Easy Apothecary Cabinet Style Makeover!!!

9 Materials
10 Hours
I was recently gifted this dresser from a neighbor who said if I didn’t want it she was taking it to the dump. I posted a notice of gratitude and one comment on that post was from a good friend asking when I would be making and selling another apothecary cabinet, and my response was “why not now ;)”

This dresser had a thin laminate veneer on it
and it was cracked and missing in some places. But underneath it was WOOD, like, real glorious wood!!! So I used 100 grit sand paper, and started about the process of revealing it! I also used small wooden dowels to fill each of the holes where the handles had been. Then used a wood filler to cement them in place. Once the entire dresser had been sanded, the original holes were invisable.
Onced finished with the 100 grit, I then used a 220 grit to smooth out the grain. And when it felt smooth to the touch, I washed it down, and stained it a dark ‘Kona’ stain. After a couple coats I loved the color!
At this point I decided I would use the original design to create a faux drawer design. I taped off each square and used White chalk paint on them, painting in thin layers, and using a hot hairdryer to dry the paint so that it looks old and cracked a bit. Once they were all painted, I sanded the edges to reveal the darker color underneath.
Next I measured for my apothecary style handles! The screws for these are very small, so I used a tiny drill to make it easy to get started. I always measure and then use tape in s grid pattern to help make sure they are perfectly lined up!
Next I used a crackle medium on the sides and outer edges of the top. Once it was completely dry, I once again used a white chalk paint on those areas.
To finish it off, I used an “Apothecary” stencil on top. I used a sponge method to apply the paint, which I had never tried before. I found it very hard to get coverage, and even though I tried to do a mostly dry-brush type of application, I still had some bleeding. So next time I will go with my tried and true stencil brush. Since I was going to be sanding it a bit on top to make it look older, it wasn’t too bad to fix, once all the painting was finished, I used a clear wax. I had planned to use a brown wax to make it appear aged, but I really loved the stark contrast in color with the white and dark kona stain.
I am often asked to do apothecary style makeovers, and there are so many ways to do them. And I find that each piece I’ve done, is nothing like any of the others. At some point I was really tired of making them, and had decided I would never do another one. But, this was for someone special, and I find that I might just love them again!

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3 of 6 questions
  • Cindy John Cindy John on May 22, 2018

    Where did you get that stencil

  • Norma Jean Brown Huntley Norma Jean Brown Huntley on May 29, 2018

    So did you remove all of the veneer

  • Nancy Beckwith Nancy Beckwith on May 31, 2018

    But why isn't the black part aged a bit too, to ha continuity with the old aged white parts? The finished product is beautiful, but if I did this, I would make it appear like the ENTIRE piece had aged.....make it more " believable '


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