Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rustic Shabby Cabinet

Last week, I found this cabinet listed in our local swap shop on Facebook.

Not too pretty,
but it had potential.

This cabinet was originally made as a little washstand,
but the upright pieces had been broken.

The little ledge around the top was held on with sheet rock screws
drilled in at an angle
and left sticking out on all sides by about a quarter inch.

So it was a little sad cabinet,
it was made with love.

This is the kind of piece that I think
someone would have made for
their wife, mother, daughter, sister.
Someone put their time and heart into it.

One of the doors isn't quite as wide as the other,
and maybe it's not all perfect,
but we're all learning to imbrace the perfectly imperfect, right?

So after the wood around the top was removed,
I grabbed the sandpaper and gave it a thorough going over,
roughing it up,
taking off the poly,
removing the orangeness of it all.

Next it got kissed with a coat of Heirloom White on the outside
and a "custom" mix of a robin's egg blue.
(By custom, I do mean a mix of four colors that were not quite right for anything,
but blended very nicely with a little luck and lots of  s h a k i n g.)

After the paint was dry,
it was time to beat up the cabinet with a little more sanding.
60 grit sandpaper is my friend.
It makes the work quick and easy.

After all the paint and wood dust was swept away,
(wind gusts at 45mph about blew me away that day)
I mixed up a little glaze and burnt umber acrylic.

With an old cotton cloth,
the glaze was wiped on,
allowed to sit for a minute,
then wiped away,
leaving behind a discoloration in the paint and the exposed wood.

After the paint was well dried,
two coats of wax were buffed into the wood,
into all the little nooks and crannies,
giving it a more finished look.

I think this would be really cute
filled with scrapbooking papers and bits,
fluffy towels and linens,
or loaded with homemade jams & jellies.

Homemade jam sounds wonderful.
Maybe with some cute little covered lids,
but that's for another day.

Here's the before and after photo,
definitely an improvement.



  1. This turned out great, I love the blue"mixed" color you used on the inside.

  2. Love it - it's a cute looking cabinet !

  3. Darling cabinet! Cute!

  4. I seem to find plenty of items with hearts cut out so I leave them. But you did a fantastic job making this piece look like a current, distressed, shaby chic country piece. Wow.

  5. A huge improvement!! Love the shabby paint and sanding job. It appreciates the rescue.

  6. Looks great! It really updated that little cupboard.

  7. This is so sweet. I love how it came out! x

  8. What a transformation....from ho hum to WOW! It does have so many ways to use it in any room. Love it!
    Mary Alice

  9. Turned out great! Would be great in any shabby chic or prairie home. Thanks for sharing. I'm a new follower. I hope you will stop by my place and follow along on my kitchen redo.

  10. What a great re-do. It doesn't even look like the same cabinet! It has so much more personality now.
    Great work!

    Becca -

  11. What a nice post. I love your point-of-view of the possible "origins" of the made-with-love cabinet/washstand. I appreciate "the imperfect" too. A great "shabby" transformation.


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