My (not so) new entry way cabinet

When I was 18, my parents were in the market for a new house.  It was the summer after I had just finished high School and with lots of time on my hands, I went with my Mom to look at potential houses.  When we entered the basement of the house we ended up buying, I instantly fell in love with a cabinet that was tucked away in a corner.  I was talking to my Mom about how much I liked it and joked with the realtor that if we do buy the house, maybe could she just throw a blanket over the cabinet so the current owners would leave it behind.  To my luck, the owners nephew had been in the basement at the time cleaning and packing up.

Low and behold, on closing day we got the keys and went to inspect and clean the house to get ready to move in, my Mom called me from the basement to come down and see that the only thing that was left behind, was my cabinet.  This piece, although scratched and stained has been a well loved staple furniture piece in every house I’ve lived in.  It’s been a craft cabinet, a toy cabinet and most recently, it sits in my main entrance and houses hats and mitts and dog leashes and is a great place for dropping a purse or keys when coming home.  But, I finally admitted that after 25 years, this cabinet needed some well deserved TLC.


The first thing I did was removed all the hardware.  I love the look of the original hardware, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to work with the new look I was going for.  I carefully removed the hinges and latch and placed them in a baggy to keep safe until I fully decided what to do with them.  Next, I gave the entire piece a light sanding.


The original trim was cracked and broken since I first got the cabinet.  For 24 years I kept meaning to replace the trim and the time had finally come.  I bought a piece of quarter wood and measured (not so carefully it seems!), cut and nailed it into place with finishing nails.  Because the cut was off, I used some wood putty to fill in the spaces and after it dried, sanded it down to make it smooth (more or less).

Then came the fun part!  I used the same paint that I used on the table in my porch transformation, American Satin Enamels in Natural Beige.  At first I thought I could get away using just the left over paint from my porch renovation, but I ended up having to buy another tub for $8.00 (thank you for 50% off coupons!)  It took about three coats to get the piece fully covered without any of the wood or knots showing through.  The top was a bit trickier as I knew I wanted it to be a different, darker colour, but wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted.  I started out with buying American acrylic paint in Cranberry Wine, but it came out too country kitchen for my taste.  I ended up adding some Americana acrylic pain in Black and it came out a dark plum colour which suits my home much better.   In the end I ended up using three small 2fl oz bottles of paint at $2.50 each to cover the entire top (2 in Cranberry Wine and 1 in Black).  I finished it off with two coats of leftover Americana DuraClear Satin Varnish to give it a hard surface and keep it from scratching.

In the end I decided I didn’t want to use the original hardware as the piece looked so fresh and clean I couldn’t bring myself to put back the decades old, rusted hinges.  I ended up searching through a few box home improvement stores before finding the perfect hinges and knobs.  The hinges were a great price at just under $4.00 each pair.  The knobs were a bit more of a splurge of $8.00 each, but I was saving so much money by re-purposing furniture we already owned, I was okay with it. My husband pre-drilled some holes for me (power tools are not my friends) and then I screwed the hardware into place. The end result, although not perfect (I didn’t sand the edges as well as I could have and there were a few cracks in the wood that I should have filled) its a huge improvement over the cabinet that I’ve loved for the past 24 years.


I love how it looks under my mini gallery wall in our main entrance.  It’s not brand new, but it looks brand new to me and all for under $40.00, which can’t be beat.

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