HOUSE: Newburgh

Medicine cabinet.

On Friday night I finished the medicine cabinet I’ve been working on and hung it in the bathroom.

I initially considered making my own since I couldn’t find just the right thing, but IKEA has these nice little solid wood FÖRHÖJA cabinets for $20—much easier and cheaper than building my own from scratch, and the size is perfect.

I sanded all of the surfaces lightly and painted the whole thing white—one coat of primer, two coats of paint to match the trim/paneling in the bathroom. When it was absolutely completely dry, I measured out a cross on the front (I used Pia Wallén’s Crux as a guide for pleasing proportions!).

The trick to getting a crisp, perfect line is to first put on a coat of the base color over the tape and let it dry. It will seal the edges of the tape and keep the top color from bleeding under. It’s very easy, you just have to be patient and let everything dry completely between coats. I had to use three coats of gray paint (which is just white with a few drops of the black paint I used on the ceiling stirred in) to get full coverage.

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  • Reply kristin March 16, 2009 at 10:03 am

    that’s lovely! am glad you shared that trick about base paint over the tape- have never heard of that but will be using that method from now on.

  • Reply eileen March 16, 2009 at 10:16 am

    thanks for the painting tip – once i tried to paint stripes on a plaster wall and got so frustrated i gave up!

  • Reply Claire March 16, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Nice! I want to see what’s inside =)

  • Reply Tasha March 16, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Thanks for the tip — I’m sure it will come in handy!

  • Reply Amanda March 16, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Great tip!

  • Reply Adam March 16, 2009 at 11:09 am

    That’s beautiful! Great job!

  • Reply read me... March 16, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Love it… how perfect!

  • Reply reva March 16, 2009 at 11:26 am

    looks great! i love pencil in the second photo, do you happen know the brand?

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 16, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Reva: It’s a Faber-Castell pencil, completely black all the way through, even the wood. I’m not sure if they still make them.

  • Reply LaDonna March 16, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    I love first aid crosses. The proportions are just right. I plan on making a quilt top out of them.

  • Reply kelly w March 16, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    while I am NOT the sort of person who peeks inside other people’s medicine cabinets, I imagine how delightfully ordered and and arranged yours is, and I hope you are planning to show the contents. :->

  • Reply Queen of DIY March 16, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    It turned out fabulous! Thanks for the painting tip too, that’s actually a really good tip to paint it with the base coat first. It makes sense because it would seal off any gaps in the tape, preventing the other color from getting underneath.

    I’ll definitely keep that in mind for my future painting projects. Thanks!

  • Reply DiP March 16, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    This masking tip can become as addictive as heroin!!!
    Use with CAUTION people!!!

    I went paint line CRAZY when I learned it and to this day it has never completely gotten out of my system… 8^P

  • Reply Jane Flanagan March 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Great job! I might completely copy this!

  • Reply Kathleen March 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    This is the same technique I used to paint black and white stripes in my hallway (on a textured surface, no less) and it turned out fabulously.

  • Reply Denise Smith March 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Great tip, didn’t know it. Nice cabinet, too. Sometimes you just can’t bet Ikea!

  • Reply Brandi March 16, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Looks great. Can’t wait to see a pic of the entire room. Did you end up painting the inside white as well?

  • Reply Fionnuala March 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    This is just PERFECT.

  • Reply AHJ March 16, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Very nice! It’s an affordable alternative to this:

  • Reply lau March 16, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    my medical design love is twitching! i love it!!

  • Reply Anna at D16 March 16, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Claire & kelly w: There’s nothing in it at the moment, but I promise to take a photo of the inside when it’s stocked up, just so you can see our fabulously displayed Neosporin, toothpaste, and wrinkle creams. 😉

    DiP: I hope you’re in treatment for that!!! Next thing you know you’ll be painting layered tartans, just because you can…

    Brandi: I painted the inside of the door and the front edge (since it’s visible with the door shut), but I left the interior of the shelves unpainted.

    AHJ: Oh, don’t think buying that Cappellini cabinet hasn’t crossed (hah!) my mind!!!! This is a very sane alternative though, yes. 😉

    lau: My Lau-love is twitching! xox

  • Reply Jesse March 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    From your pictures I know that your entire house is beautiful. However, if I were ever to be invited to a party at your home I might just disappear into the bathroom and stay there. The black ceiling, gorgeous floor tiles, amazing mirror and now this?

    If I could fit that mirror in my bag you’d be in real trouble.

  • Reply kim de montreal March 16, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Just perfect. This bathroom is going to be so beautiful. But I’m starting to think you’re a bathroom tease, how much left to do????

  • Reply Jane @ Beach House March 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    That’s fantastic. Did you think of sending it to ikea hacker?

  • Reply Shashi March 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm


  • Reply Thessa March 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm


    I didn’t know that cabinet but I’ll buy one for my kitchen. I’ll leave the black board and use it to keep tea bags or peppers and such. Great find!

  • Reply hollandv March 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Brilliant paint tip … so obvious, but I never would have thought of it -!

    Love your cabinet, the use of a grey cross. Makes going to the cabinet for ointment or balm of some kind well worth the boo-boo.

  • Reply Lori March 16, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Girl, you are somethin’ else! You come up with the coolest ideas and can actually get them out of your head and into real life. Impressive.

  • Reply maya March 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm


  • Reply frannie March 16, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    how scary that people want to see in your medicine cabinet!!! eeeeee!

    you did a bang-up job, lady! where do you find the time to be creative. it’s madness.

  • Reply maddy March 17, 2009 at 6:19 am

    LOVE it!

  • Reply Heather March 17, 2009 at 9:34 am

    It’s beautiful (of course)! And I love the low placement on the wall.

  • Reply Christine March 17, 2009 at 11:30 am

    It looks great, I love it!

  • Reply April March 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I LOVE this! I have all my supplies in a plastic storage box with a red medic sticker on it, but this is MUCH cuter. I may have to copy this.

  • Reply Franziska March 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    really nice idea!

  • Reply March 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    very very cool! love the grey cross.

  • Reply desiree@lookiloos March 17, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Really love it. I think I might borrow/steal that idea! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Reply Katrina March 17, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Great Idea! And it looks so simple, like the kinda thing I could pull off.

    I love it!!

  • Reply luuvelyladdy March 18, 2009 at 8:20 am

    this is very cute…and yes..a very simple and expensive alternative…

  • Reply AC March 19, 2009 at 11:53 am

    just show us pictures of the whole bathroom, already!

  • Reply .girl ferment. March 21, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    turned out so well

  • Reply moggit girls March 23, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    We can’t wait to see the reveal!

    Joy and Janet

  • Reply Robert September 6, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Help! I love this cabinet, but I can’t find it on the Ikea website. Do you know if they still sell it?

  • Reply Laura December 19, 2012 at 12:44 am

    really love this! minimalist, smart, perfect.

  • Reply Shannon January 19, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Hello! I am (clearly) ultra late to the medicine cabinet party. It’s such a fun touch in your super classy bathroom!

    Question regarding the cabinet – did it come with the door or did you add it? I can’t seem to find the door version any longer at IKEA and I’m wanting to do a floating nightstand project that involves a door on the Forhoja. Any tips are appreciated, especially if you DIYd the door!

    • Anna @ D16 January 20, 2015 at 10:39 am

      Hi Shannon, it came with the door. Sadly, the FÖRHÖJA line at IKEA is nothing like it used to be…

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