Flea Market Flip: From Dull Storage Unit to Rad Record Cabinet

Girl, put your records on, because we've got a DIY project that's full of nostalgia.

It’s Flea Market Flip Theme Week on I Heart HGTV! All week, we’ll be sharing our best thrifting tips and makeovers. Come back every day for a new take on upcycling.

It might not be Thursday, but it already feels like #TBT to me. With everyone watching Netflix's series "Stranger Things", reading the latest rendition of "Harry Potter" and playing Pokemon GO, it's difficult not to feel nostalgic.

Inspired by the retro-chic trend, I decided to do a little throwback of my own for this week's Flea Market Flip challenge. Read on to see how I transformed a dull storage unit into a rad record cabinet.

Resized Record Cabinet

Photo by: Liz Gray

Liz Gray

The Before

Because my taste leans more midcentury modern, I was naturally drawn to the idea of a record cabinet. Simple yet bold in shape, a cabinet would easily fit in my small apartment and bring character to the space.

The one I found at a local antique store was, admittedly, a little lackluster. Coated in whisper gray, the piece was almost unnoticeable surrounded by all of the other vintage furniture.

Cabinet, Before

Before Image of Record Cabinet

Cabinet, Before

Detailed Before Shot of Record Cabinet

Before Image of Record Cabinet

Detailed Before Shot of Record Cabinet

Still, beneath the dull varnish was a lot of potential. With a strong, boxy silhouette and sliding doors, all the cabinet needed was a fresh coat of paint and new hardware, which was ideal for a DIY newbie like me.

The Process

As far as DIYs go, flipping the cabinet was a painless process. After doing some research, I chose a geometric pattern for the doors, which would create visual interest without overwhelming the furniture.

With that plan in place, I then sanded the cabinet to make way for a new coat of stormy gray paint. While the cabinet was drying, I removed the doors, layered tape on top and painted the defined sections white, purple, dark gray and rose gold, respectively.

Record Cabinet, After

Comparison Image Record Cabinet
Liz Gray

Record Cabinet, After

Record Cabinet With Paint-Dripping Legs
Liz Gray

Comparison Image Record Cabinet

Photo By: Liz Gray

Record Cabinet With Paint-Dripping Legs

Photo By: Liz Gray

Because I chose a geometric pattern for the doors, I decided to balance the bold look with round hardware in softer colors. As a final unexpected touch, I added a paint-dripping effect on the legs, just for a little pizazz.

The Budget Breakdown

Allotted $100 for the total project, I decided to go ahead and spend $60 on the cabinet — because, truthfully, I wanted that midcentury modern look and was willing to pay to get it.

Luckily, my supplies were fairly inexpensive. After buying paint brushes ($5), five bottles of paint ($10), new hardware ($12) and stencil tape ($5) for a total of $32, I came in under budget with $8 to spare.

The After

As you can see, we've come a long way since the beginning.

Before, Plain and Dull

Before Image of Record Cabinet

After, Bold and Beautiful

Record Cabinet With Albums
Liz Gray

Before Image of Record Cabinet

Record Cabinet With Albums

Photo By: Liz Gray

What I Learned

You don't have to settle for less if you have a specific piece in mind. Thanks to antique shops, thrift stores and flea markets, you can likely find whatever you're looking for at a good price. You just have to shop around.

Sand the you-know-what out of your cabinet. Then sand it again. Going into this project, I had no idea that sanding was a necessary step in helping paint stick to wooden furniture. So, I impart this wisdom unto you.

Don't be afraid to go bold. Seriously, I can't recommend this enough. Bold colors (or even a bold pattern) can really bring new life and style to an old design.

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