Potato Chip Cats: DIY Pet Station (Craft Post!)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

DIY Pet Station (Craft Post!)

I just have to start this off by saying that this is one of my biggest DIY undertakings to date, and  I am so thrilled with my result! 

I'm no carpenter, and I'm barely even a "crafter," what with my haphazard zero-instructions approach, but when I saw this DIY Pet Station on Pinterest, I knew I had to make one for myself, or rather, for Earl

Black DIY upcycled pet station furniture

How I Did It:

Designer cat litter boxes, cabinets, and other litter hiding furniture can easily cost over $100. I decided to do it myself and started at a thrift store. I got lucky with this sturdy $30 vintage "dry sink" that I found at Homeward Bound Treasures. It was literally the FIRST thing standing in front of me when I walked in the door. 

Vintage thrift store dry sink cabinet

As you can see from the collection of hammers in the corner, I had to be a little destructive before I could get productive.

There is definitely something to be said for old world craftsmanship; that shelf was really in there. But with a few hard slams, some pliers, and maniacal smile, I was able to remove it. 

Next, I removed the drawer and unhinged the cabinet doors. I sanded the ENTIRE piece to remove the stain and give the paint a better surface to cling to. I then applied a coat of light-colored paint to the inside, and a coat of pure black to the outside. 


Here's where I was NOT thinking straight: I painted this in my garage, in February, in 31 degree weather. I diligently brought the paint cans in at night, realizing they would freeze outside. I did not, however, consider the freezing point of the wet paint that I had just put on the furniture.

And of course, it dried unevenly, and left what looked like leopard spots of different shades all over the thing. I stomped and cursed and threw a fit, then lugged it inside to add additional coats. The lesson? Don't paint in the cold!

Mid process making a kitty litter cupboard

The first inside coat turned out to be too yellow, so I covered it with the nicer, more modern white you see in the finished product. I sealed it with a clear coat, considering the need for future cleaning. 

I painted the entire thing, including the doors and drawer, with up to 3 coats of black paint. It was self-priming and I did not feel the need to seal the outside. 

To allow easy access for my cat, I sawed the bottom third off of one door. My original plan was to hinge the bottom part to make a swinging door, logistics of this piece prevented it. I fashioned a curtain instead, but I actually don't mind the short door and left it that way.

Finishing Touch
I fastened new pewter hardware on, put it all back together, and voila, a lovely solution to an otherwise ugly problem. I also added a bed and a kitty litter mat. The drawer holds his nail clippers, brush, treats, and any other pet supplies. 

Upcycled kitty litter cupboard with drawer

Upcycled pet station with accents

Supplies for my DIY Kitty Litter Cabinet / Pet Station:
  • Furniture that fits a litter box
  • Paint (I used enamel)
  • Hardware: 2 knobs, 1 drawer pull
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper, rough and fine
  • Sledgehammer and hammer
  • Screw driver
  • Litter box
  • Litter mat
  • Litter
  • Pet bed

Linking up with Raising Imperfection, Sew Darn Crafty, Think Pink Sundays, Inspire Me Mondays, Mop It Up Monday, A Round Tuit, Marvelous Mondays, The Weekly Creative, Make the Scene Monday, Manic Monday, That DIY Party, Design Decor Tuesday, Boogieboard Cottage, Brag About it Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesday


  1. I don't have a cat but that is totally awesome - you would never know! Athena thestuffofsuccess.com

  2. That is adorable!! I love that chic black color that is found on modern furniture lately. Nice job. I'm repinning as requested but also because it's an awesome craft! Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    Julie @ www.70wpm.com

  3. That is so cool! I love the whole idea of making a pet station. I never would have thought of that and now I want to make one myself! I also love the colors and hardware everything seems to go together quit nicely. Thank you for sharing! http://www.grandmassecretstosavings.com

  4. Such a clever idea for a pet station! I love the color and you did a great job on the makeover!

    Thank you for linking to Raising Imperfection.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured. :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  5. How cool! I really like it! I have a similar piece of furniture, now my wheels are turning!

  6. Hi Megan,
    Thanks for linking up this great project at Sew Darn Crafty!! It totally caught my eye with the black paint and the drawer pull that I love! My crazy kitty would love this too.
    I also noticed your post on Connecticut. We're neighbors. I live in Westerly, Rhode Island!

  7. Awesome Job! My cat is jealous :)

  8. I absolutely love this! You are much more crafty than I am!

  9. That is beautiful! I love it! My kitty would love something like this!

  10. Absolutely adorable, Megan! Scooping this one and pinning it to my Pinterest Board, meow-meow-meow... Now, I just may have a project to be included in future plans :-)

  11. Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow!!!! Where do you live again? Kidding! I will be haunting second hand stores for something that will suit my library (where the litter box is). I pinned it and put it on facebook so my nearby friends can also look for me! I'm sitting down but jumping up and down inside!

  12. I love this idea! It looks so chic!

  13. This is fantastic! Great job. My kitty would love this.

    Thank you for linking up to Raising Imperfection!
    Make sure to check back on Friday to see if you were featured.

  14. Wow, I love this! A little "apartment" for your kitty! Great job!

  15. What a transformation! Please share it on a terrific linky – Design Décor Tuesday. www.designdecortuesday.blogspot.com. See you there! ☺

  16. Wow, what a great idea! You did a fabulous job...this sure beats the stinky litter box currently residing in my laundry room. Thanks for the inspiration and for sharing at A New Creation!

    And I loved the part about you smiling maniacally while destroying the shelf.

  17. I absolutely love this! I just recently made my own DIY litter box out of a plastic tote with the lid. But, this is 10o times nicer. I will be taking on this project ASAP! thanks for the great idea!

  18. Thanks for linking in to Design Decor Tuesday. Looking forward to seeing what you post next week!


  19. Hi! I'm your next-door neighbor on Jessica's blog party, and this is my first visit to your blog. I'm not a pet owner, so I've never even heard of a pet station. So this is like a powder room for kitty? What a cute idea? You did a MAGNIFICENT job of transforming that piece of furniture!!! It looks fabulous! The color is great and that, along with the pretty updated hardware, really brings the piece into this century! I'm going to suggest something like this to my friend who has a cat. I think it would be a stylish solution to the "Where to put the kitty litter box?" problem she's been contemplating. Have a great weekend!


Thanks for your input!