How to Brighten Your Dark Cabinets Without Electricity

How to Brighten Your Dark Cabinets Without Electricity
The end result, and I didn’t even have to make the grand mistake of painting an antique. *gives self pat on the back*

Tanner’s grandfather built this beautiful rosewood cabinet that’s been in his mom’s house for years. When we bought our first home (just over a year ago, time flies) it was the first piece we asked for. The cool tone of the wood and the etched panels in the cabinet doors are just too pretty to pass up.

Plus, Tan is the proud owner of about 400 books. I wish I was exaggerating, but truly, he has read just about every history book in America. And he likes to be able to see them all. Unfortunately, there are just too many. I’m able to keep most of them on display in the top of the cabinet, but the rest are hidden. You can find them in boxes in the closet, in lower cabinets, and still in my sister’s house. It will stay that way until I can afford to purchase him his very own library. So… not any time soon.

History books have notoriously dark covers (especially when you love reading about doom and gloom.) The cabinets themselves are pretty dark, even when positioned across from the biggest window in the living room. And to top it off, there are no holes for electrical wires in the back of this hefty piece of furniture to run lights. I’m definitely not willing to put holes in an antique, so I had to get creative. Turns out, the solution took less than two hours and only two steps. Let’s discuss.

How to Brighten Your Dark Cabinets Without Electricity
Before: A Whole lot going on with book binding, lots of different colors, and everything going in different directions. It drove me crazy to look at every day!

Two Ways To Bring Light Into Dark Cabinets

  1. Flip your books. Some people fundamentally disagree with this concept, especially avid readers. But let’s remember that Tanner has already read ALL of these books. Actually, about six of them are mine. I contribute! He likes to be able to see them so he can admire exactly how many books he’s read. But flipping them makes it a whole lot more impressive – he can see how many pages he’s read. Tens of thousands of pages of history text all neatly lined up in pretty shades of white. It satisfies my need for a less busy, eye-assaulting book storage system, and he gets to admire his accomplishments. Win-win.
  2. Get some cheap poster board. I picked up this idea from a friend who used emerald green poster board to brighten up an antique that she wasn’t willing to paint. (Bonnie, if you’re reading this, you are my interior design inspiration ALWAYS.) Pretty genius, if you ask me. I provide some more detailed instructions below, but let’s take a look at the before and afters.
Two Ways To Bring Light Into Dark Cabinets

How To Refresh an Antique Without Paint

This is for all you ladies out there who thought about chalk painting a perfectly good antique. Don’t do it. Put down the paint brush. I don’t care how easy it looked on Pinterest. You are about to ruin a perfectly good piece of furniture.

Then you just slide those bad boys in there and put your decorations back. Done and done. With the paint and running to the dollar store, it took me about two hours. Easy as all get out. Here’s the end result. Hope you enjoy, and if you try something similar, tag me in your stories!

How To Refresh an Antique Without Paint
How To Refresh an Antique Without Paint
How To Refresh an Antique Without Paint

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becs lynk

there's a first time for everything, and I share those firsts here every week. to chat one on one, follow me on Instagram @becs.lynk

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