass with window cleaner. It is basically back to being a new mirror now.

vintage medicine cabinet door upcycle

It now makes a fun and sentimental accent to my cabin dresser. Even though it took a little elbow grease to complete the cabinet door upcycle, it was definitely worth it for the character.

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Creating rustic styling on a budget by giving new life to old things and using the beauty that is already found in nature. Read more about me.
  1. Great job!!! Thank you for linking up to the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop linky party. Hugs and wishes for a lovely week ahead. P.S. The new giveaway has started!

  2. Wow! That’s looks so great! Can’t wait to see how you decorate with it, either in your home or at your cabin! Thanks!

  3. Good For You! I LOVE that you saved a part of the family farm memories by keeping the door to the medicine cabinet. Your completed project looks so nice! My husband grew up in the house built in the late 1800’s by his grandfather. Also a farming family. I have incorporated many of the great “finds” into our home decor and love that they have such meaning. So nice to re-cycle from the past! I love your ideas and input.

    1. Thanks Gwen! I’m glad that you were able to use some of your family treasures in your decor as well 🙂 It definitely is nice to be able to re-use those items from the past!

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