Vintage Cabinet Makeover With Unicorn Spit and Wood Stain

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I ordered a small, 4oz. bottle of Unicorn Spit several months ago and it’s just been sitting in my workshop. I also have several cans of different wood stains and I’m not one to throw anything away. There’s always a need for leftovers in my workshop. Time for a cabinet makeover!

This time around, I didn’t have to build a thing. I have this simple, glass door cabinet that my dad built for me nearly 10 years ago. It was originally used as storage in a very outdated bathroom in my rental. Of course, it has sentimental value so I wasn’t going to part with it. And, like most of my pieces, I just wait to be inspired. This cabinet makeover is so easy, literally anyone can do it in less than a day.

Thanks to our friends at Rustic Duck Furniture, I was crazy inspired by her Vintage Turquoise Paint Technique and I’m so happy with the final results. I adapted her technique to create my own look, which I encourage you to do – practice on some scrap wood pieces. I used only about 2oz. of Unicorn Spit and very little leftover wood stain I had from other projects.

Create a vintage look using Unicorn Spit and wood stain.

My favorite part about this project is, first and foremost, layers are key, so touchups are ideal! If you don’t like how a spot looks, just add more paint or more stain. You might notice that the drawers, shelves, and top of my “finished” piece are coated with polyurethane. I haven’t perfected the sides yet because I keep adding darker and lighter stained spots and layering them with more Navajo Jewel Teal Unicorn Spit.

How To Prep Your Furniture For A Vintage Makeover

Unless the piece that I’m working with is very delicate, I always start with a wipe down using TSP and water. If the furniture is very old, or has a lot of greasy or other tough buildup, then often you can use Mineral Spirits. Always wipe with clean water afterwards and let dry.

Use this technique to achieve a vintage furniture look

The best way to make the colors pop is to use this on bare wood. However, my cabinet was painted white which worked better, actually. I just rough sanded it with a 220 grit to deglaze it and prep for paint and stain absorption.

How To Achieve The Vintage Look

To apply the Unicorn Paint, I used a simple, cheap chip brush from Home Depot. I wasn’t looking for a smooth or perfect application. The chippier the better. You want it to look worn and like it’s been refinished several times. Like a rescue piece!

This cabinet makeover is simple enough to complete in less than a day

I used some torn cotton t-shirts over my finger to dip into and apply the stain. I used a darker stain, Varathane in Kona, and a lighter one, Varathane in Briarsmoke.

Before they would completely dry, I took a dry, lint-free towel and sort of dragged it across the surface to create more blending and feathering. Once the paint and stains dry – at least 24 hours – then apply wax or polyurethane.

A cabinet makeover with a rustic, vintage look

I definitely love the vintage, almost southwestern, look of the cabinet versus the solid white. I didn’t paint the inside or change the knobs because I like the way the white on the interior makes the color pop. And, other than having to buy my Unicorn Spit Gel Stain, I had everything else so it cost me next to nothing.

What do you think of the final result of my cabinet makeover?

Vintage cabinet makeover inspired by Rustic Duck Furniture



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