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A Very Yellow Cupboard Makeover...

Ideas for using up tester pots of paint

Just before Christmas, I shared the reveal of our new dining room - it still had some finishing and styling left to do, but by the most part, it was done. Within that post, I also shared the unveiling of our gorgeous Victorian cupboard doors which had been locked away behind a giant white glossy board (oh so stylish!) for far too long. But, if you noticed - the inside of this cupboard was horrendously hideous.

Half of it was filled to the brim with rubbish, it was covered in renovation dust and just blah. I wanted to do something a bit fun to the inside, I wanted to add a good splash of colour. Something that popped against the grey. I wanted it to go full-blown YELLOW.

Here's the cupboard as it looked after it had been cleared out. Well, the top half at least! The inside of the doors still needed a second coat of paint, but the whole thing just looked tired and lifeless. Bit of a stupid thing to say about a cupboard - but you know what I mean, right?!

Victorian Cupboard Makeover

After a good clear out and clean up, the inside of the cupboard was ready for paint. The shelves in here are 100% retro with original (presumably) vintage wallpaper, surprisingly in really good condition. It's not my usual cup of tea, however, I really like the idea of keeping a part of the previous owner in the house, and especially a previous owner that lived here for almost sixty years!!

Edna clearly loved this house, it had been well looked after (in every way, including this wallpaper!) and so I felt like it would be a true shame to go ripping it out. I did, however, ask Instagram how they felt about this design and it 60/40 favouring on the side of 'Hate'. So, I'm definitely going against the opinion on Instagram for this one. (Possibly a first?!)

Retro Wallpaper on Shelves

As for the walls inside the cupboard, my initial intention was to create an ombre effect of yellow, going from dark (at the top) to light at the bottom. I planned to buy some yellow paint and gradually add some white paint to it to do this. I think this would have looked awesome and I totally plan on doing this idea elsewhere in the house some other time, but I actually realised a more cost-effective idea was to use up some sample paints I had leftover in the shades of yellow.

Comparing Farrow and Ball Yellow Paints

So whilst I say "use up" I actually only had two of these testers and then I bought an additional two to have a full set of four different yellows. One for each section. From left to right there's Citron, Yellow Ground, Barbouche and Sudbury Yellow (my personal fave!).

I sampled each one on a bit of paper to decide how exactly I should order them. And to be honest, some of the shades are reeaaaally similar, so it was pretty tricky.

Farrow and Ball Yellow Paint

You see what I mean?! I still wanted to go dark to light, but with shades so similar it wasn't quite what I had imagined. After a first coat in the top couple of sections, I was somewhat worried my yellow idea was in fact, a bad shout. Let's just say, it was looking a little weak and definitely not the dark to light gradient idea I had in mind...

Painting with yellow

However, I persevered with the idea (no going back really, is there?!) and after two coats it was all beginning to come together. That 'pop' I wanted was totally there! It looked jazzy, fun and fresh. It looked awesome.

Farrow and Ball Yellow Ground
Using Yellow in Interiors
Yellow Paint Ideas

Is it calling to you yet? Well if not, here's the finished cupboard in all its yellow-y goodness. I absolutely love love love (one more time... love!) it and the retro wallpaper with the yellow totally works as well. The design of it isn't my usual cup of tea at all but somehow I really think it goes. It doesn't look dated or retro, it just adds to the fun and looks right at home.

Adding Colour to Inside a Cupboard
Yellow and Grey Farrow and Ball
Yellow Inside Cupboard with Farrow and Ball Downpipe
Victorian Cupboard Makeover
Painting Yellow Inside Cupboard

Colour from Top to Bottom: Sudbury Yellow, Barbouche, Citron, Yellow Ground. (All Farrow and Ball)

The pink flowers are definitely making me feel like the cupboard needs a splash of pink in there too. Oh and if you're wondering 'what about the bottom bit of cupboard' well, all I can say is - it's still filled with stuff and it's more than likely going to stay that way for quite a while. It's all DIY-related stuff in there that we're going to be needing fairly soon, so until then - no yellow down there I'm afraid!

The plan for the top yellow-y bit is to use the top two shelves for paper storage (they're way too high to reach anyway!) which will be neatly stored in vintage stackable suitcases. We'll then add a plug socket to the cupboard, store the printer, our laptops and all the home hub type stuff too, like the router and the home telephone etc. So right now I'm on the search for some vintage suitcases, some wire baskets and other quirky ways of storing a whole load of boring important documents. I'll have to keep you updated on all that later, as eBay is very much just a waiting game. But for now, I've already begun organising and here's how it's looking so far...

Yellow and Grey cupboard in dining room

And to give you a bit more perspective - here's how it looks with the whole room. The plan isn't to keep the cupboard open 24/7 but it's one of those things that ends up getting left open, so when that happens - now it'll add something to the room, rather than taking away from it and just look *cluttered*.

Downpipe Dining Room Inspiration

I'd love to know what you think? Does the pop of yellow work for you? Or is it a little too bold?


  1. Old terraced homes in the UK have an appeal I can't describe. Every time some get demolished I feel sad

  2. I love this so much, it really pops against the grey and is a proper little treat when you open it up. I never bother with the inside cupboards, but I really should! Thank you for sharing with #HomeEtc X


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