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Curbside Cabinet to Fun Coastal Accent

Curbside Cabinet to Fun Coastal Accent main article image
Posted on June 12, 2021 by KAREN STELLATO-SA

This little table was the perfect candidate for a trash to treasure makeover. I came upon it  on a Facebook marketplace curb alert post. Wasn’t sure exactly what to do with it when I picked it up, but now I’m so glad I took the chance. After seeing a cute compass graphic the idea came to life to turn this little orphan into a cute nautical side table. Such a fun way to add  a splash  of color to  any room. There are so many cute nautical/beachy accents that could have worked as well; Starfish, shells, turtles or a mermaid silhouette. I’d just finished a makeover on a pair of oars so I thought the compass was a great complimentary design. 

If you’d like to make your own little nautical side table, search your attic, basement, garage, spare room, FB marketplace, local thrift store and neighborhood yard sales for a little beauty in the rough.  Then just follow these steps to make one of your own.

The MATERIALS you will need are:

  • Small wood nightstand or end table
  • Sand paper in 80, 200 and 400 grit, sanding block
  • Foam sanding block (if furniture has curved legs)
  • Electric sander (optional)
  • Wood filler (optional) if needed
  • Eye protections and face mask
  • Tack cloth (cotton cloth)
  • Drop cloth
  • Work table to put piece on
  • Mineral spirits for cleaning piece
  • Fabric or place mat for an inside drawer liner
  • Mod Podge (for gluing down fabric inside drawer)
  • Cricut machine 
  • Compass graphic made with a Cricut machine or you could opt for a stencil that can be painted on
  • Royal Blue or Navy chalk paint
  • White Chalk paint
  • Chalked protective topcoat by Rust-oleum (matte clear) 
  • Paint brushes
  • Painters tape
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic wrap for brush to stop brush from drying out in between coats
  • Resin (to cover vinyl graphic)
  • Small flat stir sticks
  • 2 cups for mixing resin (flat sides and bottom)
  • Straw for blowing at any resin bubbles
  • Mini butane torch (optional)
  • White matte permanent vinyl (Starcraft HD or Oracal 651 recommended)


    Transfer tape (with grids preferred)

  • Rope for drawer pull

Things to know – before you start

  • Painting is much easier if you put your piece on a table, so you can easily reach all the nooks and crannies
  • Plan out where you’d like the white accent color to go on your piece and then tape it off with painters tape for nice crisp lines
  • Be sure the first coat of paint is really really dry before using painters tape so the paint does not lift off when you remove it
  • As you need to allow time in between each step (for paint to dry, vinyl to set and resin to cure) expect this project to take at least a week. 
  • If you decide to go with a painted stencil instead of vinyl, no resin is necessary, instead paint two coats of protective top coat after the stencil has dried
  • Dollar tree stores have cute plastic place mats that make great drawer liners


  • Spread a drop cloth
  • Remove any existing drawer pull hardware 
  • Fill in any deep scratches or gouges with wood filler and allow to dry
  • Use safety glasses and face mask while sanding to avoid getting dust in eyes or inhaling it
  • Sand the top of the piece of furniture to remove build up of old varnish/ oils. The top needs to be very smooth before adding the compass graphic. Things go much more quickly with an electric/battery palm sander, but hand sanding is fine too.  When hand sanding be sure to go with the grain of the wood. When using palm sander go in a smooth circular motion
  • Start with the 80 grit sandpaper and sand the entire top.  Wipe down after sanding with a cloth and mineral spirits and do it again with the 200 and then the 400 grit till you have a nice smooth surface. 
  • Wipe down the furniture a final time after sanding to remove all dust
  • If you can, place the piece on a table so that it is easier to reach and get in between all the legs.
  • After the piece is dry from the mineral spirits wipe down, paint the lower body of the table and the legs with blue chalk paint, except where you are going to add the white paint detail
  • Let it dry and then do a 2nd coat
  • Once blue coat is fully dry it is optional to use painters tape for clean lines for painting white accent
  • Once the paint is dry you can work on the top portion.
  • Add two coats of protective topcoat to the top of the piece and let dry (before adding graphic.

 Graphic cut out

  • Measure the top of the piece and allow for at least a 2” clearance around the edge when deciding on the graphic size
  • Create and cut out compass graphic using white permanent vinyl (matte finish) 
  •  Only using just the N,S, E, W provides a cleaner look 
  • Be sure to allow for the protective topcoat to dry thoroughly before adding the graphic to the top. 

Resin Pour (only needed to go over vinyl graphic)

  • To seal the vinyl graphic you can add a resin clear coat on top of the graphic
  • Make sure the top of the piece is completely dust free
  • Line the edge of all four sides of the top with painters tape and newspaper to stop the resin from dripping down onto the rest of the piece.


  • Mix resin with equal parts of each for 5 minutes
  • Gently stir the resin, scraping sides and bottom often
  • After mixing, gently pour from the center of the top in a spiraling circle to the outer edge.  Resin will self level and start to drip off edge. 
  • It will take a few hours to soft set and about 72 hours to hard cure.


  • Add a coat of chalk paint wax or protective topcoat on Chalk painted portion of piece
  • Cut  fabric (leaving room for small fold at all four sides for smooth edge finish) or vinyl place mat to the side of the bottom of the drawer and glue it down with mod podge if necessary
  • Fold down all four corners of the fabric first and then fold all the long sides to hide the rough edge before gluing down to the bottom of the drawer
  • Add a rope handle using about a two inch swag between the pull holes. Tie a knot on the inside of each of the handle holes to keep the rope in place

You are finished! Enjoy your work and leave a comment below what you think about this tutorial.

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Curbside Cabinet to Fun Coastal Accent
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