70's Cabinet Redo - Out With the Orange Oak and in With Mexican Rustic

by Ouina
5 Materials
The cabinet is solid wood - even the back and a really nice piece of furniture. Just needed updating.
Cabinet before
I removed the hardware, stripped the finish off and conditioned the wood. Notice the 70's orange plastic door panels. That HAD to go!
Middle of the refinished process
After googling how to refinish "Mexican Rustic" I proceeded to try and come up with the look using several Minwax stains. After stripping, pre stain conditioning the wood, I started with Special Walnut using a brush and let it sit for a minute or less before wiping off the excess. Next, let it dry overnight and then brushed on Weathered Oak and let sit 5-8 minutes before wiping off the excess. Again, let it dry overnight. I then brushed on Pickled Weather Oak and let it sit 3-5 minutes before wiping off. Again, dry overnight. Then I followed up with a very light and quickly wiped off Special Walnut.
Materials for the new cabinet pulls
I wanted cabinet pulls that looked rustic. After searching for rustic pulls and finding what I wanted but didn't want to pay I came up with this: Using two drapery rings that I had from another project and jute that I had on hand, I made two drawer pulls. I used a vise to squeeze the round rings into an oblong and then wrapped jute at the top of the narrow end and threaded the two ends of jute through former knob screw hole.
Finished knob
The final look.
Cabinet wire replacing plastic
I found this wire grid online at a metal store. $4 to include shipping! And the bonus, they were cut to the size I needed. I then painted with an enamel paint, a flat black.
Finished cabinet
Here is the final piece put back together. I painted the hinges and screws with the same flat black enamel paint to match the metal grating in the doors. I think I got very close to the Mexican Rustic furniture finish.
Suggested materials:
  • Finish stripping liquid, steel wool pads for stripping paint   (Lowes)
  • Minwax stains: Special Walnut, Weathered Oak, and Pickled Weather Oak   (Lowes)
  • Black enamel paint   (Lowes)
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2 of 3 comments
  • Nicolette Spargo Nicolette Spargo on Apr 10, 2017
    Wow! What a transformation! So much better now!!

  • Sally Sally on Apr 10, 2017
    I transformed a very similar (the front was a louvre) piece into a cat bathroom recently. I didn't spend as much time and effort on it. I had my son cut a mouse/cat door in the side for kitty access in a spot where it would be accessible, based on my desired location. A good sized kitty litter pan sits inside and there is enough room to slide a scooper alongside. I also have a spray can of Lysol in there and a small batter powered sensor light. I open the doors, pull out the pan, which ends up at a great angle for scooping. It's quick, clean, very little odor, plus it's nicely disguised!!