Looking for a way to update a boring piece of furniture? Try this DIY Hollywood Regency bar cabinet makeover to add some glam to your room.
If you have been reading my recent posts, you know that I recently threw a Mad Hatter anniversary party for some friends of mine…and these kinds of parties aren’t all that unusual at my house.
Which is why when I first moved into my house, I bought a fold-out bar*.
It wasn’t very expensive (made of particleboard) and isn’t very stylish but is really functional! It has lots of space for storing bottles, glasses and an ice bucket.
And it provides a large serving area when it is open.
When it’s not in use, it folds up into a fairly small space so it doesn’t take up much room.
As you can see, it has been a well-used piece of furniture…so I finally decided to give it a face lift.
I have always wanted a Hollywood Regency style bar but didn’t want to spend this much money…and I already had a functional bar cabinet. So I decided to do a DIY version with black lacquer and gold leaf (my first time ever doing gold leaf!), and it turned out to be much easier than I thought!
Read on to see my DIY Hollywood Regency Bar Cabinet Makeover.
What You Need
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Scrap Piece of Wood
Step 1: Remove Doors and Knobs
To make painting easier, the first step is to remove the doors, the drawers and the fold out bar tops.
Wash all of the surfaces to make sure they are free from dust. This is really important if you want to have a smooth, shiny lacquer surface.
Step 2: Add Wheels
This step is not absolutely necessary, but having wheels on a piece of furniture that gets moved around a lot makes life a lot easier. Not to mention that while moving it around, I have dropped this bar on my toes more than once!
If the bottom board of the unit isn’t very thick (mine is only 1/2″ wide), add some extra boards to make the wheels more stable.
Since these boards are real wood, they also hold screws better than the particleboard that the bar is made out of (I wanted to make sure the wheels wouldn’t fall off).
When attaching the wheels, make sure that they can rotate all the way around without hitting the side boards.
Step 3: Paint The Inside Of The Bar
Start by painting the inside of the bar with the gold spray paint.
Laying the bar down will make it easier to spray paint the back without getting paint runs.
You Might Also Like: Tips For Successful Spray Painting
Paint the inside of the doors with the same gold.
I also painted the insets in the door gold. Since I was planning on putting gold foil in this space, this wasn’t absolutely necessary. But I figured that would seal the wood and help prevent the dark wood from showing through the gold foil.
Step 4: Paint The Outside of the Bar
Once the gold paint has dried, spray the black lacquer spray paint onto the outside of the bar.
As I mentioned in my spray painting tips post, I always lay things down so I can spray a horizontal surface. I find it gives the most even finish (which you definitely want when you are using lacquer). It takes a little longer since you need to wait until that side is dry before you can flip the furniture over to paint the other side…but I think the finish is worth it.
A few tips with the black lacquer spray paint:
- Try to paint outside if possible (the fumes are really strong!), but make sure it isn’t too hot and that you have a spot in the shade.
- Using a paint tent* is a great way to keep the spray paint from going everywhere, and helps to keep the wet surface clean.
- I prefer the Valspar Black Lacquer spray paint to the Rustoleum brand. It seems to go on more evenly.
- Watch the finish as you spray. If it doesn’t look smooth and shiny as you are spraying it, it won’t look smooth and shiny when you’re finished.
- Always cover the whole surface at one time. It’s very hard to spot paint lacquer and have it end up with a smooth finish.
- The more coats of paint you put on, the more like lacquer it will look.
Step 5: Touch Up the Edges
If you have any places where the two paint colors meet (like where the bottom shelf meets the back of my bar), you will need to touch up and edges where there is over spray.
You don’t want to do the touch ups on the lacquer paint if you can help it (that’s why we did the inside paint first).
Cut some pieces of paper to cover the lacquer and meet up with the corner.
Use the gold spray paint to fix the black over spray.
Step 6: Apply Gold Leaf
For my bar, I used gold leaf to line the insets on the front of the bar.
I think the layers of foil add a little more depth than gold spray paint would.
If you don’t have insets, you can create the same effect by adding thin moldings to create a frame. Then apply the gold leaf in the center.
Step 7: Re-stock the Bar
Re-install the doors and drawers.
Add some new knobs.
Then re-stock the bar.
It’s amazing how much better those bottles look with a gold background.
I’m so happy with how this bar cabinet turned out that I just have to share some more of the finished pictures.
When it’s closed, the bar adds a lot of personality to my hallway.
It looks so much better than it did…it’s hard to believe it’s the same piece of furniture!
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This post was originally published on August 29, 2016 but was updated with new content on April 17, 2020.