I notice that every other post, I make a note that I am months late in writing it. By now it is safe to assume this always happens. The story of this beautiful cabinet starts summer 2013. We rolled into a content sale after following through a notice on the street in our neighborhood. I have seen garage sales around and I thought it is the same thing. Rookie assumption, this is a different ball game; basically you walk through someone’s home, hoping they just moved and not passed away and everything has a price tag on it. Somehow we ended up in the garage, picking up a pair of badminton rackets, a game of garden croquet and a record cabinet. All together we spent 12 dollars on these items. We proudly put the cabinet in the front seat and drove it home. We still leave with my mom at the moment so she gave us a suspicious look as we confidently declared we are refurbishing it. Let’s just say this is not our area of expertise so her doubts were not unfounded. We slowly started gathering tools to sand it, fix the holes, remove the doors and paint it.
- Old mahogany record cabinet
- Sanding Paper from Lee Valley Tools
- Sanding Support for the Paper from Lee Valley Tools
- Wood filler from Lee Valley Tools
- Masks from Lee Valley Tools
- Paint Brushes and Covering Tape from Lee Valley Tools
- Paint and Wax from Homestead House Milk Paint
This was our first experience in giving a piece of furniture a makeover so I started with the easiest part, looking where to buy paint. We were very good and tried to buy environmentally friendly and whatever other stuff friendly we could, anything but budget friendly if possible. We waltzed into Homestead House Milk Paint and hoped all is as easy as slapping a new coat of paint on it and that is it. The visit was enlightening and we quickly discovered that in order for the new layer of paint to look as good as the pieces in the shop we needed to strip it down as close as possible to its natural state. We left the shop with colours made from milk protein from New Zealand, of course we bought if it is from New Zealand. Husband Chris still thinks of our trip there as possibly even better than our wedding. Paints check, next step was to go to Lee Valley Tools and spend another 100 dollars if not more on painting and sanding tools as well as a pasta machine since it was on sale. Notice how quickly we turned the 8-dollar cabinet into a fun long-term investment.
With a box full of everything we needed we started the job. Surprise surprise, hand sanding is a hard thing to do. It was an unbalanced effort where Husband Chris did most of it. It was hard work especially since the cabinet had several layers of varnish on. For the top, we would crack one layer and then a second one would pop out. The sides were a bit better. By the time we finished the top and sides we wisely decided the inside looks warmer and better left as is.
The painting part was definitely more fun. It took a bit to get the right balance of water and milk protein for an acceptable consistency. We also did some test runs on the doors of the cabinet, which we removed since we liked the open look. It was a good idea to help us choose which colours we want. I enjoyed painting it on our balcony and I managed to dirty everything around me, including my clothes and hands. During my Watery Painting course I created a whole line of clothing for myself with the paint I dropped on my clothes.
Just because we paid less than 10 dollars for it, that does not make it a bargain. We ended up paying more than 150 for tools and paints. True we could have chosen cheaper options but didn’t hurt to support local businesses.
Painting is fun but messy, even for a little touch, I still managed to dirty lots of things around me. Definitely this needs to be done in an environment where it is ok to get messy and possibly re-use already stained clothes.