Antique Parlor Cabinet Re-do

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Back in January of this year I posted some pictures of an antique cabinet that we bought from our friend Richie. You can read about that here.  After managing to get it up the stairs, it sat in a small space against the dining room wall for months until our home renovation was finished. I admit that I’d been feeling a little lazy and had put the cabinet re-do project on the back burner for longer than anticipated. There were so many other things to finish up first before I could take on a project that involved not only painting but hours of sanding and breathing in dust as well.  I finally got fed up enough with the boring brownness of it and decided to go ahead and get started. I selected an antique white paint for the body of the cabinet and a soft gray shade for the doors. Good thing I had made alot of furniture appliques beforehand and it was just a matter of selecting the ones that I wanted to use. This is what the cabinet looked like before:

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After sanding the shiny finish off for what seemed like eons, I glued on the appliques with No More Nails and held them in place with masking tape just in case.

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Then I started painting. I must confess that I didn’t paint the cabinet in any particular order and I didn’t empty it of the crystal before starting on the outside.  It took me about two weeks to finish it because I didn’t work on it for long periods at a time and I  just randomly painted whatever part I felt like painting on any given day. I figured I wouldn’t get as bored or antsy with the project that way.

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It wasn’t without it’s problems however. Even though I sanded it quite thoroughly, brown stains kept coming up through every single coat of white paint that I applied. I have no idea why that happened, it’s never happened before on any other piece of furniture that I’ve painted. I have a feeling that whoever stained and varnished this cabinet all those many decades ago must have used some kind of really strong home mixed concoction that kept coming up to the surface as each coat of white paint dried. Who knows what they used. I was starting to feel like Lady MacBeth. Had it not been for fear of breaking my toe, I would have kicked the cabinet right out the door and down the stairs at that point. Finally I just painted over the stains with a really dark gray color and then applied more white over the gray. That pretty much solved it.

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Semsema helped me out by inspecting the project regularly. She had to approve everything beforehand.

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The inside middle section of the cabinet and the two drawers had been covered in a hideous beige textured shelf paper that had fused to the shelves in some spots. I removed it all and scrubbed the  inside of the cabinet with Pine Sol. Then I painted it white and put new shelf paper in.

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And finally after a couple of weeks and about 6 or 7 (or maybe 8)  coats of paint….it was done.

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The gray doors seem to make the white appliques stand out. The back part of the glass enclosures are also painted gray.

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I finally found a place for my Halloween tableware which had previously been stored in cardboard boxes.

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I shared a couple of pictures of the finished cabinet on my Facebook page and was surprised when a friend of mine who lives in France asked me if it was french. Just the fact that a french woman could mistake the cabinet for a french antique was compliment enough for me. I just smiled and said, Oui, cést francaise maintenant!

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Joining Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Shabbilicious Friday at Shabby Art Boutique

Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed

Antique Cabinet

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First of all, I’d like to wish everyone a happy 2015. I’m spending New Year’s day alone with my two kitties up at the mountain house and enjoying the peace and quiet away from the firecrackers and revelers down in the city. My family loves the ruckus and fireworks so they stayed at our city house and partied. I guess I must be a party pooper at heart but I  figure I filled my quota of partying on Christmas. So here I am, relishing the silence while planning and plotting DIY projects to keep me busy during the next couple of months and trying to organize them in order of importance. Among the things I’m going to work on (as soon as I figure out what I want to do with it) is this gorgeous antique cabinet that we bought last week from our good friend Richie. A couple of years ago, Richie inherited his mother’s house along with everything in it. He promptly organized a garage sale and sold most of the stuff off. At that time, I bought several furniture items from him and I also spied two beautiful antique cabinets full of gorgeous vintage crystal. One of them was this particular cabinet, but to my dissapointment he wasn’t sure if he wanted to sell them or not.

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Shortly afterwards he closed up the house and went back to the States. Fast forward two years. Richie came back a couple of weeks ago to spend Christmas in Costa Rica and he sold the house. That meant that he had to decide quickly if he should sell the remaining pieces of furniture that had been locked up for two years and he invited us to go take a look to see if we were interested in anything. Was he kidding?? I’d been coveting those cabinets since 2012. I was there the next morning at 9am. Sharp. The two cabinets were still there, standing in the same spot where I’d last seen them and I wanted them both. Unfortunately (for me) he decided at the last minute that he was going to keep one of them as it was over a hundred years old and it had belonged to his father and to his father’s grandmother before him.  But he WAS willing to part with the other cabinet which had beautiful beveled glass inserts as well as a beveled mirror and a set of skeleton keys that opened all the doors. It also happened to be jam packed with his mother’s crystal. I felt a fleeting pang of guilt for buying another woman’s cherished treasures, but I silently promised to take good care of them for her. Then came the mandatory haggling. He asked for $500 dollars for the cabinet including all the crystal inside of it, plus two antique ceiling lamps and a 7 foot artificial Christmas tree (which he evidently was anxious to unload on the first unsuspecting victim) Hubby counter-offered $200 dollars. I cringed with embarassment. Richie came back at $400. Hubby raised his offer to $300. They settled on $350. Whew!

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The following day we packed up the crystal which ended up filling five large cardboard boxes and lugged the cabinet home. It’s so heavy that we needed five men to bring it up the narrow stairs. I’ve temporarily put it in the dining room until I decide what I’m going to do with it. I had originally planned on adding several ornate furniture appliques to it and painting it white. I might still do that. But I’m debating whether to cover up that lovely antique wood with flat white paint or not. Would that be sacrilegious? I’m usually not fond of shabby-chic, let alone distressed furniture, but maybe if I can call it “cottage style” and hold the distressing it will look nice in white. It already has a couple of pretty carvings. Or maybe I should just have the wood re-stained? I don’t know.

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The finish looks pretty beat up in a few spots. I don’t know how difficult it would be to re-stain it. Maybe I’d have to strip the entire thing first, which sounds daunting.  I think it might also need new drawer pulls, these look sort of dented and kind of thin and flimsy on such a heavy cabinet. On the other hand, I’d really prefer to keep all the original hardware. Decisions.

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Here’s a view of the heavy beveled glass inserts.

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We also bought this vintage 1930s Art Deco vanity for $40 dollars.

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It’s solid, very heavy wood and all the hinges and pulls are in perfect shape. I’m pretty sure I’m going to paint this one a pale gray. Or maybe a soft yellow. Maybe I’ll paint it white and then decoupage some roses over it……decisions. Gah.

 

Joining Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage

Joining Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

 

Art Deco Armoire Make-Over

I’ve had this Art Deco Waterfall armoire for more than ten years. But it wasn’t always white. It used to belong to my mother in law and it was a hand me down when she got it in the early 70’s. It had been left behind by the previous owners of her house and my MIL had  it for many years in one of her bedrooms. When she tired of it she gave it to me and I crammed it into my laundry room where I used it to store my old VHS video collection. Recently, I decided to transfer my video tapes to plastic storage boxes and I figured I could take the now empty armoire up to the mountain house for extra storage. I love Art Deco style and I didn’t want to part with it. But there was no way I was going to take it up there in it’s worn and beaten up state so I decided to paint it. After thinking about it for some time, I decided on a shade of  antique white. Not quite white and not quite ivory, but somewhere in between. Continue reading