Cabinet Makeover: from Folk Country to French Country

This tutorial was featured at Tips and Tutes Not to Miss at

I’ve been wanting to makeover this little cabinet for awhile now.

The only thing that held me back was that it was a custom made piece by one of my favorite local word-working shops, The Barn Loft. Call me craftsman-loyal, I hated to ‘mess’ with something that was handcrafted with such care.

That folksy-country look was really ‘in’ at the time  – about 10 years ago. But those carved hearts now felt dated,  and the brown stain no longer matched with my lighter, more airy decor.

But I felt it was worth salvaging, since there was lots I still loved about it, like the exposed hinges, and the chicken wire; not to mention the extra storage.

To stay around, there was a list of things that HAD to go, starting with the paint colour. I purchased Behr’s Premium Plus Ultra (with the primer built in) in Coastal Beige. This is an awesome creamy white colour.  I just love painting furniture with Behr paints.  For me, there is no comparison.

Next to go – the pine, painted knobs.  Since I was going for more of a french country look, I decided to swap them out for pretty glass knobs.

And, finally, those kitchy country hearts would have to be concealed somehow.  I was stumped for awhile, until I found these sweet little accents at Home Depot, and thought they were the perfect size and style to hide the heart-shaped holes.

All in all, I spent about $50 on supplies – $20 on paint, $20 on knobs, and $10 on the accents.

Here’s some shots of the my work-in-progress.

So long little country hearts!

And, here’s the finished product!

With a little paint, these accents worked out so well!
A little distressing to keep the look aged and chippy.

Isn’t it funny how some silly hang ups hold us back from making lovely changes in out homes?   I wish I had painted this sooner!  It really lightens up my living room.

Until next time, happy decorating.

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  1. Heidi Hodder says

    Hi there! I just discovered your blog yesterday and love the inspiration! This one in particular really caught my eye, as I was planning on doing the same type of idea with some older bedroom furniture. Only thing is, its not the pure wood type, but has that plasticy/shiny feel on top like your typical bedroom furniture. Would this still be ok to do, or would you have any type of recommendations? Also, where are the glass knobs from..LOVE them!!! Thanks!!!!

    • Kerri says

      Thanks so much Heidi! I know that you can definitely paint that kind of furniture if you sand and prime it first. I haven’t done a piece like that myself, but I’ve seen projects like that online. You’d probably need to go about distressing it with a glaze, rather than with sandpaper since it isn’t real wood. I’m not a painting expert by any means, but there are a few blogs that I would highly recommend for that kind of advice: Shawna at Perfectly Imperfect and Marian at Miss Mustard Seed specialize in refinishing old pieces so you might want to try those. The glass knobs are from Home Depot, I think! Good luck with your project. Hope you’ll drop back again! ~Kerri

  2. Cassi says

    I love this. I have a bench I have been holding back from changing for that same reason (and same hearts). Now I can't wait to change it

  3. Amanda@RelovedRubbish says

    Wow, this is a total transformation – it looks like a different cabinet! I love the way it turned out! Tres chic!


  4. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage says

    Great idea~ and wonderful way to change it and gives it the look you love now! Thanks for sharing at FNF! :)

  5. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage says

    It really came out darling- great way to change it and get the look you love! Very pretty- thanks for sharing at FNF!: )

  6. Pamela says

    That was ingenious!! I have seen the heart motif and have always wondered how I would cover the hearts up! You did a fantastic job and this piece is truly lovely!

  7. Heaven's Walk says

    Hi Kerri-Lynn! Wow!!!! What an amazing transformation! That sweet cupboard looks soo Frenchy now! Ingenious idea with covering the heart holes. Luv luv luv it!!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  8. Anne says

    It looks wonderful! You didn't detract from it at all, its perfectly suited for that sweet style.

  9. Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy says

    You did a fantastic job on the finish! Gorgeous, and I love the sparkly knobs!

  10. ShantyGirl says

    This piece really stands out in your room now and is beautiful. I have a cabinet for my daughter that had a country heart on it and well can I steal/borrow your ideal? What a way to make a piece completely awesome!

  11. Miranda says

    I love what you did. What a brilliant way to cover up the country hearts! The whole piece looks awesome! Great work!

  12. Kerri says

    OMG, Lynette, that's karma! Don't tell him, haha. Now I feel super guilty…well, not really, I like it so much better now. And you can tell him that the piece was so well-built I kept it, rather than selling it when it no longer matched my decor! Thanks for dropping by – still waiting for you start a blog around here to show off all your lovely projects ;-).


  13. Lynette says

    Hi Kerri-Lynn! Wow, you're always busy!! Please tell me your secret for how you manage to accomplish so much! Well, I'm telling my good friends Clyde and Sandra Matthews from the Barn Loft that you painted their cabinet;-) They are actually good friends of Keith's parents, and we know and visit them every time we are in NL! Clyde would be proud! He loves to experiment with new finishes, and probably built your little cabinet. AWESOME job!