I think it had been a china cabinet before it was banished to the basement, replaced by a plywood built-in china cabinet that has since seen the wrecker’s ball. One door glass was missing, and it had paint and grease stains all over. But, I loved the sweet shape of it, with its cutlery drawer up top. The maple (?) top and frame had a gentle patina of its own. Plus, can you even believe those jaunty red accents?
When the old folks passed away, we were able to claim a few mementos. In our efforts to live more simply, we couldn’t fit many into our “final” home. This cabinet did come home with us, though. We have very little “wall” space, but I had a corner in mind for this little gem.
I started by washing off the spider webs, sawdust, grease, etc. then letting it dry.
While I could have milk-painted it a colour, it already had that interesting red, and I needed to consider what else we had in the space. I set about refinishing. As I mentioned in my posts about refinishing the old university math doors, the most efficient way of stripping, for me, was to simply scrape the finish off.
I used “Safe Strip” for the groovy bits, scrubbing with a toothbrush and rinsing it with water. That left a stain of its own, but it was warm and interesting. That’s the thing with re-finishing – you kind-of have to go with the flow – you never know how it’s going to turn out. (“Refinishing is like a box of chocolates….”)
After I stripped, rinsed and let dry overnight, I sanded. First, with an orbital sander with course (80) grit, then gradually to hand-sanding with about 300. I was surprised to discover, after all that, that there were still stains aplenty. Decided to just embrace them, rather than cover them up.
I repainted the shelves red. If I’d had my druthers, I’d have used red milk paint, but the supplier here on the coast has recently gone out of business.
Then, applied 2 coats of satin Varathane on the wood, lightly sanding in between coats. It looked soft and fantastic to me, albeit stained. I thought about using Miss Mustard Seed’s dark antiquing wax to improve the antique look, but decided it had enough ageing all by itself.
I’m happy about the outcome, love it, in fact. The jury’s still out on whether it suits its new location. Kitty, the dog, is a little confused, because that’s where she used to get her food and water. Even old dogs can learn new eating habits!
On a daily basis, this cabinet, like so many other sentimental items we surround ourselves with in our home, reminds us of our loved ones, some gone from among us, and some, thankfully, still with us.
Sharing with: Little Red House, Coastal Charm, Mod Vintage Life, Cozy Little House (featured!) My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia, VMG206, Savvy Southern Style, Knick of Time Interiors, Elizabeth & Co., The Brambleberry Cottage, The Dedicated House, Common Ground, Miss Mustard Seed, The Cottage Market, Boogieboard Cottage, Nifty Thrifty Things