Retro TV Cabinet Repurposed (Bar Cabinet)

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This ReStore retro TV cabinet was recently repurposed into a bar cabinet for storage and serving. The perfect use for it!

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Oh my, this one is finally done! I’m so excited to share it today.

But first, let me say a huge thank you for chiming in on what you think I should do on that little seat turned footstool that I shared on Tuesday.
You guys are the absolute best! You make me see things in a totally different light and also give me feedback with ideas I hadn’t considered.
I got some great feedback and it was so appreciated…so, thank you again. :)


Okay, so I’ve had this one for a couple of years and finally decided to tackle it. I knew when I found this old retro TV cabinet, that I wanted it to be a “bar cabinet”.
I mean it was just perfect for that use. Although it really could be used for so many things.

I also knew it would be a little bit more involved makeover.

And that it was! I’ve been working on it off and on for weeks. (maybe months? lol)
Maybe you saw it over on my Instagram Stories here and there?? I’ve shared snippets of it as I’ve been doing it.
Be sure to follow along over there as I share new finds, things I’m working on in real-time and more!

Anyway, I am SO thrilled that it’s finally done…because, well, it’s done and because it can get it out of the family room. (taking up space I don’t have ;) )

This tutorial/post is going to be longer and a little more picture heavy than most, so keep that in mind as you are scrolling/reading.
I had to end up creating collages for a bunch of the process photos to save space and load time.

Retro TV Cabinet Repurposed To Bar Cabinet

Here’s how it began…

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

You can see how dirty and gross it was. I think it had been in some water possibly at some point. (check out the side of it there)

Here’s why I think that. ;)

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

All 4 legs had to be clamped and glued because they were all split.

I also did some filling in with wood filler where it chipped off completely.

Here’s the inside…

There were some holes showing through the inside from the back so instead of replacing the whole back piece, we added wood panels from the inside.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Nice and who cares about what the back looks like, right?? (haha, stay tuned ;) )

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

But I hated the way the back looked (even though no one would ever see it most likely).  As you can see below…I had already painted the rest but ended up finishing up the back too because YUCK.
So I filled the holes with wood filler, sanded it and painted it too.
You can’t do all that work on the rest and leave the back looking like this, y’all.
You just really can’t.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover


Sadly I forgot to take a photo of the back-painted. But trust me, this thing is blue all the way around. ;)

Want to see some of these projects in “live” time? Hop on over and follow along with me on INSTAGRAM. I’m always sharing in my stories as I’m doing projects, finding new furniture, fun finds….just all the day to day behind the scenes. 

I painted the inside first with the black paint (linked above, everything is linked above).

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

So much better.

And look…

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

I hated to paint over that but there really was no way to keep it.
I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff so it pained me to paint this.

And before you get upset with me painting that pretty wood finish on the outside…

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

…it was not real. It was a very, very thin veneer (paper??) that mimicked the look.
So, this one was a prime piece for paint. Yep!

And painted…

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Oh but wait. Let me back up for a minute.
I wanted to paint this Aubusson Blue. Well, I ran out of it.
So I ran down to my local shop and surprise, surprise, it was no longer there! lol
Well, hmm, I was ready to paint and didn’t want to wait to drive further or order online so I decided to use some chalky powder I’d bought long ago and never tried yet.
I ran up to The Home Depot and had them match my Aubusson Blue I had left in a small can of FLAT paint then came home and added the chalky powder stuff.
(it’s also linked above in the “Materials List” box if you are interested)
I mixed it up per the directions and painted it up….like a dream. Really happy with this paint and chalky powder stuff!

Are you new to chalk painting?? This post might be helpful to you >>> “How To Chalk Paint Furniture & More (tips & tricks I’ve learned!)

I loved the blue color but wasn’t loving the flat look of it. Nope.
I wanted something with more dimension like this blue armoire I painted years ago.
You can see it here >>> Armoire Transformed Twice … yes, something like this.

So I took some white paint, watered down, and applied it to the center of the doors.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

I know it looks crazy but trust me, it will be okay.

Just keep working it in and around, adding water, if needed to thin it out or lighten it up.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Still looks kind of crazy, but I just kept working it, lighter in the center, darker towards the edges.
I then went back in and added some watered down blue to help blend it where needed.
I didn’t take a picture before I started adding the gold graphic lettering so you’ll just have to wait to see it all finished to see how this part turned out. ;)
Sorry, it’s so hard to do this in live time, stop, grab the camera, take photos, then go back before it all dries up and is unworkable.

I’m hoping to create a way to share these types of tutorials and makeovers with you in a whole new way soon….so stay tuned for that!!

After that was done, I decided to give the rest of this old retro TV cabinet a little more white paint….only the edges though.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

I just simply took the same brush with the watered down paint on it and lightly swiped it over every single edge.
Just a hint of white paint was all I wanted to soften this piece.

While I would love to dissect each and every photo in this collage below, it’s just going to make this already long post unbearable to read!
And scroll through with all the photos so follow along below with the corresponding numbers.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

But first, let me link up the graphic I used. You can find it here >>> French “Wine & Spirits” Graphic

  1. I used my $35 Craigslist find (over 8 years now!) used overhead projector to project the image onto the retro TV cabinet. (I printed the graphic out on clear printer paper but you can take it to Office Max and have them print it for you.
  2. I used a yellow watercolor pencil (since I’d be using gold paint) to trace the lettering, etc.
  3. The grapes were blurry so I printed out the graphic on a piece of paper and taped it to the cabinet so I could go by it also. I had to mostly eye those and draw/paint what I saw on the printed paper versus the overhead projector.
  4. All transferred and ready for gold paint.
  5. Using an artist’s script liner brush and gold paint to paint in the graphic.
  6. Painting in with the gold paint.

Don’t have a projector?? Here are a few other ways you can transfer images >>>> How to Transfer Graphics

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Once that was all dry, I sealed the entire piece up with 2 coats of my favorite top coat.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Up next…hardware.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

I considered changing it all out completely but actually didn’t mind the way these looked.
And the top ones were perfect as they were small and would not really detract from the design there.
I sprayed them with gold spray paint and then went over them with gold gilder’s paste.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Can you see that yummy dimension I added with that white paint now?? (top and bottom)

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Ready to see the inside??

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

How fun is that??

Okay, so the knobs there. There were holes where the old TV knobs were that I had planned to add some cool crystal doorknobs etc., to.
But, I couldn’t find any that would work. And when you close those doors, there is not much space (at all) between the door and the far right and far lift edge of the doors.

So I came up with the idea to decorate the holes up pretty with these…

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

  1. I found some round wood medallions from Michael’s and got those silver knobs from ReStore cheap!
  2. I spray painted the knobs with the same gold paint/and gilder’s paste I used on the rest of the hardware. Then used this lacy gold ribbon I also found at Michael’s to cover the blue painted medallions.
  3. It wasn’t wide enough so I simply cut it and used Mod Podge to glue it to the medallions.
  4. Perfect! Once glued you can not even tell.
  5. I glued the medallions and knobs to the retro TV cabinet with this glue.

I laid it on its back so the knobs wouldn’t slide around while it was drying. (they’re heavy)

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

I figure the knobs keep a little of the original “retro TV cabinet” look. Right?

Now let me tell you about those recipe prints.

Well, first, you can find them here >>> Cocktail Recipe Prints

I simply purchased them, downloaded the size I needed to a thumb drive, drove down to Office Max and had them print them out in nice heavy, shiny cardstock paper.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

  1. Downloaded and printed prints.
  2. I used Mod Podge to attached them to the doors. Added a little tape to hold them down while they dried.
  3. Oopsy…big ole nope. Not smart as the tape pulled the shiny finish off my nice, heavy paper. I underestimated how tough I guess I thought that paper finish was. Bummer.
  4. I had planned to frame them anyway, but couldn’t come up with anything thin enough. (remember I said further up that the space is tight between the door and inside of the cabinet?? And then I came up with the idea to use nice, thin vinyl to mimic a frame. I used my cutting mat to cut the precise size. (this was needed as it cuts them perfectly)

All “framed” out and done. No more ripped “oops” paper showing.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

I did have to make the “frame” thicker than I had planned because of that dumb tape mistake but oh well, it all worked out okay in the end.

Plenty of room inside for some glassware on the top shelf and this pretty gold tray filled with whatever you like on the bottom.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

And the bottom doors open to another nice storage area…

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

The doors on this old, retro TV cabinet fold all the way back to the sides so it is great for keeping them out of the way when you have company over or if space is tight.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Just pull the door around when you need a recipe to make that special drink.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Use the top of the bar cabinet too, it’s the perfect height.

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Now a few more finished photos…

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

I totally forgot to mention that I have used this graphic before. Have you seen it?
Do you remember which piece??
In case you don’t, it’s this one right here >>> Estate Sale Sideboard
Go look if you haven’t seen it! It’s the same….but totally different. hee hee

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Up close…

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

I love the gold and blue. Maybe I should’ve called this my “glam” retro TV cabinet turned bar cabinet.

Either way, it’s a fun one and one I am SO glad to be done with!! haha…no really. ;)
A labor of love was this one for sure. And I am gifting it to my daughter as she moves into a new home she is very excited about.
This will go perfectly with it and I can’t wait to see it there.

Be sure to pin this one to save it!

Retro TV Cabinet TURNED Bar Cabinet! Perfect for this!! #barcabinet #retrotvcabinet #vintagetvcabinet #tvcabinetrepurposed #repurposedmakeover

Whew! This one took some time and I had a few hiccups along the way but I think it turned out pretty well.

If you ever come across a retro TV cabinet like this, bring it home and turn it into a designer storage space for whatever you like!
Many uses for an old piece like this. I love that we are able to use it again instead of it ending up in the landfill.
It’s all glammed up and ready to be re-loved. :)

Be sure to stop back by next week when I share what I did to this!

UPDATE!! See it now, here!!

Happy weekend my sweet friends!!



  1. Wow Nancy, you really did a great job with this piece. Love your perfect paint match plan! :) The graphic is so fun on this piece. So much detail and you created a real gem.
    Have a great weekend!

  2. This is absolutely stunning! You nailed it! What a lucky daughter to receive such a beautiful heirloom made with so much love. And, I have to say, you don’t look old enough to have a daughter old enough to live on her own, let alone have her own custom bar.😉

    1. Thank you, Jerri! And aw, yes, I am! She is 26…and I am double that! lol But thank you so much! Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

  3. Terrific Look! You have amazing taste. I love how you added the depth with the white wash and the gold stencil and gold hardware makes the cabinet pop.. Thanks for sharing. Your hard work has certainly paid off and what a lucky daughter to receive this re-refurbished and re-loved TV cabinet. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Sue! I am so happy I decided to add that extra depth too. Really makes a difference, doesn’t it? So much you can do with paint and probably why I love it so! :) And yes, my daughter is so excited to get it! Have a wonderful weekend! xo

  4. You done good girl! BTW, that paper stuff you referred to is called “photo finish”. It IS actually a paper somewhat like contact paper.

    1. Hee, hee, thank you, Linda! :) And oh!! Thank you, I think I’ve heard of that before. I knew it had a more technical name than what I was giving it! ;) xo

  5. Fantastic job! One of my favorites that you have done and I love that you give full instructions on this one to anyone who wants to do something similar. Great blog for this one. Thanks!

    1. Thanks so much, Terry! I do hope the instructions are easy to follow. It’s hard sometimes to show all that I do in words. Hoping to change that a little soon though! :) xo

    1. Thanks, Diane, yes, that part is either a love it or hate it part. But I had to do something with those holes and this is what I came up with. Sort of a playback to the TV that was. :) xo

  6. Oh wow I know you are SO happy to be done with this cabinet!! It looks amazing and I love that you turned it into a bar!! Your daughter will love it!! XOXO

  7. Wow! No wonder it took you so long to get to this one, Nancy. It turned out amazing. I also love to find “artifacts” on furniture, but you can’t always work around them to leave them visible. Sometimes I think about taking taking a picture and sticking it on the bottom so someone will find it some day, but I’m probably more sentimental about it than some future owner. What a lovely gift for your daughter’s new home!

    1. Thanks, Marcie! Yes, I am so glad someone understands that! I really love the idea of taking a photo and putting it on the bottom. That is brilliant! I hadn’t ever thought to do that. And yes, you and I are probably both more sentimental about it than anyone who finds it in its new state. :) Happy weekend to you!! xoxo

  8. I think this is one of the cutest bars I’ve ever seen. I love what you did for the old TV knobs. I was wondering what you were going to there – perfect solution. The colors are so beautiful too

    1. Thanks, Kimberly! I think those knobs are kind of fun and sort of a play on the whole “TV” part of it. ;) Thanks again and happy weekend to you! xoxo

  9. I have read this several times and see something new each time. Your detailed instructions are wonderful! Love the blending of colors and the gold pieces. Do you sign your work? This turned out perfect and I’m sure your daughter will be proud to use it in her new home. XOXO

    1. Oh, that’s so great, Cecilia! (it’s a really long one this time!) No, I never sign my work. I hadn’t even thought to do that. She is thrilled to have it! I can’t wait to see it at her new home. :) Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

  10. I am so impressed with your work on this old TV cabinet. So glad I read everything and looked at your photos of your ‘how-to’ on this. I have a large entertainment piece we used for more than 20 years before we put it out in the garage. After 15 years of being in the garage it still looks good and is in perfect condition except for one small pane of stained glass panel broken. I have been asking my kids to move it to the curb for trash pick-up, but they never get around to it.
    Now I know exactly what I’m going to do. Well, not exactly….think I will look around and get ideas on how I can re-purpose it.
    You have got me inspired!

    1. Thank you so much, Dennie! I love that it has inspired you on your piece! That’s so great. :) And yes, those are great for repurposing too! Have fun with it!

  11. Man, you’re good! That paint technique and graphic is perfect for this piece.

    PS. How do you get a real photo instead of an icon in the comment section?

    1. Aw, thanks, Lizzy! :)
      Hmm, I know mine and others come up because we have signed up through Wordpress blogs. I think you might be able to set up a “gravatar” without a site though as well, here, I think all you need is an email (and password to set it up) that you will use for all comments. Once set up, it will show up anywhere you post with that associated email address. :)

    1. Thanks, Paula! I’m gifting it to my daughter and she’s going to use it in the new place she’s moving into! :) xo

  12. Wow Wow…..that’s all I could say as I read and viewed this post. That old tv cabinet is smiling now!. You did a magnificent transformation; I agree with finishing the back also. If you’re doing a total make over like this……..the back (even tho it won’t be seen), must be finished also (even if it’s just for your own personal satisfaction). It turned out beautiful; you should be proud.

    1. Aw, thanks, Carol! Yes, I do believe it might be smiling now too! :) You are so right about that. Just knowing it’s gorgeous on all sides, whether anyone sees it or not, means the world! Thanks again!! xoxo

  13. It’s beautiful! I love the attention you paid to each and every little detail. when I first saw the completed photo, I immediately thought “I love the movement and dimension in the blue paint.” You did a fantastic job showing how you achieved that and it was well worth your extra work.

  14. Sometimes the most time consuming pieces turn out to be the most glamorous. What a fab job you did on that charming piece. And so nice to gift it to a family member…

    1. You are so right, Robin! I’m so happy it’s staying in the family! Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

  15. Nancy, you completely turned this piece around and you can just tell that alot of love went into it. I was thinking i sure hope she keeps this so i’m so glad you are giving it to you daughter. They did a great job with color matching and you did a great job with the highlighting. It is just a pretty and fun piece. Tell me true, did you like the chalk powder or whatever it is called? Great transformation.

    1. Thanks, Cheryl! Yes, this one is staying in the family! And I’m so happy about it. :) I really did like the chalk powder. I am going to try it on another piece to confirm though, so stay tuned! :) xo

  16. What a gorgeous piece, Nancy! I love that it will be the perfect “bar”/ storage for your daughter’s new home. When I find my cabinet, there will be one slight modification. I plan to use the bottom storage space for wine storage and build cubbies for the bottles below. I don’t have a ton of space and I would love to have all of the bottles stored behind those beautiful doors. Is the cabinet deep enough for this? I’m on the hunt now. Thanks for the inspiration!!

    1. Thank you, Mary! She is so thrilled to get it! :) I love the idea you have for the bottom. Yes, I think that would work great! Have fun hunting! :) xo

  17. This is such a transformation Nancy!! It’s beautiful. I love the color and the way you did the gold lettering on the front. Everyone can use a bar cabinet, this is a one of a kind. Good work!! As always you inspire me!

  18. Thanks Nancy, I have an old 1990’s TV cabinet that I will be doing this to also. I’ve had it around since I bought it new and stripped the cabinet out on the inside and we use it for a junk catcher. We have a small wine collection and I collect Bourbon. This cabinet will make the perfect bar so I can get my collection stored properly. I appreciate your article, pictures and guidance.
    Gene ..

    1. Perfect for bourbon! Love that idea. And I am so glad my project here was helpful to you, good luck with yours! :)

  19. W😮W! How beautiful! What a transformation, and inspirational! What a lot of work. Congratulations on an epic work, You give us energy and ideas, to take on projects we might have been avoiding.
    That’s a superpower influence! 🤗

  20. Still an amazing favorite makeover! I love this Nancy. And the way you made the paint really sing on the front. You made this into a gem that sings!!

  21. I know this post is old but I just found it and I love the color!! The idea of turning it into a bar cabinet was brilliant too. I have a small kitchen cart I was thinking of doing the same somehow but I haven’t figured out how just yet. When I saw those holes in your cabinet where the old TV knobs were, I thought initially they were for wine bottle storage. Yanno, when they lay on their sides and the hole holds the neck of the bottle? Lol I didn’t realize it was a TV cabinet at first lol it came out very beautiful ❤️ hope you’re doing well and have a nice weekend!

    1. Oh my gosh, yes, those knobs do look like that and that would make perfect sense! ;) Thank you so much for the kind words, Maddy! Have a wonderful week! xo

      1. You’re so welcome! And I hope you have a wonderful week too. I can’t wait to see your new creations 😊:)

  22. What a great job saving that eye sore ugly old piece!!!!! It is the PERFECT size for a bar cab!

    Well done- looks amazing.

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