The Junk Parlor

First Aid Cross Cabinet DIY | #upcyclesquad

Sometimes you find a plain cabinet that could use a little something. And adding a First Aid Cross to a cabinet is about the easiest thing to do!

The Cabinet

I bought this cabinet quite a while ago. It had been painted brown on the outside. Hinges and a wooden door pull had been added. And inside, peg board had been added to the inside of the door and to the back of the cabinet. It was painted turquoise, like BRIGHT turquoise. I’m guessing someone had done a little DIY on the old shipping crate so that they could use it to display jewelry when they went to shows and flea markets?

I’m not sure of it’s story, but that was my guess. Despite, the bold choice, I snagged it on a pick. I saw some potential. Now, a lot of times I will buy something with the potential, knowing good and well, that I will never actually help it achieve it’s potential, at least not at first. A lot of my customers, want to buy project pieces and if I do it for them, then they miss out!

So even when I buy something with the intent of using it for a project, I first always try to sell it as is. So, I shared it during one of my Facebook Live Sales, it didn’t sell. So, I took the peg board that was on the door out and tried it awhile later. Didn’t sell. So, I painted it white with the intent of adding the red cross heart to the cabinet. But, I didn’t get the red cross on it and it didn’t sell in the shop. So, now, FINALLY, months later, I am doing what I envisioned doing the whole time!

Sunday 7pm CST

Tuesday noon CST

Facebook LIVE Sale


Now I like to use up things that I have, but I knew I was out of red paint. So while we were out having orthodontist checkups for the kids, we stopped at Walmart and I decided to live on the edge and try some new paint. THIS is what I got. Now normally I would have grabbed THIS.

The rest of the items needed like a paint brush, I had. I figured I would make my own stencil for the red cross and I knew I had a bunch of little letter stencils I could use to write First Aid. Just doing the cross would have been less work and probably looked just as good if not better, so I might suggest just doing the cross.

Here is a cabinet I did years ago and I just love it! Sometimes less is more, simple is best, blah, blah, blah…

But, I already had it in my head to add some text. Guess what! I ALMOST spelled aid incorrectly! Why do I ALWAYS try to put an “e” on the end! Luckily I caught myself quickly, before painting anything, although I’m not even sure what made me second guess myself!


Lay it all out

I played a lot with the layout…

So as you can see I ended up making a cross from a piece of printer paper. Now this wasn’t exactly to scale because the paper was rectangular, but I figured it was close enough to eye ball my placement. I wanted it to be centered on the door versus the whole cabinet. I didn’t want the paint to be on the hinges or the handle, so I kept making adjustments. Once I figured out what I wanted to do I used a pencil to trace the letters and the cross.

I did not measure, instead I just eyeballed it. I just eyeball a lot of things, but because I was also recording this project for a video, I did not move the cabinet around like I would have if I wasn’t recording to get a different vantage point. So, guess what that means… I think my T is a little too high up! Darn it! Now you could always paint white over it and do it again. I also think that distressing something can also hide a lot of flaws such as this.


When I traced around the red cross for the cabinet I traced everything but the ends of the short sides. Once I had everything else traced I turned the cross so that I could use the long sides again to draw the lines.

Use Tape

After everything was traced I decided that the best way to get nice crisp lines would be to use painters tape. Now normally I am all about free handing things but this was a situation where it was going to be so easy to use tape that I could pass it up. Luckily I had THIS on hand because otherwise I don’t know what I would have done! This was my last roll and there was only a bit on it, so I immediately added it to my purchase list! Plus, who doesn’t enjoy that feeling when you pull off the tape and it worked!

I think the last time I used this tape was on THIS project.


Next up, red paint. Now a lot of times I like an angled brush. This ended up NOT being one of those times, but I started out with the angled brush and painted first. Then, when I got down to aid, I decided to give a different brush a try and I ended up using that on the second coat. The key is to find a brush the correct width and then apply consistent pressure. If you don’t press hard enough you have to go in for another pass and if you press too hard then you go out of the lines.

Another thing I could have done which I think works really well is to get a nice sharpie marker and outline your painted word with the black sharpie. It really does a nice job of making maybe imperfect border lines, a lot cleaner.

Tip – Is your project going to need a second coat or some touch-ups? Save your paint brush or roller, by wrapping it in plastic. Keeping it in the frig can help it last even longer!

I did end up painting everything twice, some places got 3 coats. You will want to wait until each layer is dry before painting again because sometimes when you paint over wet paint, that first layer just pulls right back up. I could have used a much bigger paint brush for the red cross however I didn’t want to dirty another brush.

Once I was done painting the cross, I slowly peeled up the painters tape. It did actually pull up a little bit of white paint, but I do like the distressed look AND the piece was already distressed, so that didn’t end up mattering. And it really did do a good job of giving me crisp lines. I do find that peeling tape off at the sharpest angle possible tends to work the best. I also find that it’s best to brush your paint AWAY from your tape. This helps little hairs from your brush from pushing paint up under the tape. I also think removing the tape when the piece is wet works best. If the tape is so strong that it is peeling up paint, then there isn’t any thing connecting the taped sections if the paint hasn’t dried. Does that make sense?

I still might go back and do some distressing on the red. My only caution with that is that in the past I have issues of things going pink, bleeding onto the white paint etc. So if I do end up distressing the piece I would keep my sanding to one color and kind of test as I go, versus going all crazy with the sanding from the beginning.

This little cabinet is going to look great in someone’s bathroom, mudroom, man cave! It can even be used to store or display your vintage medical items or the stuff you use now!

You really do learn a lot simply by doing. I know that sometimes that can be scary, but paint is easy and flexible and if you REALLY mess up, you can just start over! Check out my experiences with milk paint HERE!


If you like this little DIY, then be sure to checkout my #upcyclesquad members projects! The 4th Thursday each month our squad will be sharing some awesome projects with you!

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Lora – Lora Bloomquist

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Melanie – Southern Crush at Home

Create a show-stopping spring front door wreath with this fun and easy project. THIS DIY wreath is perfect for welcoming in the new season!

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Chasida – Custom Southern Co

Ever wonder how to repurpose ornate antique light globes or domes? I will show you one simple option HERE

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Skip the work of scrubbing on those old stained and dirty glass bottles. With a few strokes of paint turn those antique glass jugs into modern and sleek jugs for holding preserved or faux stems in your decor. Check out THIS fresh mantle decor update with just a few strokes of the brush.

This post may contain affiliate links for the products I use and recommend. I am not paid to promote these products. If you purchase using my affiliate links, I could make a small commission at no charge to you.

10 thoughts on “First Aid Cross Cabinet DIY | #upcyclesquad”

  1. I am so in llove with this diy!! Thank you for the inspiration ! I love to take old things and made them pretty again and you certainly nailed it with this project !!

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