$3 thrift store cabinet makeover

It was one of those times. You know, you see something crappy in the thrift store — really crappy — but you think it could turn into something cool. Well, I was at my fave thrift haunt looking for a piece that we could turn into a buffet for our dining room when I came across a really ugly, heavy, 70’s era wood cabinet. It had scratches galore, tarnished hardware, and it weighed a ton.

I continued to scan the other items hoping to stumble upon a diamond that was less rough, but something kept pulling me back to this one piece – and that something was the price tag. It was $4.00. And it was “25% off day.”For some reason, I had a picture of this piece in my mind all done up in a dusty french blue shade, with lots of nicks and chips. Plus throw on some new hardware and we might just have something purdy, right? At $3, I had to take a shot. I was so excited to start on this piece that I forgot about the before image. But here you can catch a glimpse of just how ugly it had been.

What color is that stain? Red? Ugh…

Nicely scratched.


Boring-est hardware ever.

Because I wanted to get this piece done in time for our annual holiday Cookie Swap, and I started on it two days before the said swap, I didn’t have time to take my time. It was an “all-in” approach here. First I did two coats of Behr Paint Plus Primer in Pure White. I was worried that the ugly red stain would bleed through. But Behr beat it handily. Once dry, I hit it up with two coats of Benjamin Moore Marlboro Blue, which was leftover from painting Wonderful #1’s room. We let the piece dry overnight then went to work on some serious sanding. I had envisioned it looking as if it had been left in an abandoned barn for many, many, many years. Very beaten up and neglected. Why? Because I love super old stuff that you find in barns, Silly. I sanded it and chipped it and then sanded and chipped some more. I wanted the coat of white to show through as well as the original wood. With a day left until our party, we did a super rush job on our last step, which is to “stain on, stain off” with Minwax Early American. As it turns out, when you rush that process, you really get the look of total barn abandonment. It definitely mellowed the tones of the blue nicely, plus added some motion – for lack of a better word – to the surface of the piece. With the final “abandoned-in-barness” process complete, we added the finishing touch – vintage-inspired hardware – not too fancy, not too plain – but just right.



Hardware. Much better.


Rescued from a barn, no?

Topped with burlap and hobby paintings of what else? Barns!

What do you think? Worth the $3?

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