Making a First Aid Cabinet for the Garage

Making a First Aid Cabinet for the Garage

Ok- so, in the interest of full disclosure, I fully intended this project to be my Product Test Drive post for this month. BUT, things didn’t exactly go as planned. So, I’m putting that product “on ice”…which has a double meaning. Why? Because my plans for this wooden medicine cabinet were to transform it into a first aid cabinet for the garage

Get it? Putting it on ice…first aid…ok, dumb joke!

Even finding this bathroom cabinet had its ups and downs. As I was snapping this photo in Goodwill, a woman came up next to me, intent on snatching it away from under my camera.

wooden medicine cabinet

Thankfully, it didn’t get ugly. But thrift stores can be brutal if something’s not in your cart.

After she walked away, I quickly snapped another photo and hugged it to my chest all the way to the cash register.

wooden bathroom cabinet

ANYWAY, back to my upcycling idea. I decided to give this wooden medicine cabinet a military-style makeover. And it would double as a first aid cabinet  that would look perfect in a garage.

This post contains affiliate links for your crafting convenience. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. All blue, bold, and underlined text is a clickable link, either to a product or to a related post.

Experimenting with Vintage Effect Wash

My original plan was to try DecoArt’s Vintage Effect Wash in a dark green color on the cabinet. I’d never used this stuff before; hence my reference to a Product Test Drive.

trying out the vintage effect wash

I read the instructions and watched a video on YouTube before gathering my supplies and giving it a go.

upcycling a medicine cabinet as military decor

First, I removed the hardware from the medicine cabinet to focus on the door. Then, I brushed a small amount on; this is how it looked before wiping the excess off.

vintage effect wash on a wooden medicine cabinet

Then, per the instructions, I wiped off the excess with a clean rag. Just as if I were using wood stain.

And I HATED how it looked. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It just looked awful to me.

decorating a first aid cabinet

Maybe it was the wrong color. Or maybe it was the wood of the cabinet. It just…wasn’t the look I was going for.

vintage effect wash by decoart

Either way, I needed to another route for transforming my first aid cabinet.

Military Decor with a First Aid Cabinet

Next, I found a perfect shade of Army green from Behr Paint and carefully painted every square inch of my small wall cabinet.

painting a first aid cabinet in army green

Ahh…SO much better! And much closer to the vision I had in my mind. Now I could complete the transformation!

Next, I gathered my stenciling supplies, including red and white craft paints, my favorite stencil brushes, and a First Aid stencil.

first aid stencil for a garage first aid kid

I wanted the cross to be red (of course) and the lettering to be white. So, I centered the stencil on my medicine cabinet door, taped it down, and stippled on the paint.

stenciling a first aid cabinet

And just like that, I had transformed the wooden bathroom cabinet into military decor and a first aid cabinet for our garage! (Or in a man cave, basement, or other guy-space, as well!)

military decor for the garage

Lastly, I just needed to re-attach the hinges and knob. Then my transformation would be complete!

Making a First Aid Cabinet for the Garage

Ahhh, that paint was such an improvement! So much better than the first try with the Vintage Effect Wash. I just think it’s adorable (but in a masculine way)!

garage first aid kit

It’ll be perfect as a first aid cabinet for our garage. But you could definitely use it as military decor in other spaces around the house, too. A kid’s room, a den…maybe a man cave or a basement.

LOTS of options with this thrift store makeover! It could also be a DIY Father’s Day gift, as well.

first aid cabinet and military decor


Today is also Thrift Store Decor Team Day! Check out what my friends have been up to.

thrift store upcycle inspiration

Repurposed Spice Rack

Vintage Inspired Military First Aid Kit

Repurposed Croquet Set

DIY Tray Makeover

Beachy DIY Sea Glass Decor

Masculine Tray Makoever


If you enjoyed this upcycling idea for a masculine space, then you may also be interested in these bottle cap coasters, as well.

bottle cap coasters from tartlet tins

AND I’m so excited to announce that my first book is now available! If you love working with flannel or fabric crafts in general (sewing and non-sewing), then you will LOVE “Crafting with Flannel”!

Craft book on flannel fabric

Craft on!


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upcycling a wooden medicine cabinet for the garage

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Sarah Ramberg is the owner of Sadie Seasongoods, a website that celebrates all things secondhand. From upcycling ideas and thrifted decor to vintage-centric travel itineraries, Sadie Seasongoods is a one-stop shop for anyone who loves thrifting and approachable repurposing ideas. Sarah is also the author of “Crafting with Flannel” and has been featured in numerous media outlets and magazines.


  1. The domestically speaking link doesn’t work

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hmm, she must not have set her post to publish at 4:00 ET, which is when we were all supposed to. I’ll update the link when she publishes her post.

  2. mickey anderson says

    I make quilts by hand.. Do you habe any patterns of antique quilts?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I do not, have you ever looked at the blog Flamingo Toes? She makes quilts and I think she provides patterns, too.

  3. Wendy Oyler says

    Love this idea! Always need first aid supplies in the shop!

  4. I’m glad paint #2 was the perfect fit! It turned out so cute!!!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you!! I was SO disgruntled with the first iteration, LOL. First that lady tried to steal it from me at the thrift, then the paint wash looked like crap…had the paint been a failure, I would have tossed the whole thing! #3strikes

  5. This is an awesome transformation, you are so creative!

  6. Loving that military inspired first aid kit! My hubby is ex-military and has a sugar shack (we live in one of the big maple syrup regions of Ontario, Canada) and this would be PERFECT over at the shack! You have inspired me! Just need to find a cabinet similar to yours…..awesome job!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you so much, Beverly! I remind myself from time to time that not every makeover needs to be feminine or neutral, as I really enjoyed the change of pace. 🙂

  7. I KNOW that lady would not have done something so cool as this. I love how the first aid kit turned out Sarah!


    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Hahaha, right?! I used my “Serious Sadie” voice to let her know it was mine. And thank you!!

  8. Debra A Wise says

    Such a great idea! Turned out fabulous. Where did you get the first aid stencil at?

  9. What is the name of the green paint from Behr that you went with?

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