Monday, March 14, 2011

Retro Cabinet Makeover

Paddy and I both had a few weeks off work due to the earthquake (which I will post about eventually, but I'm still not ready at the moment) and trying to keep ourselves busy was a top priority. A walk down to the local Salvation Army shop last week led to the discovery of this little beauty:

I love a good retro cabinet; we already have a similar one in our lounge. The low height and slimness of this one really appealed to me and I thought it would be a great piece to have near the dining room table, for plates, glassware etc. Especially as we are looking at installing a dishwasher in our kitchen and will likely lose the cupboard currently dedicated to those items. But, we already have a lot of wood in our house and as I'm trying to avoid the log-cabin look, I thought it would be fun to give this one a makeover! Originally I thought distressed white would look good, but then my lovely and wise neighbour (who has the most dreamy shabby chic house ever, it's adorable) pointed out that distressed isn't really the look that is developing in our wee house. So, the internet was consulted for inspiration and here is the final product:

What do you think? I'm in love! Clearly the wine collection is coming along well, but now I just need to expand on my mismatched plate and glassware collection and the look will be complete. Luckily, my neighbour has an awesome eye for all vintage treasures and is on the lookout for me. In fact, almost everything on and in the cabinet (bar the liquor) currently is due to her keen eye and regular trips to the Sallies around the corner from our houses!

So how did we do it? Well, to be honest, Paddy did almost all of the work, and I supplied the vision. First the cabinet was scrubbed down with sugar soap, and then wiped with meths, to prepare the surface. Then, all the hinges and glass/mirror were removed, and all the edges were taped to help avoid getting paint on any mirrors that could not be removed. It was primed with a coat of B.I.N primer and then two coats each of the white and the turquoise went on. To seal the paint, as we went cheap and used test pots, two coats of satin finish clear varnish was applied. Extra spots were touched up and the tape was removed. Some painted that leaked under the tape needed to be scraped off the mirror, and after a good clean, it was done!

I'm loving the retro funky feel it adds to our house! Have you ever refurbished old furniture before? How did it turn out? I would love to see other before and after photos!


  1. Cute! LOVE the white and blue together.

  2. You guys are so clever! I look at the original pic and I don't think I'd have been able to see anything except ugly old wood. The blue and white is very classy.