Wood Curio Shabby Redo – DIY Tutorial

I found this awesome wood curio cabinet at a yard sale. I paid 10 dollars for it.  It’s ugly, but it’s got great bones! And it’s got hand carved wood palm trees!



It did have an ugly particle board backing, which I decided to pry off. This took some help from my room mate and a crow bar..


Then I cleaned the wood well with white vinegar and water to get the grime out of the crevices, and began to paint. Here’s all you need for this project-

A foam brush, Medium grit sandpaper, non-sanded grout, leftover water based paint, and miniwax finishing paste.

Let me start by saying I love Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  However, I cannot afford it, and have always been just as happy with the results using my own home made version. There are many different recipes, but here’s what I’ve been happiest with.

I found this white  paint in the return isle at my local Ace hardware. It’s always cheaper to buy paint that a homeowner or painter returned because they weren’t happy with the tint or what not. This 2 pint can cost me two dollars.

I mixed 1 pint of the paint with about two tablespoons of the non-sanded grout. Always mix until you are happy with the consistency. Always add a little water at a time. About a tablespoon. It you feel its still too thick, add another. Sometimes when working out in the hot sun, my mixture will start to feel like toothpaste and I’ll add more water..again. And again. I like to think of the proper consistency to be like that of Elmer’s glue.

curio paint

I ended up doing two coats, about two hours apart..


Then I sanded till I was happy with how it looked, cleaned well with my vinegar/water solution to remove any loose dust, and then waxed. You could use any wax for this, but I like a dark wax for a shabby look. I used Miniwax Finishing Wax Paste. Wipe on, make sure you get into all the crevices. Wait 20 minutes, and wipe off. Done. Ten dollars for this project, seeing as I had everything on hand leftover from other projects.

What I love most about this piece(besides the hand-carved details) is its versatility. Right now I have some of my favorite knick-knacks in there,  but can’t wait to fill it up for the holidays!





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