Half Painted to Full Beauty-A Cabinet Story

3 Materials
7 Days

A cabinet caught my eye surfing the web. It was hard to tell the details of this cabinet it was so dark in the picture.

I brought it home and the first job was to repair the loose bits. Glue and nails fixed this. It came with two shelves but after 100 years they were so warped they couldn’t be saved. Needing just one shelf I found an old table top and cut it to fit. Cleaning for the first time in 100 years, I used Windex and then a degreaser. A light sanding came next. I debated for days about what colors to paint it.

I wanted to rescue the inside from its dark place. Pale Oak worked well. I love the beautiful carved trim and machined detail so I decided to accent it with paint. Smokey Eyes Gray was the winner.

As you can see it took a steady hand to outline all the many details. I used my smallest brush to accomplish this.

Before painting, I used a dark stain to cover the scrapes and scratches. When the stain dried I Finished painting and sealed with a protective topcoat. The last task was to light up the inside. On a recent trip my wife found a cute small chandelier I thought would fit perfectly. I cut a hole in the top, fished the wire through and connected it. Finished…

I do believe this has been one of my favorite projects.

Suggested materials:

  • Benjamin Moore Pale Oak Paint   (Ace Hardware)
  • Smokey Eyes Gray Clark and Kensington Paint   (Ace Hardware)
  • Rust oleum Matte Protective Coating   (Mennards)

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4 of 49 comments
  • Tam Tam on Oct 26, 2021

    Good grief I (personally) never, EVER would have touched that wood...but oh You made it soooooooooo stunning... (so I may change my mind in the future...thanks for the nudge!)

    • Gary Hardman Gary Hardman on Oct 26, 2021

      Take the plunge. There are 1000’s of these cabinets being thrown to the curb every year because they like the particle board crap better. I rescued this one and it is in a happy home now.

  • Shirley Shirley on Nov 14, 2021

    Mr. Hardman, it is absolutely beautiful! You did an excellent job! Congrats on a job well done! (I wish it was mine!)


    • Gary Hardman Gary Hardman on Nov 14, 2021

      Thanks so much Shirley, very kind. It is for sale so it could be yours….