the botanical cupboard.

I’ve been painting furniture for a very long time.  Since the early 90’s in fact, when Rachel Ashwell made painted furniture a hot commodity.  This was way before I knew about things like chalk paint or milk paint.  Back then I painted everything with plain old latex, including my black cupboard which has been used in a couple of different spots in my house, most recently on the front porch.

It made a great display piece for my vintage camera non-collection.

But then last winter I restyled my living room and I moved a bunch of my cameras into the shelves in there which left the black cupboard mostly empty.

That had me feeling all Marie-Kondo-ish.  You know, discard everything that doesn’t spark joy.  And I thought, gosh, maybe I’ll just touch up the paint and sell this cupboard because it no longer brings me joy.

Then Prima Marketing sent me those samples of their new Summer 2019 release transfers including this one called Beautiful Botanist.

Now let me preface this next part by saying I’ve never particularly been a fan of the idea of using a transfer inside a cupboard with glass doors.  I’ve always thought that doing so makes the cupboard less useful.  After all, the purpose of the glass doors is to allow you to display something inside on the shelves.  And putting stuff on the shelves pretty much blocks whatever is behind it, right?

But, as you know, my motto is never say never.  Just when I’m convinced that I’m right about something like this I generally manage to prove myself wrong.

So I decided to try this transfer at the back of the black cupboard to give it a little more personality before selling it.

First things first, I repainted the inside of the cupboard.  The shade of grey that I used the last time I painted it had a bit too much green in it.  I’m afraid I can’t really tell you what the color is that I replaced it with, it’s a custom mix of chalk paint that I had left over from a previous project.  I felt like this color would work well with the transfer.

Applying the transfer was just a bit complicated because the shelves in this cupboard are not removable.  The transfer comes in 3 pieces though, and I used it that way here.  I had to trim just a little bit off the middle piece and several inches off the bottom piece.  But because of those shelves, you really can’t tell that any of the design is missing.

Application was further complicated by the fact that the back of the cupboard is not flat.

I solved that problem by using a razor blade to slice the transfer vertically on either side of each raised section (like I did with the picnic basket I shared a while back).

The application of this transfer would have been a lot easier if I’d had Prima’s new Transfer Tool.

I didn’t get the package with the tool in it until after I’d already finished this cupboard though.  I have used it since I got it though and it’s pretty slick.

Once I had the transfer in place, I was contemplating what to use to stage the photos of the cupboard.  I wanted something that would work with the botanical theme of the transfer, and then I remembered my clay pots.  Perfect!

I also added a few old books, a rusty garden ornament and an old wooden radio.

As I was playing around with stuff, I was loving the way it looked more and more.

In fact, dare I say it?  It was even starting to spark a little joy.

And then I noticed the piece de resistance … did you already notice it?

Yep, there it is.  Our name.  Just like it was meant to be.

So, as you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m going to keep this cupboard on my front porch after all.

I added a couple of vintage suitcases to the lower shelves, and they fit perfectly.

I ended up having to take the glass out of the doors to get some good photos without glare, and I think I love it even more this way.

As for whether or not it’s worthwhile to put a transfer in the back of a cupboard, I’ll let you judge for yourself.

But personally, I am loving it so much that now I have to keep this one.

Thank you to Prima Marketing for sharing this new transfer with me.  If you’re wondering where to buy this transfer or the transfer tool, check out Prima’s ‘where to buy‘ page.

48 thoughts on “the botanical cupboard.

  1. Do you know if these transfers could be made waterproof with a coating of spar varnish or something similar. I was thinking this particular transfer would be beautiful for a piece of outdoor art on our deck…


    1. I haven’t experimented with that so I hate to give advice on it. I am testing a transfer over metal on an outside piece this summer and so far it is holding up well. But, I think the durability will also depend on the surface you are putting the transfer on, is it wood, metal, painted, canvas? I think all of those things could play a part in whether or not it would hold up also.


  2. I love the transfer on the cabinet wall and really love the/colors in that cabinet….that trifecta of navy, gray, and cream is one of my favorites, Great job


  3. Love it! Though my eye says remove the radio bottom left, it’s too heavy or maybe others would say too busy. You could maybe put it on top of the cabinet if you were set on displaying it here. But what the heck do I know🤣 Hope your well friend❤️


    1. LOL, the radio used to be on the top of the cupboard. I’m going through a phase where I want to clear off the tops of things and leave more empty space for the eye to rest. I do think you’re right about moving it to the left to balance out the contents tho, now that you’ve mentioned it I can see it too … except, wait, that will cover up the ‘Strand’. I may have to flip flop the middle and top shelf instead. Hmmm ….


    1. I am loving it, but I think the trick is to have a cupboard/bookcase that isn’t super full of stuff in order to be able to admire the transfer.


  4. I’ve been waiting for this one…nailed it! I like transfers on the back if the shelf will be curated. Items spaced out and have a relationship to the transfer or colour.


  5. Beautiful-that was a challenge.It’s a keeper!
    I recently added vintage sheet music to the back of a bookshelf but will try a transfer next.


  6. Again, just when I think you can’t possibly wow us more, you do it again! I love this! It really does look best with items in it that relate to the transfer and not to cram too much stuff inside! I am glad you are keeping it, it makes your porch!
    Wouldn’t a transfer with images of old cameras and photos look good on the back and then put old cameras in it. You could use your non collection! Lol😉


  7. Lovely, lovely, it is just lovely, Linda! Now you have me rethinking the redoing my two vintage drugstore cabinets! I was just going to repaint the backs of them, but now…😉 Glad you are keeping it for yourself, but thanks for sharing!


  8. IMHO, that’s a total WOW, including the radio. You really have an eye for lovely composition, Ms. Q. 🙂


  9. It turned out beautiful! I love it both ways – with the cameras and with the botanical items. Love, love, love your staging and styling!!


    1. Thanks Sue. I did love it with the cameras inside too, but I see them much more often now that they are in the living room. So it’s a win-win 🙂


  10. I truly loved the before with the non-collection of box cameras. As I was reading I was thinking why would she mess with this piece. And then bam the reveal. Brilliant redo and restyle. Love it.


    1. I have to admit, I did initially think ‘maybe I shouldn’t mess with this piece’ myself 😉 But I figured, what was the worst that could happen? I wouldn’t like it and then I could always just paint back over it. I really didn’t expect to love it as much as I do.


  11. Well that’s just AWESOME Miss Quandie! I love it! And, here I am sitting on a moist rock in an ancient Buddist monestary vertical forest in Hangzhou……my husband and son are hiking to the top on the slippery rock steps but I have opted to sit here and soak up the vibes of the waterfalls and also people watch, my favorite. We’re in China for a little pleasure trip (-:


    1. Oh man, you’re killing me Connie! I’m so jealous! That sounds amazing. I’m dying to know more. Are you on your own? Or part of a tour of some kind? If you get another signal and have time, I’d love to know!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.