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How To Build A Shabby Chic Kitchen Cabinet With Reclaimed Windows

Do you like the look of the popular chippy, shabby chic style? In today’s tutorial, you can learn how to create a shabby chic, rustic kitchen cabinet using reclaimed windows. See the step-by-step process to build a DIY outdoor kitchen cabinet with vintage windows. You will love how this cabinet looks.

Remember when we remodeled our 1940’s beach cottage? Well, we replace all the old original windows at that time. Although the exact construction date is in question, the cottages endured Hurricane Hazel, which devastated a large portion of the North Carolina coastline in 1954.

We saved the windows without a clue what we might do with them. However, they had survived many storms for over 75 years, and throwing them away was a shame.

Reclaimed windows for rustic kitchen cabinets salvaged from 1940's beach cottage.

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What To Do With Reclaimed Windows?

We have used reclaimed windows for many projects over the years and felt certain an idea would come to us.

I’ll share some other projects and ideas at the end of this tutorial.

Brad came up with this plan and did most of the work. I can’t wait for you to see the Shabby Chic Kitchen Cabinet he made for the outdoor kitchen.

I’ll give you the materials and resources we used to construct the cabinets; however, the dimensions will vary based on the size of the reclaimed windows.

The Shabby Chic Kitchen cabinet is almost complete in the image below; however, wait until you see it finished.

Shabby chic kitchen cabinet. Reclaimed windows. Farmhouse,Rustic, Cottage Style

The Plan for a DIY Shabby Chic Kitchen Cabinet

Here are the factors to consider when building a rustic kitchen cabinet with reclaimed windows.

  • The size of your windows.
  • Do you plan to strip the old windows and repaint them?
  • Where are you planning to use the cabinet?
  • What is the purpose of the cabinet?
  • Hardware choices should be considered.
  • How will you finish the cabinet base? Paint or stain?
  • Will the cabinet be free-standing or built-in?

First, we were fortunate that all the reclaimed windows were the same size, making the construction simple.

We love the shabby chic look of chippy white paint, so there is no need to repaint the windows.

The plan for our cabinet is to provide outdoor kitchen storage and a protective cover for the outdoor TV.

Also, the cabinet would be built-in, using the outdoor kitchen wall as the cabinet back.

In addition, to achieve the rustic kitchen cabinet style we desired, a faux reclaimed wood technique was used to paint the new lumber.

Reclaimed windows for DIY outdoor kitchen cabinets.

The final step was to draw a plan for the DIY cabinet that would consider the desired purpose and window sizes.

It was necessary to install the windows horizontally to provide a space for the TV. However, the side windows need to be installed vertically to make the cabinet work in the space provided.

So this was our plan on paper.

All three cabinets will be 15 inches deep and 6 feet tall. The center unit is 37 1/2 inches to accommodate the width of the TV and horizontal window size. The two side units are 31 inches to accommodate the vertical width of the windows.

Drawing of plans for shabby chic window cabinets.

Supplies for A DIY Reclaimed Window Rustic Kitchen Cabinet

While determining what materials would be needed to build the kitchen cabinet, we decided to construct three separate cabinets and then attach them.

The size of the entire cabinet felt overwhelming to manage as one piece. Plus, the three units can be disassembled and used in other areas if we remove the cabinet from this space.

We began with the center cabinet, which has an open area between the two windows.

One section of rustic kitchen cabinets under construction.

Materials For Three Cabinet Frames

Tools for Construction

Here are the tools used to build the DIY cabinet frames.

Building The Cabinet Frame

After the lumber is cut to size and the biscuit joiner is used to cut the joints, assemble the frames of the cabinets.

Apply wood glue to the adjoining edges of the lumber and the biscuit joint.

Add biscuits and align the two boards and use the bar clamps to secure the connection.

You will want to leave the clamps on for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then allow the glue to cure overnight before moving to the next step.

You will repeat this process for all four sides of each cabinet and all the dividing sections.

Assemble Each Cabinet Frame

Now you are ready to assemble the cabinet frames.

Begin by forming a box with the four sides of the cabinet. Use wood screws to assemble.

Finally, position the divider shelves and use the wood screws to secure them into position.

Painting Shabby Chic Kitchen Cabinet

Why Seal With Caulk? (optional)

You may be using your cabinet in an indoor area and, therefore, may not feel the need to use caulk to seal the seams. Since our Shabby Chic Cabinet is in our outdoor kitchen, we wanted to protect the interior as much as possible.

Before painting, we used a paintable silicone caulk to seal all the wood seams. The caulk should be allowed to dry before beginning to paint.

Faux Paint Technique.

I used several different paint choices and techniques to create a faux rustic finish for the Shabby Chic Kitchen Cabinet.

Begin with an oil-based stain to achieve an aged look to the new lumber. Here we used MinWax Penetrating Oil Stain. Allow the stain to dry for about one hour.

Next, to darken some areas of the wood, I randomly used Antique Pewter Spray Paint over the stained cabinets.

Then, add some random strokes of the French Linen Paint. There is no need to allow drying time. Just build up the colors, creating a distressed faux finish.

To finish, apply a dry brush technique on the entire surface with the old white chalk paint. Don’t completely cover the surface but allow much of the previous colors to bleed through.

You can see more faux painting techniques on How To Whitewash Wood – Ceiling Technique and How To Make New Wood Look Like Old Barn Wood.

Add Reclaimed Windows

Once all the cabinets are dry, you are ready to add the windows.

To begin, ensure that the window stops are secured and even inside each cabinet. Measure the depth of the windows and add the stops accordingly, ensuring that the windows fit securely.

To add the stops, all that’s needed is a hammer and some basic finishing nails.

Once the windows are added, they should be flush with the outside of the cabinet frame.

DIY Rustic kitchen cabinet with window stops installed.

Next, lay the cabinet on its back and fit the reclaimed windows into the frame. The window should be centered inside the opening and flush with the edges of the frame.

Use a cordless drill to attach the hinges to the frame and the window.

The center window was hinged to lift upward to accommodate the TV. The latch is attached to a hook hanging from the rafters allowing unobstructed television viewing.

DIY Shabby chic kitchen cabinet with TV stand built in.

Build a Platform for DIY Cabinet (optional)

Once the Shabby Chic Cabinets are assembled, they can be added to the platform.

We wanted a platform base because the rustic kitchen cabinet would be resting on a concrete floor, and moisture was a concern.

If you use your cabinet indoors, you may not need a platform base.

You’ll notice that it was also necessary to notch the cabinet around the electrical conduit which runs around the wall of the outdoor kitchen.

One section of rustic kitchen cabinet with reclaimed windows. Unfinished at this point. Base got cabinet on floor.

Install Cabinets

First, position each of the three cabinets in place on the platform.

Use wood screws to attach the cabinets on each side.

Then add L brackets to attach each cabinet to the wall. It was necessary to use a masonry bit and wall anchors to attach our shabby chic kitchen cabinet to the cinder block wall of the outdoor kitchen.

Wall anchors for shabby chic kitchen cabinets.

Add a Faux Drawer Door

Because the windows in the center cabinet were hung horizontally, there was a space between the two windows.

Here we decided to make the space look like six small drawers and drop-down instead of swinging open.

Six small drawer fronts were cut from smooth thin plywood and glued to the front of the door. The faux drawers were painted with the same technique as the rustic kitchen cabinet frame.

This technique was used when we built the Faux Apothecary Cabinet and the Amazing Bedside Table Transformation.

To attach the faux drawer pulls, it was necessary to countersink the holes to accommodate the hardware screws.

The door was attached with hinges that allow it to drop down, and it is held in place with eye hooks attached to a chain length.

The six drawer pulls were added to the faux drawer fronts for an apothecary-style center.

DIY Rustic kitchen with TV stand built in. Faux front drawers for Farmhouse Style Kitchen Cabinet

Barn Door Latches

It was necessary to add door latches to keep the reclaimed windows and doors closed.

We choose these barn door latches in black to complete the rustic cabinet style.

Latches for DIY outdoor kitchen cabinets.

Add Shelving

Finally, once the DIY Kitchen Cabinet was completed, we decided to add shelving for additional storage space.

This process was simple, using the 2″x 6″ x 8′ boards to make shelving. The shelves were constructed in the same matter as the cabinet frame.

Holes were drilled, and shelf clips were added to hold each shelf.

The final step was adding caulk to seal around the exterior of the cabinet and decorate it.

Completed shabby chic kitchen cabinet with TV stand built in.

Finished DIY Shabby Chic Kitchen Cabinet With Reclaimed Windows

We absolutely love the DIY Shabby Chic Kitchen Cabinets, and using the reclaimed windows from our 1940s beach cottage makes the space unique.

Rustic DIY outdoor kitchen cabinet with tv stand and faux front drawers.

The outdoor kitchen now has lots of storage, and the TV is protected.

Farmhouse Style Shabby chic outdoor kitchen DIY cabinet.

This project was a labor of love and took over a week to complete. Brad did much of the work while I was relaxing at the beach. I helped with the painting and some design, but he gets credit for the idea and almost all the work. Didn’t he do an amazing job?

Vintage Reclaimed window DIY outdoor kitchen cabinet. Vintage plates and cups and saucers & farmhouse style


DIY Projects With Reclaimed Materials

See more projects using reclaimed windows, doors, etc.

Pin It To Remember It

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How To build a Shabby Chic Farmhouse Kitchen Cabinet with vintage reclaimed windows.

MaryJo Materazo

Friday 7th of July 2023

This is an amaZing piece. The windows, the hardware, the fabulous paint job it all came together beautifully. Plus you get to display all your pretties in it- bonus! You will enjoy this forever! XO- MaryJo @


Saturday 8th of July 2023

MaryJo, Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate your comments and I'm so glad you liked this project. Have the best weekend.


Thursday 6th of July 2023

Popping back in to say thank you for linking this on Farmhouse Friday. I'll be featuring it tomorrow. Love it and pinned again!


Thursday 6th of July 2023

Cindy, I really appreciate this.


Wednesday 5th of July 2023

How in the world do you come up with these ideas - I love all the hardware and chippy finish you created to make it extra special. And what a great way to preserve history too. You and Brad totally nailed it! Hugs, CoCo


Thursday 6th of July 2023

CoCo, I have to give Brad this credit for this one. He came up with the idea and together we designed it. Thank you for your encouraging words.


Friday 30th of June 2023

Oh my gosh, Amazing, Amazing, Amazing!! Brad did an absolutely beautiful job....truly....and how fortunate you have a husband who can do these projects! Very talented man to go along with a very talented woman!! Your projects never cease to amaze me...thank you so very much for sharing all of your great visions and ideas! Love following your posts!!


Saturday 1st of July 2023

Karolyn Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. We love doing unique projects and this one turned out great thanks to Brad.

Wendy McMonigle

Thursday 29th of June 2023

This is so fun Rachel, what a great addition to your outdoor kitchen.


Thursday 29th of June 2023

Wendy, Thank you! He did such a great job.