Patriotic Sign on a Repurposed Cabinet Door

Patriotic Sign on a Repurposed Cabinet Door

Every year, I always try and come up with one good patriotic project to post around July 4th. Sometimes the ideas come easily, but this year I struggled to think up even one upcycling idea in red, white, and blue! That is, until I found a bright red cabinet door at Habitat ReStore. I decided that it would be perfect for ! And I would pull inspiration from the American propaganda posters that were so popular during World War II to do so!

red cabinet door at Habitat ReStore

Of course, I’ve upcycled other cabinet doors, as well. I’ve even gone the sign route before, but it was to celebrate Fall.

fall leaves decor on an autumn sign

But my plan for this red door was to reach back a few decades to a time when American patriotism was high, and the USA had a common enemy (well, a few enemies). And it wasn’t each other here at home!

When pin-up girls sold war bonds and Uncle Sam’s face was everywhere you looked.

I just had a feeling that this cabinet door would work out perfectly if I played my cards right.

repurposing a cabinet door

A little prep work, some paint, and the right stencil and I’d have the patriotic sign of my dreams! For a LOT LESS than an authentic sign from the 40s or even a modern reproduction.

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Repurposing a Cabinet Door for a Patriotic Sign

First, I first needed to remove all the hardware, which included soft-close cabinet hinges and a heavy black metal knob.

preparing a cabinet door for painting

Now- I promise you I’m not crazy, but I decided that the cabinet door was the wrong red.

In my mind, I wanted the red to be more of a warm, tomato red- and not the blue-toned cherry red that was already on the door. So, I lugged it back into the garage for a quick sanding, just to rough up the surface a bit so that fresh paint could adhere better.

sanding a cabinet door

Next, I wiped off all the post-sanding dust and assembled my painting supplies.

Then, I painted the outside rectangle with a deeper, warmer red (Farmhouse Red by Behr). It was richer and warmer, which made it better suited for a patriotic sign (in my opinion).

creating a patriotic sign on a cabinet door

See what I mean about the shades of red? I’ve painted the border and it’s a little more of a true red, whereas the center is definitely a cooler tone.

Next, I taped off the center border and painted the interior rectangle in a creamy off-white color.

recreating the world war 2 propaganda posters

Taking Inspiration from American Propaganda Posters in the 1940s

When the paint had dried, I lightly distressed the entire thing with my favorite flexible sand paper.

repurposing a cabinet door for July 4 decor

Next, I gathered a specialty stencil with a patriotic slogan, my favorite stencil brushes (from this online store), and a blue paint that reminded me of vintage denim.

making a patriotic sign from a cabinet door

After centering the slogan, I stippled blue paint across the stencil.

I loved that it was going to say “Buy American” . The perfect patriotic slogan for the vintage Americana look that I was going for.

inspired by american propaganda posters

Next, I decided that my patriotic sign needed something else besides the slogan. So, I added four stars, one to each corner, using this handy multi-size star stencil

Now it was really looking like the World War 2 Propaganda Posters that I had in my mind!

I still felt that it needed one more finishing touch. I mean, I loved how it looked just like that.

But, I went on Etsy to find a fun knob to cover up and fill in the hole left from the original knob! And I found the perfect one in this amazing Etsy shop, which is filled will all sorts of goodies for projects.

patriotic knob

Patriotic Sign on a Repurposed Cabinet Door

NOW my patriotic sign was complete, and I couldn’t be happier. Just looking at it makes me start humming “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”.

patriotic sign on a repurposed cabinet door

And upcycling a cabinet door is SO MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE than the vintage metal signs or garage signs that inspired me.

Plus, let’s face it, “Buy American” is the perfect patriotic slogan. Can’t you just see this hung up in an old garage? Vintage Americana decor at its finest!

patriotic sign

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

Interested in more upcycling ideas for patriotic decor? Then this collection is DEFINITELY for you!

upcycling ideas for patriotic decor

Craft on!


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repurposed cabinet door for patriotic decor

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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. Amanda Lake says

    Another beautiful and easy project. I love it.

  2. Mary Kemler says

    Wow! Looks great but that knob really elevates it!

  3. I love it!!! Very nice project and it looks great with the flags. Well done!

  4. JM Taylor says

    We absolutely love this project and will now be on the hunt for some cabinet doors to repurpose! Thank you so much for the shout out for our Etsy shop! We were thrilled to see what you came up with for the eagle knob…it does add the perfect finishing touch ? Your creativity is amazing!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      I will definitely let y’all know in advance when I plan a trip to The Depot! I’m in Greenville, SC so it’s an easy day trip. 🙂

  5. I really like the idea of upcycling rather than buying new lumber or other new materials. It also could be cute in a kitchen or garden shed!

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Totally! And yes, my entire blog is dedicated to buying secondhand to avoid buying new whenever possible. Upcycling is my middle name- maybe first name some days! 😉

  6. Adding the knob is why your repurposings are so nice…attention to detail makes all the difference.

  7. Love This! Very creative! I appreciate you sharing the link for the stencil – I’m going to put this on my list – Now I must keep an eye out for a unique piece of wood like you found. Thank you for sharing and this is an excellent idea.

  8. Wendy Oyler says

    This turned out so wonderful! And I definitely agree with your choice to re-paint the red. Beautiful as always!

  9. Kathy A. says

    Another great project! I Love red, white, and blue! I succumbed to AC Moore’s 80% off sale and bot a garden stake–Land of the Free because of the Brave sign and stuck it in an urn of flowers. And a rustic, small scale pallett looking flag which I stuck up with Command hangers (1st time using these) on the side of the house next to the front door. I’m ready for the fireworks!

  10. You are so fantastic. Well said & well done! ❤️

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Thank you, thank you- I sincerely appreciate that. I got an ugly remark about my post, but I knew there’d be at least one. So I especially appreciate your kindness!

  11. Hello from sunny England, UK! This is lovely and the colours and slogan could just as easily be used over here … with just a slight change. Lol “Buy British” ?

    • Sadie Seasongoods says

      Haha, definitely!! Someone in Canada had mentioned the same thing- they plan to make a “Buy Canadian” version. 😀

  12. You have such a great eye for project design. I totally love what you did with the cabinet door and yes, that color has to be just right…you nailed it!

  13. Thanks again {!} for sharing a great project. Now I’m on my way over to check your previous patriotic posts.


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