Apothecary Cubby gets “Antiqued” Farmhouse Style

You’ve been hunting and searching for some kinda antique item that is ever alluding you. My solution? Make one of your own. haha. Yes, it won’t exactly be the same and I’m stubborn enough to hunt one down in most instances. However, you can create the same effect, save money & time, plus gain some DIY skillz. This little apothecary cubby is a like-new item from a big box store. But…wait until you see what it can look like by creating a story.

Thrifted Drawer Cubby Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

I actually found this at the thrift store, and if you know me I’m a sucker for all things drawers – especially small, cute ones, like these. tee hee. If you’ve ever priced an item like this at a flea market or antique store, you know they are not cheap. Right?


This is when we pull up our big girl (or guy) DIY panties and make our own. Yes, you could even build one, but you can also take a modern day item and make it look old. I’ve shared before how I love to use layers of paint to age an item.

First, for this apothecary cubby, I wipe it all down with a rubbing alcohol to remove adhesive residue and dirt. Did you know you can tell if a paint is oil or latex based by using rubbing alcohol? If you rub it with rubbing alcohol and it comes off, it is latex.

Then, I use my Fan Brush to apply one coat of an antique white latex paint. I’m going to use this dark, faux wood, purple color as a base for my layering.

Painting Apothecary Cubby with First Coat of Paint | prodigalpieces.com

*post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love to use too. (see full disclosure)


Next, I use basic school glue applied in thick spots to make my next layer of paint crackle. You can also use a crackle medium, but in a pinch you can use this too. Apply it to spots where typical time-worn wear would appear (corners, around knobs, etc.)

Elmer's School Glue for Crackle Paint Technique | prodigalpieces.com

Applying School Glue for Crackle Paint Effect by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

The key is to apply it thick (but not too thick), and let it cure a bit. You can also use a heat gun or hair dryer to hasten this step. However, before the glue is completely dry, apply your next layer of paint brushing across the glue. Don’t go back and brush over and over again as this will disrupt the crackle.

Painting Aqua Blue on Apothecary Cubby by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

Again, I use my heat gun or hair dryer to make the crackles crack deep. You can see in my past posts the technique HERE.


Last, as soon as the paint and glue are cured, I take my putty knife horizontally and scrape off what willingly comes off. (edges, corners, etc.) Then, I apply a heavy coat of gray wax and buff to finish.

Here’s my cutie all fixed up and ready for just about any kinda fun storage you can think of. Aren’t those vintage-ish plaquettes fun? For today’s staging purpose, I’m sharing it in my kitchen. Fill it with teas, herbs and spices, or even snacks.

Vintage Style Apothecary Cubby by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor #farmhouse

Counter Top Apothecary Cubby for Home Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #home #homedecor #diy #farmhouse #cottage #industrial #storage

However, this is also perfect for bathroom, bedroom, art supplies, notions, garden seed…you get the idea. What would you use it for?

Chippy Aqua Blue Apothecary Cubby by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #diy #home #farmhouse #kitchen #homedecor

Tea Bag Apothecary Cubby Storage for Kitchen | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #kitchen #storage #diy #home #homedecor

Well, I’m downright smitten and hope you are too. Hopefully, you’ve picked up a few tricks that you can apply to most anything in your home. You are only limited by your willingness to try. That’s half the fun!

Chippy Blue Industrial Apothecary Cubby by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #storage #industrial #farmhouse #home #diy #homedecor

Painted Apothecary Cubby Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #home #farmhouse #vintage #diy #home #homedecor

If you’d like to make this a part of your home, you can find it and much more available in my online shop.

Shop Prodigal Pieces | shop.prodigalpieces.com

Also, pin and share my little apothecary cubby to inspire others to take their DIY skills to a new level. It’s fun!

Take those modern box store pieces and turn them into "antiques". Save & have DIY fun! Apothecary cubby by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces #home #farmhouse #storage #diy #homedecor

Up next, it’s Reduce, Reuse, REFASHION time! I’ll be taking this purse and making something new. See what became of an old leather purse HERE.

Reduce, Reuse, REFASHION series hosted by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Come learn to create for you and your home | prodigalpieces.com #prodigalpieces

Thrifted Leather Purse Before Upcycled by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.com

To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!

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A Child's Chest of Drawers Becomes Faux Card Catalog by Prodigal Pieces | prodigalpieces.comUgly outdated stand gets industrial apothecary cabinet makeover. Get the DIY steps by Prodigal Pieces here at prodigalpieces.com

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  • Frances


    January 23, 2020 at 5:43 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you. God is so good.

      January 23, 2020 at 6:00 am Reply
  • Barbara Booth

    It’s absolutely beautiful, I love it. What a wonderful piece of work. Your so talented.

    January 23, 2020 at 5:45 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Barbara. This was a blast to create. 😀

      January 23, 2020 at 6:00 am Reply
  • Barbara Booth

    I inherited my Dad’s roll top desk, it has some deep scratched i it, but I was wondering if this technique would look right on a piece this big. It’s not an antique, but it could really use some help. I really love the finish on your little cubby. Thanks for sharing this great technique.

    January 23, 2020 at 5:55 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Yes, it most certainly would. You can see a similar application on this chest I found curbside HERE. Have fun with it! 😉

      January 23, 2020 at 6:03 am Reply
  • Carolyn G

    This is WONDERFUL Larissa! It really does look old, so cute! So glad your tests were normal!! God bless you and your family 🙂

    January 23, 2020 at 5:56 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Thanks!! So fun to have at a modern piece and make it my style. Hugs!

      January 23, 2020 at 6:04 am Reply
  • Linda

    This is beautiful. I so look forward to seeing your transformations. You’re a ray of sunshine and an inspiration.

    January 23, 2020 at 8:04 am Reply
    • Larissa

      Linda, you just made my day. Thank you for the smile too. 😀

      January 23, 2020 at 8:48 am Reply
  • Kaycee

    Hi Larissa, thank you for keeping us updated on your health. I am praying for you to get the answers and treatment you need. Your so right God is good and he will see you through this.
    This is cubby is gorgeous. I love the colors, the distressing and those fun numbered tags are just the icing on the cake! Great work as usual girl!

    January 23, 2020 at 8:41 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I’m a sucker for little drawers…and lots of ’em. tee hee. Thanks for the love, Kaycee.

      January 23, 2020 at 8:49 am Reply
  • Marie

    Learned something new today about school glue – thanks for the tip! Now that apothecary cubby has some personality.

    January 23, 2020 at 1:06 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Sweet! Thank you, Marie. You know I had fun with this. 🙂

      January 23, 2020 at 4:11 pm Reply
  • Mary Loveland

    That little cabinet is so so cute! Job well done Larissa, keep it up!

    January 23, 2020 at 8:28 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Thank you, Mary.

      January 23, 2020 at 9:16 pm Reply
  • Becky

    That IS cute!!!

    January 23, 2020 at 10:18 pm Reply
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