Update: Bedroom Cabinet Refinishing

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Well there’s nothing like a quick little project to breeze through and spiff up your house is there? ….. unfortunately I know nothing about that idea.  Quick… NEVER, Easy… RARELY, Spiffed up… POSSIBLY!  Thank goodness for blogging because I had to go back to figure out when the heck I started this refinishing project…. turns out April 23rd! Good grief, I’m slow.  Okay so it only took me 6 weeks minus the two I couldn’t work … so 4 weeks!  It ain’t love but it ain’t bad!

I have a million pictures so please excuse all the visuals… but I took a ton.. so I’ll just get it over with here and now!!! (get ready to scroll and thanks for hanging in there) First things first… thanks to everyone who helped me work through the whole idea of painting part of this project.  In the end I decided to try to stick to the original look of the cabinet which was all stained wood.  The great thing was that if it didn’t work out I had lots of love for the back-up plan to paint the sliders.  It was a win-win in my book… so THANK YOU EVERYONE!  After stripping, sanding, painting, and clear coating everything (twice) I’m happy to say it went better than expected.  Here’s a quick look and then I’ll break it down.


[ insert a plant to hopefully distract you from any imperfections.  Is it working? ]

A little reminder of what this troublesome corner looked like when I asked for help.
LOVELY!

Okay, so as you can see from the picture above there were two different finishes to deal with here.  The insides were painted and the outsides stained and cleared.  I decided to NOT re-stain but accept whatever was there and just clear coat with Satin Polyurethane.  The insides painted up really well after an oil based primer.  You can see what a lovely color the wood turned when I applied the poly.  Very rich in color. I  am so happy.

Everyone warned me that the stain would be a nightmare to match for the end piece and all the trim… but I was determined to try.  WELL it was a nightmare X 10.  But you guys warned me! I’m stubborn and I only quit when I break down in tears and there were no tears (yet) so I kept going.  I spent 3 days trying to match this right.  It’s not perfect but it’s so damn close I could pinch myself (and I did!)

Obviously I tried a lot and even mixed a few.  Some too brown, some too red, some too light or too dark.  It was not my favorite part of the project.  THEN BINGO, something so close I couldn’t complain.  I had it!

after wiping the stain from the trim above… it was a pretty damn good match to the trim on my cabinet. 

The top of the cabinet is a white laminate and that’s pretty common for the era and it’s in excellent shape so I didn’t touch that.  There is a section that looks like a desk or vanity.  I spend as little time as possible in the “mirror” so I wasn’t interested in a vanity per se.  I wanted it for jewelry.  It started out looking pretty shabby….

Old nasty contact paper gone, everything sanded and painted… it was a big improvement.

There were these little “cubbies” in there that sit on the ledges inside and can slide side-to-side.  I sanded and painted them and then gave them a new treatment for the bottoms.
I cut left over mat board and covered them in a grey felt making sure to put in little tabs so I could pull them out easy to clean.  I ended up using this type of “lining” for the entire jewelry cabinet.

I put the finished top back on the hinges and WA-LAH… a cabinet for some of my jewelry.
I make most of my jewelry so this is only about 1/4th of my crap.  I definitely need to purge and get rid of some stuff.  It’s EVERYWHERE… but that’s for another post.  I decided to use this for my “everyday” stuff.  I love sterling silver and thought it looked pretty against the gray.  I used inserts on the bottoms and back too.

The little cubbies slide side to side so you can use the entire bottom of the “drawer”.
ON the back I rolled up some felt and put the rolls together to hold rings.  I might modify this at some point but it works for now.

There was a drawer glide missing on one of the drawers and of course trim on the “bad” end of the cabinet had to be made to match the other side.  Richie did a good job on this.

I’m a little freaky about lining my drawers and shelves… so I had to take some time and add a little paper to the bottoms.  It looks prettier… even if nobody sees it but me!

We determined that most of the wood was maple and possibly some birch… but we stayed with maple with everything we had to replace.  Truth is that wood just doesn’t look like it use to.  Of course that means the grain and quality.  I also had to keep in mind that solid wood and ply-wood will take on stain and finish differently giving it slight color variations.  Not to mention this cabinet has taken on 50 years of a patina that just can’t be reproduced.  So in the end it’s not exact and perfect.. but it’s good enough for me.

The wood color definitely changes throughout the day depending on how much light gets in and where it  hits.  The pic below was at night.  A more even view, I guess.

So there it is and with only minor tweaks left on the project.  BUT of course there was one LAST chance for tears…. so as things go at the “Goode” house, I couldn’t make it out without a few.  I went to put in one of the sliders that had been drying in a back room of the house on top of a work table and realized that the cat must have tried to jump on it because there were 3 distinct claw marks on the top of the freshly coated wood.  (head drops, eyes pool, and I feel like I’ve been punched!)  Ten minutes of slow breathing and I popped that sucker in place and will eventually fix it.  It’s like a new car, ya know… that first scratch kills you… but also breaks it in.  It’s all good.

Thanks again for everyone’s help and encouragement.  This was a pretty big project but I’m really pleased.  Now to just get my clothes out of boxes and back in place and we can move on to the floor.  There’s always more…..

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43 thoughts on “Update: Bedroom Cabinet Refinishing

  1. Cathy (InspiredDesign)

    Of course you make your own jewelry!
    I think the cabinet looks great! You obviously did your homework and took your time (not too much time, either – 4 weeks is respectable around here:) and it turned out beautifully.
    Sorry about your cat’s walk of fame prints:(

    Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      Thanks Cathy. A few stripes in all my drawers made me happy. Wish I could have found some that were more random like your walls. Oh well.
      It seemed like it took forever but I’m probably just too hard on myself. Thanks for looking.

      Reply
  2. ScrapAndSalvage

    oh my! this turned out so well! what an awesome feeling you must have. it looks fanfriggintastic, with or without the plant distraction (though that color green looks smashing against the brown). hooray and a job well done.

    Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      You are so frigginsweet!! (ha!) Thank you so much for your enthusiasm. I’m feeling pretty good about it but it’s probably just a high from being “done”. HA! I was actually hoping to use green accents in the room so it’s weird that you mention the green color. I’ll see if I can pull more of that off. All YOUR wonderful refinish jobs put me to shame.. but I’m always inspired by the great care and hard work you put into them. So thank YOU!

      Reply
  3. NookAndSea

    Those drawer liners are killer! I love seeing a little pattern in unexpencted places. Looks great (and your comment about the plant being a purposeful distraction was cracking me up)! Nice work :)

    Kristina
    Nook & Sea

    Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      Hey Kristina! Thanks for looking… I’d say this job has earned me some ice cream! (loved your picture – you always look so happy) I’m happy to be finished but I couldn’t call it done without lining the drawers. I’ll smile every time I open them up. I think I’ll keep a plant there… especially if it worked!

      Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      I appreciate you saying so! As a lover of mid-century you know how special something like this is. It was built with the house and I had to keep it. I hope I did it justice. The liners were a more “today” modern touch… but it’s good to mix things up. Thank you for stopping by… it’s so fun to share our home and projects.

      Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      I’m sure she was more traumatized by the happening than I was. I just imagine her jumping up there on such an unexpected, unstable surface totally freaked her out… hence the scratches. She was like “oh crap”! She’s a sweetie… I couldn’t get upset (well, maybe for a minute). My jewelry.. THANK YOU! I’m a little obsessed with the shiny stuff. I also make most of it and it’s easy to get carried away. Buy a new outfit… run home and make earring, bracelets, and necklaces to match. It’s gotten WAY out of hand. Richie brings me home lots of wonderful silver pieces from estate sale finds. (usually at an unthinkable price) I bet you have some lovely jewelry yourself! Glad you stopped by, Dana. I’m still thinking about those cool wood pavers.

      Reply
  4. kibster

    You did such a great job! It’s absolutely gorgeous, and congrats on crossing another big project off the list! Oh, and I love your silver jewelry. I’m a big fan of sterling silver & turquoise.

    Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      Thanks Kim, I appreciate you saying that …. it made me stop for a second and think about your words (BIG PROJECT). It WAS kind of big.. and I was really dreading it!! Glad it’s over… and thanks for helping me.
      I love turquoise too and I need to find some new pieces. (add to Richie’s list!) It seems to look good with everything!

      Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      Oh wow… that means so much. THANK YOU Christine. I have to say that I have really enjoyed having this blog and sharing stuff that would otherwise just be me, in a room, by myself, smiling at something I was proud of … it’s definitely WAY MORE FUN to share it with cool people like you. I’m happy you stopped to look. It makes me feel like I can make it to the next project with a smile on my face. :-)

      Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      YES, YES I WOULD! PLEASE LET ME COME!!! When is good for you? I’d love to get out of this house! (laughing so hard).
      Thanks for checking in on our slow but eventual progress. I appreciate you!

      Reply
  5. Storypiece

    You’re a ROCK STAR!! The end cabinet looks amazing like it’s always been there. And seeing the finished results… I’m so glad that you went with the stain over the painted sliders. Love the vanity for your jewelry; the grey fabric is a beautiful touch. And I’m sorry about the kitty prints… totally been there. (I tend to waffle between tears and throwing things depending on the offense.) Amazing, lady!!

    Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      HA HA! Well, it certainly ROCKS to be finished. Thanks for that. I’ll have you know that I spent a good hour sitting at the end of that cabinet trying to figure out how to do the shelves at the end. It just wasn’t possible without tearing everything up. I was a little disappointed because I loved your idea. Thank you so much for your sweet words and encouragement. You made it fun!

      Reply
  6. modernmaggie

    This looks fantastic. I love how much attention to all the little details you put in, the end cabinet looks great, I love the painted white inside and the stripy drawers, in fact I love all of it ha. So impressed!

    Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      The painted insides definitely keep it clean and bright. I’m happy with that. I get obsessed with the little details so that means the world to me! (it drives Richie crazy… but after 22 years he’s use to it!) HA!

      Reply
  7. Victoria Elizabeth Barnes

    WHOA. That is a SERIOUS diy. It looks amazing! The wood next to the clean white is beautiful. And your stain is perfect. No one would ever know it wasn’t original. (Matching stain is enough to make you nuts.) My favorite photo is the one with the two drawers out where you see the liner detail… isn’t it SO nice to put your things away permanently??

    Why do kitties always want to be where they are not wanted? Good thing you love them so much.

    Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      I have to agree (humbly), those drawers are pretty… especially on the inside. I am really proud of those. Thanks for saying so.
      My husband has been harassing me daily with “Oh, I can see those cat scratches.. it’s ruined.. you’ll have to start all over”. ASS! (LOL) He loves giving me a hard time. YES, I’m looking forward to getting my clothes back in the drawers and out of boxes. (yay) Thanks, V.

      Reply
      1. Victoria Elizabeth Barnes

        Your drawer-humility is noted, but fooling no one.
        I am totally laughing at the “oh it’s ruined… you’ll have to start all over.” Nice when you can start joking about the project rather than being cross-eyed with stress.

        Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      Matching the stain was completely unexpected. I really was surprised and prepared to just slap on some paint and move on. It worked out okay, didn’t it!
      But I hope to never have to do it again. HA HA !! Thanks for the visit and the sweet comment.

      Reply
  8. Meghan

    Wow! I am so jealous of your jewelry drawer! Amazing job with the cabinet on the end… and just to let you know, although it looks good there, you don’t need the plant… I don’t see any imperfections!!! :)

    Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      You’re the best! Thanks for that. That jewelry drawer was fun. It use to have a huge heavy mirror on the inside top but I took it out. It was so heavy and made it hard to open. It’s a good place to hide my clutter. I hope I can keep it organized.
      Thanks for visiting. I’m still in awe of your two day deck. TWO DAYS!!! You’re putting me to shame, girl. I’m as slow as Christmas. HA HA!

      Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      SO TRUE! Everything seem so much better once it’s over. You sort of think “what was the big deal… it wasn’t so bad”. It’s usually worth it. Thank you for looking, Amanda.
      Seen any good concerts lately?

      Reply
  9. teakhound

    WTF, Stacey? This is freaking amazing! We knew you were good, but this is a whole new level. I’m not sure even I would have taken on the task of matching stains. Can’t tell you how impressed I am.

    Really killer job. You inspire us.

    Reply
    1. Stacey@aGh Post author

      AHHHH, I just burst out into screaming laughter! WTF, indeed! I love your style! Okay, I need to quit laughing… and say THANK YOU!!! Seriously, that’s a wonderful compliment coming from you and I mean that. I’m consistently in awe of you guys and was hoping I wouldn’t FU@K this project up because you’d definitely know it if I did. ( and I did in some ways) HA HA! Thanks for the refinishers “nod of approval”. It made my day.

      Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey! Thank you so much. I appreciate you taking a look. It was a project I’m glad I took on because in “real” life they look so much better refinished. One down… lots to go. You totally know how that goes. It’s always something, isn’t it.
      P.S. Love your new rug!

      Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Thanks Pam! Absolutely agree… character marks… that keeps me from crying anyway. (LOL) Honestly you can barely see them and I probably won’t do a thing. I love me kitties way more than any project… it was my fault for leaving it on the table. Thanks for stopping by and the thumbs up! Bloggers are the best. I LOVE all your cool posts. So much to take in and enjoy. :-)

      Reply
  10. Lindsey

    YAY! This looks amazing! I love the drawer liner and your jewelry! I know you have to feel so accomplished! I’m so proud of you Stacey! :-)

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      You always make me smile! So sweet and encouraging! Thanks Lindsey, it does feel good. I wasn’t sure if I could pull that end piece off, but I came pretty close. Glad that hideous torn up plywood crap is now at least covered and sealed. (it’s all an illusion! ) HA HA!

      Reply
  11. collectedandcurated

    Bravo!! This looks amazing, and l have to agree with everyone else that the details such as the liner and the jewelry drawer really make it unique! I am just returning from a short blogging hiatus and am catching up on your blog – my, you have be seriously busy with some awesome projects! What an inspiration!

    Reply
    1. Stacey Post author

      Hey Brittany! Yes, it’s been a while.. missed you! Sometimes it’s good to take a break. It’s hard to keep up with everything, isn’t it. Thanks for catching up and the applause for my project. It’s so fun to complete something and have such cool people to share it with. I think it turned out pretty good. My clothes are all back in the drawers and life has returned to some degree of “normal” around here. At least my undies aren’t in the hall anymore! HA! Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

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