DIY: Cupboard Upcycled into a Bench

In this post I’m going to show you how I upcycled an old kitchen cupboard and into a bench-seat.

Kitchen cupboard before
Old kitchen cupboard before

Prep Work:

I started by cleaning the cupboard with hot water and Dawn dish soap. It’s important to get any grime and grease off the wood so that the paint will adhere better. I also removed the original door and legs since I planned to turn the cupboard on it’s side and use it as a bench.

Cleaning tools
Cleaning prep work


I opted for a Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Artissimo. This was my first time using a milk paint so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. I watched several YouTube videos, including those done by the Miss Mustard Seed company, just to get an idea of what I was in for.

This is definitely a more difficult paint to work with, due to the risk of clumping. Because it is a powder based paint that must be mixed with water, it’s important to continuously stir it throughout the painting process. If the paint does settle it could result in a different color range than what you originally started with, and who wants a splotchy finish?

I did 2-3 coats, depending on the area, to get the coverage I wanted. The nice thing about this paint is the super quick drying time!!

Miss Mustard Seed colors
Miss Mustard Seed Artissimo


To ensure this paint doesn’t rub off or fade over time it’s important to seal it. I opted for a hemp oil seal to help rejuvenate the old wood as well as sealing it. This can get pretty messy if you aren’t careful just because it’s an oil, but the process itself is super easy. Pour a little on a dry cloth and rub directly onto the wood. To allow for drying time I waited to wipe it off until I had finished putting oil onto the entire piece.

Once I had the whole piece coated with oil, I took another dry cloth to wipe off the excess. I recommend doing at least 2 coats of sealant,but this depends on the original piece and personal preference.

Sealed with Hemp Oil
Sealing with Hemp Oil

Upcycled Cupboard turned Bench:

Since I was making this into a bench-seat, I also constructed a cushion out of foam and a cushion cover. To raise the beach up some I added legs that I sprayed with a rust-oleum in Oil Rubbed Bronze. I’m still planning on adding some baskets for storage but unfortunately I haven’t gotten around to this yet.

Upcycled cupboard
Cupboard upcycled to bench

Let me know what you think. What about you, have you ever worked with milk paint? If so, what are your thoughts on it?

For similar furniture painting projects check out How to Paint Your Island.

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