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Upcycled Gun Cabinet Turned Bookcase Cupboard

Oh yeah…I’ve got a fun makeover today. Fun for you and a whole lotta elbow grease for me. yikes! Before I fill you in on the backstory to this post today, first, I want to just say I’m attempting an upcycled gun cabinet makeover for the record books. {{gulp}}

Handmade Gun Cabinet Before Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

So, the challenge is before me. However, I did not choose this challenge. Y’all, I am continually having to inform my husband how to not bring home a nightmare for me. Yes, YEARS of discussions and assumed understanding still gets me a hot mess of a gun cabinet. How?? How in the world does this happen over and over again. I believe there is some sort of translator that gets turned on whenever I talk…really.

Inside Gun Cabinet for Repurposing |


I sent him to (1) only buy this if it was made of solid wood (remember this project from 2017?), (2) not smoky smelling, and (3) worth an easy makeover. Not only did it not hit on any of those points, but he even said, “I think it may have a smoke odor”. I stare in silence as those words came out of his mouth as if in a time lapse waiting for laser beams to flash out from my eyes.  And…I hadn’t even looked at it yet. Does this ever happen to you?

Well, per my usual, I see it as a challenge and am such a sucker for a beaten up, stinky, broken thing. However, due to my physical setbacks I have put this off because I knew it would be a doozy.

Here’s the breakdown of it. Screws poking in and out, holes everywhere because they seemed to have attached it to something else. That would be because the door had ¼” thick glass in it that made it heavier than the unit itself. That means that when you open it, it falls on you. Guess how I figured that out?? {{head smack}}

Then, there’s the busted door on the bottom and all sorts of mish-mashed hardware trying to keep this thing together. Missing trim and jerry-rigged parts. A literal HOT MESS! What’s a gal to do? Pull on her her big girl work gloves and beat this thing apart!! hahaha!

DIY Work Gloves on Larissa of Prodigal Pieces |

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


Just for the record, I am out in 21° weather with four layers on and bundled like the Michelin man. What’s keeping me warm is my thoughts of what I’d like to do to my husband. ha! Just kidding…

First, the hole in the top needed remedied, so I grab a board out of my stash and fill in the gaps. I cut with my miter saw, trim with my jigsaw, and attach with my nailer.

Nailing Wood Cabinet with Ryobi Nailer |

Next, I build a base out of more lumber so that it would give this cabinet a base. I gave myself a pat on the back for figuring it out fairly quickly. It’s been months since my brain has dealt with miters and measurements. It felt good.

In addition, to the base, I also created crown molding for the top. I had to attach a piece of ply for it to attach to, but that was the easiest part of the whole deal. Not only did the outside need love, but also the interior. I punched out those strips on the bottom shelf to make it easy to clean. After that, I cut shelves from wood my brother gave me.

Last, but not least, I decided to put this tongue and groove paneling I bought off the clearance rack at the home improvement store. (always stop and check there…really!) Plus, I salvaged trim off the broken bottom door to replace the missing trim on the side. Here is my improved and upcycled gun cabinet in the works. Oh, and I haven’t even started the door yet…sigh.

Refreshed Gun Cabinet with Base, Moulding, and Paneling |

The door had hardware all over, hung incorrectly and basically needed rebuilt.

Door Handle Holes |


At this point I haven’t installed the shelves yet because it will be easier to paint the cabinet with them separate. Before I paint though, it’s time to break out my favorite Zibra paint brushes to apply a stain to the paneling and shelves. It’s the same Summer Oak I used on the vintage sewing desk I upcycled in this post.

Staining Upcycled Gun Cabinet Paneling in Bookcase |

For this, my Stubby brush handles the stain beautifully. I’m done in a few minutes and call it a day. I spent from 8:30 am to 6 pm out in that cold, so I had enough.

The next day, I head back at it sanding down all the wood filler I had filled in the day before. My sander and I had fun giving this ol’ thing a fresh slate. As soon as I felt it was ready for the finish work, I drag it inside for both of us to warm up.


Finally, it’s time to paint!! I’m so excited to be at this part of the makeover. It’s where I can see my vision coming to fruition – like the light at the end of a freezing tunnel. haha. I couldn’t decide on a color scheme because there are many ways I could have made this suit any style.

In the end, since I went with the light stain, I wanted to stick to that vibe. I’m using the same paint I have on my trim, bookshelves, and kitchen cupboards in my home.

Painting Upcycled Gun Cabinet with Zibra Paint Brush | #prodigalpieces

It’s called Slate Green with the most gorgeous color to match what I’m after with this project. Once the paint cures, I add a bit of wax for dimension and depth to all the features.


Huge sigh of relief because my upcycled gun cabinet is now complete. Check out my farmhouse cupboard reveal. {{applause}}

Rustic Farmhouse Cupboard from an Upcycled Gun Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #furniture #home #homedecor

Vintage Farmhouse Vignette Created by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #diy #vintage #home #homedecor

I’m super stoked it came out as I’d hoped, though I did have my moments of freakout-ness. Like…burn this baby!! eep.

Side View Farmhouse Cupboard from Repurposed Gun Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #vintage #farmhouse #furniture #home #homedecor

Farmhouse Upcycled Gun Cabinet DIY Fun by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #upcycled #vintage #furniture #farmhouse #home #homedecor

The interior now showcases the shelving I made, while the door is much more suited for this size of cupboard. Although that glass was beautiful and so thick, it was also super heavy. Chicken wire for the win! You can see how I’ve used it in past projects HERE.

Open Farmhouse Cupboard Upcycled Gun Cabinet by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #diy #home #homedecor

Aside from the color, my fave is the wood elements that are getting to shine.

Rustic Cupboard Created by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces from Repurposed Gun Cabinet | #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #diy #home #furniture #homedecor

Cozy Farmhouse Decor by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #farmhouse #home #homedecor

My goal each time I tackle a project like this is to inspire you. Maybe you have a project piece that is waiting for you to roll up your DIY sleeves and have at it?

If you’d like to make this farmhouse cupboard your own, you can find it and more in my online shop. (SOLD)

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Handmade Farmhouse Style Cupboard by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | #prodigalpieces #home #homedecor #farmhouse #furniture

Zibra and I are all about empowering you to take on your own DIY projects with confidence. We are giving away this amazing set of my favorite brushes to one of you.

Win this fantastic Zibra Paint Brush Prize with the giveaway by Prodigal Pieces | details at #prodigalpieces #giveaway #paint #furniture #diy #home #homedecor

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, do pin and share this upcycled gun cabinet. I have no doubt there are more like this who need a new lease on life. Right??

Amazing Upcycled Gun Cabinet turned Farmhouse Cupboard by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | DIY details at #prodigalpieces #diy #farmhouse #home #furniture #homedecor

Up next, I’ll be giving this pile of “stuff” a new lease on life. HEAD HERE.

Old Bread Pans Before Upcycle |

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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More projects like this upcycled gun cabinet:

Sweet! A worn out Winnie the Pooh Kids Play Table gets cute Modern Farmhouse Makeover by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces | Check out the DIY Video Tutorial at #prodigalpieces #kids #play #home #homedecor #homedecorideas #handmade #gifts #giftideas #furnitureFrom boring brown to ooh, la, la, this DIY French script vase is sure to please. DIY transfer method with handmade appliques make this project versatile. Full video tutorial by Larissa of Prodigal Pieces at #prodigalpieces #diy #vintage #home #homedecor

97 replies on “Upcycled Gun Cabinet Turned Bookcase Cupboard”

WOW! That gun; now storage cabinet is Awesome. Really like what you done to it. Great job Larissa.
If only I had a unit like that , that would fit in our bathroom.

What a makeover! So inspiring that you took a “piece of junk” and made it functional. Great job and so glad you are back at it and feeling better.

I love this!!!! I love the stained back panel and the paint color. I’ve been looking for a gun cabinet to do something like this and your makeover makes me want to do this even more.

Oh Larissa, YOU ROCK!! What a great job you did. Fantastic!!
BTW, I think ALL men have a non-functioning translator in their brain! I’ve worked with hundreds, so I know of what I speak. 🙂

Goodness, Larissa! You are amazing! Wishing I could send you several pieces for you to re-do, update, or recycle.

This is a gorgeous update into a useful and stylish piece of furniture! I love it! Another successful makeover!

Wow! You have such great vision to see what it can be, and then transforming it! (Kind of like our God, who sees what we can be, and begins the transformation!) I love the color along with the wood. You inspire me to go beyond the expected! Have a great week!

Not on your life. 😉 I am still not happy with his listening to me, especially after I put in 3 full days of hard, endless work. He’s no longer allowed to pick up stuff for me…really.

Oh Wow, what a great job!! I love the finished look! My husband is just like yours, lol. You made it work and turned it into a beautiful piece! Great color!! Hope you are feeling better and your health is getting better!

You’re correct Larissa, we have an unused gun cabinet in our stash too! Yours is an inspiration for us to climb in that storage area and somehow get it out! I love the color! Thanks!

Love the cabinet! The color is perfect. I have lots of half finished projects that just need some tlc. And a door that NEEDS to be painted. I’ll start there. Keep up the great work!

Wow, that is so beautiful! I love chicken wire every time I see it, but still don’t have even a scrap of it in my own house 😂

I would love to try recreating something like your beautiful cabinet. Just wondering what you used to attach the shelves?

What a wonderful save on a disaster of a piece. The colour is so yummy. How I wish I lived closer by so that I can purchase your fantastic work.

Another great save of a piece many would trash! I would love one like this but with the glass still on. I need to try the kreg jig. I am not sure if I can use it. I love zibra brushes. They give your pieces such a great look.

Your talent in saving pieces and seeing potential in them is amazing! I would have put this in the dumpster without a thought of being able to create such a beautiful and functional piece of furniture out of it! You inspire me to start looking outside the box and try to create something beautiful out of found things or cast away pieces. I LOVE your work!

You have such great talent! What most people would consider trash you have turned this into a beautiful piece of furniture!
If I win these brushes I will give them to my children and let them choose something they would like to redo!

You are such a master at taking something that is impossible and creating an item of beauty. My first project when I have finished my kitchen cabinets is to paint a little cupboard in the kitchen that needs a paint rehab.

Hi Larissa, well you have done it again girl! Wow, what a mess this gun cabinet was -ugh, of course, it was no match for you. I love the addition of shelves and the chicken wire to the door. This is gorgeous indeed.

Amazing!!! I just showed the before and after to my husband telling him, “This is my favorite furniture guru blog lady!” Your vision and talents continue to amaze me! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

She’s a beauty! I love watching what you will do next. I heave a bunch of old bread tins similar to those and can’t wait to see the project.

What an amazing makeover. I am so inspired by your work and just love the color! I would repaint a small bookcase if I won the Zibra Brushes!

This cabinet turned out amazing. The color is beautiful and the chicken wire is perfect. You do amazing work.

I know this must have been a huge amount of work, but it’s my favorite project you’ve done. It’s absolutely beautiful. Well done!

So it’s not just my hubby! Some days I wonder if I’m talking into thin air and dumbfounded with the translation. Beautiful job on the gun cabinet upcycle and love the color combination and farmhouse vibe!

Some bloggers are very predictable when they transform a piece of furniture. But I love seeing what you do because you are so imaginative! I find myself saying “I would never have thought of that” on a regular basis. That keeps me coming back for more! Love this makeover! You are a true inspiration to so many of your readers, including myself. God Bless!

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